Victoria's Secret models are asking the company to step up and address its culture of misogyny

Between 2016 and 2018, the market share of Victoria's Secret in the U.S. dropped from 33% to 24%, as the company had received criticism for being behind the times. When it comes to our underwear, we want comfort over sex appeal, and when it comes to businesses, we want them to be harassment-free. The New York Times recently published a piece detailing a culture of "misogyny, bullying and harassment" at Victoria's Secret.

"This abuse was just laughed off and accepted as normal. It was almost like brainwashing. And anyone who tried to do anything about it wasn't just ignored. They were punished," Casey Crowe Taylor, a former public relations employee at Victoria's Secret, told the Times.


The allegations weren't much of a surprise. L Brands CEO Leslie Wexner had been tied to Jeffrey Epstein, and chief marketing officer Ed Razek stepped down last year following transphobic and fatphobic comments. Five months ago, the Model Collective (an organization that advocates for the protection of models) met with L Brands/Victoria's Secret, asking the company to "take concrete action to change its culture of misogyny and abuse."

RELATED: Victoria's Secret model Karlie Kloss says she quit modeling after studying feminist theory

It did not, and the Model Alliance sent the company an open letter after the New York Times piece came out, calling out the bad behavior at Victoria's Secret. "The time for listening is long past; it's time for Victoria's Secret to take action to protect the people they profit from," the letter reads. "Human rights violations can't be stopped with a corporate rebranding exercise."

"The Model Alliance believes in safety, freedom to work without fear of harassment, and real consequences for abusers. Victoria's Secret's failure to create an environment of accountability, both in-house and in their interactions with a network of agencies and creatives, undermines these values. We envision an industry in which creative expression flourishes and everyone can work without fear of harassment or abuse," the letter continues.

The letter also outlines details of the RESPECT Program, a Model Alliance that is, according to the letter, the "only existing accountability program designed by and for models." Some of the proposed changes include requiring employees and photographers to follow a code of conduct.

The letter has been signed by over 100 models, including some of the biggest names in the industry. Christy Turlington Burns, Amber Valletta, Edie Campbell, and Amanda de Cadenet have all signed the letter.

RELATED: Target's new swimwear line features a diverse group of models, proving all bodies are beautiful

L Brands responded to the letter, saying they're on the same page. "We absolutely share a common goal with Model Alliance to ensure the safety and wellbeing of models. Our robust Photo Shoot Procedures, including training and oversight, were implemented in May 2019 and reflect elements of the RESPECT Program and beyond. We're proud of the progress we've made and remain committed to continuous improvement. We're always open to engage with those looking to make improvements in the industry," L Brands said in a statement.

Actions speak louder than words, and the only way Victoria's Secret can be better is by doing better. A company that makes products marketed to women should treat the women it hires with respect. And yes, that includes underwear models.

True
Frito-Lay

Did you know one in five families are unable to provide everyday essentials and food for their children? This summer was also the hungriest on record with one in four children not knowing where their next meal will come from – an increase from one in seven children prior to the pandemic. The effects of COVID-19 continue to be felt around the country and many people struggle to secure basic needs. Unemployment is at an all-time high and an alarming number of families face food insecurity, not only from the increased financial burdens but also because many students and families rely on schools for school meal programs and other daily essentials.

This school year is unlike any other. Frito-Lay knew the critical need to ensure children have enough food and resources to succeed. The company quickly pivoted to expand its partnership with Feed the Children, a leading nonprofit focused on alleviating childhood hunger, to create the "Building the Future Together" program to provide shelf-stable food to supplement more than a quarter-million meals and distribute 500,000 pantry staples, school supplies, snacks, books, hand sanitizer, and personal care items to schools in underserved communities.

Keep Reading Show less
via Tom Ward / Instagram

Artist Tom Ward has used his incredible illustration techniques to give us some new perspective on modern life through popular Disney characters. "Disney characters are so iconic that I thought transporting them to our modern world could help us see it through new eyes," he told The Metro.

Tom says he wanted to bring to life "the times we live in and communicate topical issues in a relatable way."

In Ward's "Alt Disney" series, Prince Charming and Pinocchio have fallen victim to smart phone addiction. Ariel is living in a polluted ocean, and Simba and Baloo have been abused by humans.

Keep Reading Show less
True
Back Market

Between the new normal that is working from home and e-learning for students of all ages, having functional electronic devices is extremely important. But that doesn't mean needing to run out and buy the latest and greatest model. In fact, this cycle of constantly upgrading our devices to keep up with the newest technology is an incredibly dangerous habit.

The amount of e-waste we produce each year is growing at an increasing rate, and the improper treatment and disposal of this waste is harmful to both human health and the planet.

So what's the solution? While no one expects you to stop purchasing new phones, laptops, and other devices, what you can do is consider where you're purchasing them from and how often in order to help improve the planet for future generations.

Keep Reading Show less

With many schools going virtual, many daycare facilities being closed or limited, and millions of parents working from home during the pandemic, the balance working moms have always struggled to achieve has become even more challenging in 2020. Though there are more women in the workforce than ever, women still take on the lion's share of household and childcare duties. Moms also tend to bear the mental load of keeping track of all the little details that keep family life running smoothly, from noticing when kids are outgrowing their clothing to keeping track of doctor and dentist appointments to organizing kids' extracurricular activities.

It's a lot. And it's a lot more now that we're also dealing with the daily existential dread of a global pandemic, social unrest, political upheaval, and increasingly intense natural disasters.

That's why scientist Gretchen Goldman's refreshingly honest photo showing where and how she conducted a CNN interview is resonating with so many.

Keep Reading Show less

Schools often have to walk a fine line when it comes to parental complaints. Diverse backgrounds, beliefs, and preferences for what kids see and hear will always mean that schools can't please everyone all the time, so educators have to discern what's best for the whole, broad spectrum of kids in their care.

Sometimes, what's best is hard to discern. Sometimes it's absolutely not.

Such was the case this week when a parent at a St. Louis elementary school complained in a Facebook group about a book that was read to her 7-year-old. The parent wrote:

"Anyone else check out the read a loud book on Canvas for 2nd grade today? Ron's Big Mission was the book that was read out loud to my 7 year old. I caught this after she watched it bc I was working with my 3rd grader. I have called my daughters school. Parents, we have to preview what we are letting the kids see on there."

Keep Reading Show less