AceShowbiz - Karen Elson has called on Victoria's Secret bosses to make its annual fashion show more inclusive.
The British supermodel, who previously worked for the U.S. lingerie giant in the early 2000s, has urged leaders at the brand to embrace inclusivity, after chief marketing officer Ed Razek was blasted by critics for controversial comments he made in U.S. Vogue magazine about transgender and plus-size models.
Following the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show in New York on 8 November Razek told the publication he chose not to hire more diverse models because the company "did not market to the whole world."
"It's time to get real, get woke and start this conversation so meaningful changes can happen for the better," wrote Elson on her social media pages on Sunday, November 11, alongside a post from organisers at Model Alliance expressing "disappointment" over Razek's comments. "Every VS show I hear stories of models doing excruciating workouts and restrictive diets to look 'perfect' for the show."
"These women are already genetically blessed and drop dead gorgeous, I can't fault them as it's vulnerable to be in your underwear for a live TV event, it's easy for me to preach but I understand the position these women are in," she sympathised, adding that she has many friends who work for Victoria's Secret.
However, she said the time is right to have discussions about why it is vital to present various body types, skin colours, ethnic backgrounds and genders on the runway.
"I want to see women in their natural state whatever that may be, not one that's been tortured in the name of beauty, because real beauty shouldn't be detrimental to women's mental health and wellbeing," the 39-year-old explained. "I urge those at VS to lean into what's being said and make the change. You can do this and trust me it will be applauded."
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It’s time to open this Pandora’s box. I have many friends that work for Victoria Secret and I don’t intend this post to take away from the hard work these women put into their job or the great success these women have. I’m not about tearing people down, I’m all about finding solutions! But that said it’s time to get real, get woke and start this conversation so meaningful changes can happen for the better. Every VS show I hear stories of models doing excruciating work outs and restrictive diets to look “perfect” for the show. These women are already genetically blessed and drop dead gorgeous, I can’t fault them as it’s vulnerable to be in your underwear for a live TV event, it’s easy for me to preach but I understand the position these women are in. We must have many more discussions as to why it’s vital we are inclusive of body type, skin color, ethic background and gender so that it doesn’t become momentary phase in fashion and becomes the norm. What’s more beautiful than having all women represented on a runway? We saw how successful this was with shows this season. To me that’s the definition of sexy and empowered. I want to see women in their natural state whatever that may be, not one that’s been tortured in the name of beauty, because real beauty shouldn’t be detrimental to women’s mental health and well-being. I urge those at VS to lean in to what’s being said and make the change. You can do this and trust me it will be applauded ! Lastly please keep the comments classy! I have many friends who are VS models and I won’t tolerate name calling. #Time4RESPECT @modelallianceny
VS boss Razek has issued an apology on social media, apologising for coming across as "insensitive."