Following the latest Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show the lingerie brand came under heavy fire from industry elites and consumers alike for their lack of diversity in their modelling cast. The brand was scolded for not including any transgender models and keeping their petite image of beauty. Fans would have preferred to see the brand expand their representations of women to include those with fuller figures.
However, one model who spoke up in favour of the company is Winnie Harlow. The former America’s Next Top model contestant walked in this year's fashion show, which made history for the brand. Harlow suffers from a condition called vitiligo which causes pigment-free patches to appear randomly across her face and body. Vitiligo has no cure and the cause of the illness is unknown, so for young women like Harlow, learning to love the skin you’re in is crucial.
Winnie was the first women with vitiligo to ever walk in the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, and her presence among the modelling elite signified a defying of cultural beauty standards. However, the brand continued to be criticised for not getting-with-the-times and updating their cast to fit a more modern perception of women’s beauty. It seems that the public is looking for a larger and more universal display of unification. So while Harlow’s inclusion in the show was a monumental step for the vitiligo community, it does not seem to have been enough to rescue the company’s crumbling reputation.