Fashion

This Open Letter to Victoria's Secret Hits the Nail on the Head

“Our reality is that women wear bras in real life as they go to work, breastfeed their children, play sports, care for ailing parents, and serve their country.”

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This Open Letter to Victoria's Secret Hits the Nail on the Head

“Our reality is that women wear bras in real life as they go to work, breastfeed their children, play sports, care for ailing parents, and serve their country.”

Following Victoria’s Secret‘s controversies in the past two weeks, the famous lingerie label is now once again in the spotlight. Following CMO Ed Razek’s problematic comments in an article published by Vogue surrounding transgender models, CEO Jan Singer has left the company. In the same interview, Razek also said that he wants Victoria’s Secret to be “nobody’s third love, we’re their first love,” referring to inclusive lingerie label ThirdLove.

Now, ThirdLove co-founder Heidi Zak has responded to the controversial comments – in an open letter published in The New York Times. In the letter, Zak writes: “I’ve read and re-read the interview at least 20 times, and each time I read it I’m even angrier. How in 2018 can the CMO of any public company — let alone one that claims to be for women — make such shocking, derogatory statements?” She follows up by responding to his diss adding, “You market to men and sell a male fantasy to women. But at ThirdLove, we think beyond, as you said, a ‘42-minute entertainment special.’ Your show may be a ‘fantasy’ but we live in reality. Our reality is that women wear bras in real life as they go to work, breastfeed their children, play sports, care for ailing parents, and serve their country.”

Victoria’s Secret and Ed Razek has yet to respond, but so far Heidi Zak’s open letter has received praise from women all over the world. Take a look at the statement below, and stay tuned as more information unfolds.

Dear Victoria’s Secret,

I was appalled when I saw the demeaning comments about women your Chief Marketing Officer, Ed Razek, made to Vogue last week. As hard as it is to believe, he said the following: “We attempted to do a television special for plus-sizes [in 2000]. No one had any interest in it, still don’t.” “It’s like, why doesn’t your show do this? Shouldn’t you have transsexuals in the show? No. No, I don’t think we should. Well, why not? Because the show is a fantasy.” I’ve read and re-read the interview at least 20 times, and each time I read it I’m even angrier. How in 2018 can the CMO of any public company — let alone one that claims to be for women — make such shocking, derogatory statements?

You market to men and sell a male fantasy to women. But at ThirdLove, we think beyond, as you said, a “42-minute entertainment special.” Your show may be a “fantasy” but we live in reality. Our reality is that women wear bras in real life as they go to work, breastfeed their children, play sports, care for ailing parents, and serve their country. 
Haven’t we moved beyond outdated ideas of femininity and gender roles? It’s time to stop telling women what makes them sexy — let us decide. We’re done with pretending certain sizes don’t exist or aren’t important enough to serve. And please stop insisting that inclusivity is a trend.

I founded ThirdLove five years ago because it was time to create a better option. ThirdLove is the antithesis of Victoria’s Secret. We believe the future is building a brand for every woman, regardless of her shape, size, age, ethnicity, gender identity, or sexual orientation. This shouldn’t be seen as groundbreaking, it should be the norm. 
Let’s listen to women. Let’s respect their intelligence. Let’s exceed their expectations. Let women define themselves. 
As you said Ed, “We’re nobody’s ThirdLove, we’re their first love.” We are flattered for the mention, but let me be clear: we may not have been a woman’s first love but we will be her last. 
To all women everywhere, we see you, and we hear you. Your reality is enough. To each, her own.

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