Dear Victoria’s Secret,
I’m writing to you today to request that you be consistent in your marketing and the consequent message you are sending your consumers. I can’t speak for all of them but I, for one, am lost.
For the past few months my email inbox has been flooded with Photoshop-laden advertisements for your new “Bombshell” push-up bra, which is guaranteed to increase a woman’s bust by two cup sizes. The bra comes in sizes starting at 32AA and going to 38DD.
(In this letter, I’m not going to address the glaring fact that women come in more shapes and sizes than just the ones you sell. By now you should already be aware of how preposterous this is.)
Now, I work in marketing so I can kind of understand the thinking behind this product. We live in a culture where breasts are viewed as “the bigger, the better.” (Though don’t you dare have a body with complimenting proportions to big boobs. Then you’re just fat and therefore a disgrace.) But wait, ladies! It’s a bird! It’s a plane! No, it’s the heroic Victoria’s Secret swooping in with a product that is sure to be the answer to the hardships small-chested women face each day.
Now you TOO can be a “bombshell!”
Via this new product, you’re suggesting that women can only be considered to be “bombshells” if they increase their bust by at least two cup sizes. A woman surely can’t be a “bombshell” at her natural size and shape. She must be modified to fit into some sort of “bombshell” mold. If you think that this is just a “bra” and not a “message” with no actual repercussions, I beg you to reconsider the message you’re subtly conveying.
Don’t believe me? Well…
As a woman who has never really needed a push-up bra (I’m a 36D) I thought I’d try on the “Bombshell” bra for fun. (After all, who doesn’t want to be a bombshell?)
The result? I LOOKED RIDICULOUS. I looked as if I were smuggling party balloons in my shirt. I didn’t look like a “bombshell.” I looked completely unnatural. If I were to wear that bra out in public, I would most definitely turn heads, but not in the way Victoria’s Secret suggests. People would rubberneck not to whistle and cat call but rather to ask themselves, “How much do you think she paid for those? I mean, she doesn’t look particularly wealthy, but those are so fake. Who does she think she’s fooling?”
So. Not only am I not a bombshell at my normal size. But now, I’m not even a bombshell in a bra that promises to make me a bombshell.
How would you feel, VS, if this was you? What do you think this would do to your view of yourself?
Right after I got married I decided to buy some lingerie. Since I’m pretty naive, the only establishment I’m aware of that sells sexy lingerie is you, Victoria’s Secret. When I walked in the store, I felt really uncomfortable trying on anything that I saw on stick-thin mannequins, but I pushed through it. I finally found one piece that I thought was not only sexy, but also really pretty. I thought I’d look really good in it and I was so excited! I started scouring the racks for my size, but I couldn’t find it. I grabbed one of your sweet saleswomen and asked her politely, “Excuse me, but do you have this in a 36D?”
“I’m sorry,” she replied. “This line isn’t made that big.”
I was shocked. “Why’s that?” I asked, trying to remain calm.
“I’m not sure, ” she shrugged. “It’s our ‘Sexy Little Things’ line. It just doesn’t come that big. So sorry.”
Victoria’s Secret, you lost me.
- I can only be sexy (a “bombshell,” if you will) by increasing my bust by at least two cup sizes.
- But I can’t wear “sexy little” lingerie because my bust is just too big.
So. This where the consistency of your message is faulty. Bigger is better, but only if it’s fake and super padded. Real big (the born-with-it-real-big) like myself isn’t sexy.
Where do I fit? What do I have to do to be sexy? Because at this point, all I know is that I can’t do so by wearing anything you sell. Guess I’ll just have to be sexy by being me.
Lindsay Durrenberger, a natural-born bombshell.
(insert middle finger here.)
15 thoughts on “dropping a bombshell.”
I really really really hope you end up sending them something along these lines.
Can we also note. Why does a 38DD need bigger boobs? At 36D I, at times, dream of how nice it would be to have a small chest.
Love love love. As a male, I don’t really get it. Why is everyone so obsessed with exterior expressions of “beauty” and not what is on the inside. I also want it said for the record that I can confidently say that I believe in the age-old cliche that you shouldn’t love a woman because she is beautiful, she should be beautiful because you love her, now we just need marketing execs to get in on that message.
Also, sitting here giggling in my office at the (insert middle finger here) comment.
Oh ya, forgot my last comment that its ironic that you picked Heidi Montag as one of the examples in this, as she is probably one of the most fake people on the planet, both inside and out, not just from her recent surgeries.
The only time I have had somewhat nice-sized breasts is when I was pregs and the 4 months that I nursed Jasper. It was definitely different for me, considering I have been a large A/small B forevs. I haven’t been one to be jealous of the more endowed ladies. I have always been on the petite side and have learned to get used to it. Most of my closest ladie friends are all voluptuous ladies and I never stop hearing “You are so TINY, I hate you.” or “You are sooo lucky you lost the baby weight so fast”, (looks can be deceiving, i am now left with stretch marks and a somewhat deflated looking chest) I am the minority in my circle of friends, which is cool, but also annoying because I can’t borrow clothes/shoes, and all my friends have great clothes. Pregnancy ravaged my body…so when I see picks of victoria secret ladies, I am not jealous of the breasts, I am jealous of the blemish free/flat stomach.
Also…I loved the way Heidi Montag looked BEFORE the crazy surgery debacle. It seems we live in a society where people just want to be platinum blondem uninteresting and completely unoriginal.
Embrace you body (big or small, busty or flat 🙂 !!!!
Funny you write this… Last week Rebekah and I were in VS and I said to her… I can’t even buy cute bras from here and I hate it! I wear a 36dd and guess what?! I can only get black white or something ordered online and returned to the store…bc I am “too big”. I can totally relate and its lame. Also, NONE of their lingerie comes “big enough”. I suppose in my case, bigger is NOT better and I need a reduction to even consider walking in there, unless its for undies. What…the…heck?!
I remember the first time I went to VS. I didn’t know that nothing would fit. It was very embarrassing. I do love Frederick’s of Hollywood bras and lingerie (both have a nice of selection for folks DD/DDD/F/G, and higher band sizes as well). Their marketing isn’t too terribly different, but they do seem more accepting of all natural breasts. I also like Soma, but I can only find them online now.
i love you. this is spot on.
Thank you for this… I now know that I CAN be a bombshell even if my A’s don’t become C’s. Their advertising is seriously the only advertising that makes me feel bad about myself. I can’t look at those women. And I still get their emails, even though I’ve unsubsribed! Grr. Lindsay, you’re a bombshell 🙂
Pingback: thanks for a great year! « fueled by diet coke
Pingback: the importance of support. « fueled by diet coke
We just gotta understand that our society’s thinking is flawed. A woman’s beauty comes from within. PERIOD.
You are beautiful and so am I. So there. 😉
Lindsay.. I love you! And the last time I was in VS they totally tried to sell me the “bombshell” once they realized I was looking for A cups.. thanks guys…and it looked ridiculous.
Pingback: diet coke 12-pack: week of october 24, 2011 | fueled by diet coke
Pingback: secrets, secrets are no fun. secrets, secrets hurt someone. | fueled by diet coke
Pingback: are you there, blog? it’s me, lindsay. | fueled by diet coke