"Victoria was made up by a dude."
Ah, summer. The glorious season of barbecue parties, beach picnics and perpetual body image issues.
If you're a human living in our society, you've likely been impacted by messages about what your body should look like in a swimsuit. And if you're a female, those messages have been compounded by a multibillion dollar beauty industry designed to make you feel insecure so you'll spend more money on "fixing" your "flaws." Add in a culture of competition and mean-girl immaturity that weaponizes size and shape, and we have a perfect recipe for all kinds of body image-oriented disorders.
There's nothing wrong with our bodies, but there is something very wrong with the messages we get about our bodies. Thankfully, we've come a long way in recognizing the need for body positivity to counter those messages. However, according to Harvard researchers, it takes five positive comments to counteract the effects of one negative one. That means we have to meet the ads, billboards and magazine covers that constantly tell us we're not good enough with a tsunami of body-positive content.
And that's where a viral "Victoria's Secret" song from TikTok songwriter Jax comes in.
Jax has created a devoted following by sharing snippets of silly songs she makes up on TikTok. But her latest ditty isn't just a silly song—it's the summer anthem we didn't know we needed.
Jax introduces Chelsea, the kid she babysits, and they share a story about how a girl had told Chelsea that the swimsuit she tried on at Victoria's Secret made her look "too fat and too flat."
First of all, seething rage at that comment. Second of all, the mom in me is blinking twice at the idea of a preteen shopping for a bikini at Victoria's Secret, but let's just move on past that part. Third, it was meant as an insult of course, but even if it were a totally neutral descriptor, no one in their right mind would ever describe that child as fat. Why do girls do this?
So many WTHs going through my head before Jax even gets to her point, but when she gets there, it's awesome.
"I wrote a song for you," she tells Chelsea, "because when I was your age I had a lot of eating problems and I wish somebody would've said this to me."
(Jax also shared in the comments, "🚨Triggerr Warning🚨 for girls, guys, and whomever going through ED, this song is meant to make you smile but I know it’s much deeper than this.")
It's so good. Watch:
I wrote a song for The Kid I Babysit. It’s called Victoria’s Secret 🤫 ❤️ 👙 @TheLascherFamily #victoriassecret #fyp #bodypositivity #originalmusic
The "old man who lives in Ohio" is Les Wexner, the billionaire founder of Victoria's Secret's former parent company, L Brands. He stepped down from his role in the company in 2020 after buying the then little-known lingerie brand in 1982 and spending more than five decades at the helm.
So when Jax says she knows Victoria's "secret" is that she was made up by a dude, it's true. In fact, even the original Victoria's Secret was founded by a man. Businessman Roy Raymond wanted to buy his wife some lingerie, but was embarrassed when he went to the department store to look for some. He decided to create a store for women's underwear where men would feel comfortable shopping.
As Naomi Barr wrote in Slate in 2013, "Raymond imagined a Victorian boudoir, replete with dark wood, oriental rugs, and silk drapery. He chose the name 'Victoria' to evoke the propriety and respectability associated with the Victorian era; outwardly refined, Victoria’s 'secrets' were hidden beneath."
After Raymond sold the brand, with its catalog and six stores, to Les Wexner, the focus shifted. Wexner recognized a huge opportunity to market his brand directly to women, and thus the Victoria's Secret juggernaut was created. For decades, Victoria's Secret has been synonymous with men ogling models in sexy underwear and women hopelessly trying to fit themselves into those unattainable model bodies.
Jax's video has gotten more than 13 million views in less than a week and the comments are raving.
"Thank you! I have 2 teenage daughters who are struggling with eating disorders all bc of social media and mainstream media," wrote one parent.
"This is perfection. This song should be a commercial or PSA or something," wrote another commenter. Couldn't agree more.
"The inner 13 year old me needed this. This was the best," wrote another.
I know Victoria's Secret, and girl you wouldn't believe … she's an old man who lives in Ohio, making money off of girls like me.