In one of its latest articles, NowThis News fully endorses Victoria’s Secret’s rebranding to include a transgender, plus-size, and lesbian ambassador. It comes in the wake of revelations of Victoria Secret’s parent company’s former chairman and CEO, Les Wexner, having ties to Jeffrey Epstein. Wexner was also accused of misogyny, bullying, and harassment, according to the New York Times.
“Victoria’s Secret is shifting away from its male-gaze-branding of near-perfect, slender models to include ambassadors who represent women empowerment instead,” NowThis wrote. “The brand’s attempt to shift away from the ethos of its past, which had been tailored to male fantasy paradigms, follows the lead of other inclusive lingerie brands that have showcased a wider array of models.”
That’s to say if men with their evil, patriarchal gaze and “fantasy paradigms” find a certain kind of woman attractive, she must no longer be represented. Being trans, overweight, or a lesbian is “women empowerment.”
To be sure, some of Victoria’s Secret’s new ambassadors empower those they represent. Priyanka Chopra Jonas is Indian and Adut Akech is South Sudanese-Australian.
But the NowThis story doesn’t focus on race. It focuses on weight, saying that Victoria’s Secret “follows the lead of other inclusive lingerie brands that…have been size-inclusive for years and rooted in body positivity.”
The fashion industry may have been guilty of perpetuating unhealthy, underweight conceptions of feminine beauty before. It may even still be guilty today. But swapping one unhealthy conception of beauty (underweight) for another (overweight) isn’t the way to redress the problem.
Nor is it “antiquated messaging rooted in masculine desire” for men to find women of a healthy weight attractive. “Masculine desire” isn’t intrinsically evil solely because it’s masculine. To suggest otherwise is to apply a double standard, as the Left is oft. Imagine the cries of sexism and outrage that would follow the demonization of any feminine desire, no matter how ludicrous.
Rightfully or not, Victoria’s Secret’s former models – Angels – were seen as paragons of beauty. They’ve been replaced by a trans woman, plus-size model, and other “women famous for their achievements and not their proportions,” as the Times said.
That’s the new definition of female beauty being pushed on NowThis News’ feminist readers. Those are the women whom men are supposed to see as attractive, or else they’re a transphobe, fatphobe, or misogynist who doesn’t want a strong, independent woman.
NowThis News’ reach is enormous. It has over 18 million followers on Facebook, 3.1 million followers on Instagram, and 2.7 million Twitter followers. Its YouTube channel has 1.61 million subscribers. In late 2015, 68% of its audience were between 18 and 34 years old.