Tabria Majors is going to be featured in 2018’s Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue, but becoming a Victoria’s Secret Angel “ain’t happening in real life lol,” she wrote on Instagram.
The model is calling out the brand for its lack of diversity when it comes to shape and size. Around Halloween, Majors joked the day would be her one opportunity to dress as contract model for the company. “Maybe I’ll be a Victoria’s Secret Angel this year for Halloween, since it ain’t happening in real life lol,” she captioned a series of photos. The images are split-screen. One side is a Victoria’s Secret model, and on the other, Majors mimics that model, modeling a similar garments and posing like her. “Just paying homage to a few of my favorite pics/outfits from VS here and showing that curvy girls can rock (and sell) lingerie just as well as straight size models,” she continued in the caption.
In the first photo, she shows off her curves in a red lace bra and matching panties. The model opposite her, Candice Swanepoel, is wearing the same underwear. In the second photo, she shows her playful side in a colorful set, while the model opposite her stands exactly the same way in a similar set. In the third, she and a model wear sexy, sheer leotards. Majors is a mirror image of each model — except she represents a more realistic portrayal of what real women actually look like. And she looks just as good, if not better, than the models Victoria’s Secret went with.
Majors is in good company. Ashley Graham, who broke a major barrier for Majors and other curvy women when she became the first plus-size model to appear on the cover of Sports Illustrated’s famous swimsuit issue in 2016, dreams of a world in which some VS models are plus-size. Ahead of 2016’s VS Fashion Show, the model and body activist took to Instagram to post an illustration of herself as a Victoria’s Secret Angel. Above the drawing of Graham sporting a giant pair of VS wings are the words: “Victoria’s Secret Plus!”
“Watching the angels tonight like…” Graham captioned the image, suggesting that she would like to see more body diversity in future runway shows.
Lane Bryant’s #ImNoAngel campaign is almost a direct dig at VS. The initiative, which aims to embrace all body types, is “daring” women to share their truths about their personal journey to self-love and body positivity while acknowledging the body parts they’ve felt ashamed about. In September, the brand released a new commercial fighting back at the idea of Victoria’s Secret’s “perfect body” during the Emmy Awards. The ad, which features award-winning actress Danielle Brooks, Ashley Graham, Candice Huffine, and Denise Bidot, is aimed at addressing Hollywood’s responsibility in redefining sexy.
Last December, plus-size model Tess Holliday and other women of various ethnicities, sizes, and shapes helped BuzzFeed create a more inclusive version of the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. Holliday said the show was “full of diversity, the way VS shows should be.”
And it’s not just plus-size models who want the brand to be more relatable. In 2015, a Change.org petition called on the lingerie company to make Carmen Carrera, a transgender reality star and model, a VS Angel.
If history is any indicator, these prayers will go unanswered. But there’s a first time for everything.
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