Victoria’s Secret isn’t even pretending anymore. The lingerie brand knows that sex sells and their latest swimwear campaign for Summer 2015, doesn’t feature much else. If you like hot ladies frocking in the water, writhing around in wet sand and posing on what have to be some very uncomfortable rugged rocks, this commercial is for you. While we obviously don’t slight the campaign’s models like Candice Swanepoel, Lily Aldridge, Lais Ribeiro, Andreea Diaconu, and Nadine Leopold (they’ve got amazing bodies and work hard for them), it made us wonder, what are the implications of what boils down to a seemingly innocent commercial?
The campaign was initially nothing more than a sexy (albeit silly) romp on the beach, until media outlets began publishing their articles and opinions on the video. Men’s publications looked at in a way we (unfortunately) expected. “[Models] all clad in a whole new range of lip-biting swim suits and bikinis, the video contains pretty much everything we’re hoping for this summer,” wrote Esquire. While Elle, a women’s magazine, suggested that “the video is also a well-timed reminder to keep our New Year's resolutions strong,” and “we'd better put the cake balls away and hit the gym.”
While each writer is entitled to his or her own opinion, the differences that men and women take away from this piece should be surprising considering it’s 2015; by now we should be over these gender-based stereotypes. But stereotypes exist because people buy into them, so sex and insecurity sell. Men see the campaign and think “boobs,” while women see it and feel the need to hit the gym and to lose 10 more pounds, or “put the cake balls away.” There is nothing wrong with feeling the need to exercise or lose some weight—truth be told who wouldn’t want to look like Candice Swanepoel? But instead of immediately comparing ourselves to bikini-clad supermodels, it might be best to remember it's just a commercial intended to sell a product. If it does give us a little more motivation to hit the gym (in order to look hot in our newly procured Victoria's Secret swimsuit) or convinces our boyfriends to buy us one, then really all it has done is exactly what it set out to do: turn a profit.