I’ve never seen the Victoria Secret Fashion Show, and I don’t intend to start making it a yearly ritual. But my choice is irrelevant considering millions tuned in last week to watch the annual show boasting big name entertainment and barely clothed models. Some find it repulsive and demeaning to women. But mostly, the wider culture embraces the message and gladly joins in on this party.
So why am I writing about this? The Victoria Secret Fashion Show has very little do with Christian women, right? Yes and no. While it might seem like the Victoria Secret Fashion Show is tailor-made to appeal to the interests of men, I’m surprised (and discouraged) to not only see that there are women who like it, but Christian women. And that is a troubling trend.
The issue with it isn’t so much lingerie and underwear. Nearly every major department store sells those. The issue isn’t even really about Victoria Secret as a store, even though their marketing demographic seems to be getting younger and younger. Victoria Secret makes their money selling sexy. Every ad, every fashion show, and every picture displaying their apparel promises one thing to the woman (or man) looking to purchase—buy their stuff and you won’t just feel sexy, you will be sexy. There is no problem in feeling sexy, if you are married and if the person you want to feel sexy for is your husband. But if you are 15—or even 20—and not married the last thing you should feel right now is sexy.
So, no, the problem with the Victoria Secret Fashion Show is not necessarily the lingerie. It’s that they have taken something that God intended to be private and made it into a marketing and entertainment masterpiece—and we have believed their lies along the way.
For the Christian woman who chooses to watch the Victoria Secret Fashion Show it might not seem like that big of a deal. If you are single, you might like their product and want to see new apparel, or you might just like the entertainment aspect of it. Or even more dangerous, you might secretly like the way the show makes you feel—like a woman who can be just as sexy as the models on the screen. If you are married, you might watch because you want ideas of what to buy, or you might like the way it makes you feel as well. You might secretly wish you could be as uninhibited as those models, or wish that you were gawked at by millions of men and women who praise your body. Just because you are a woman, does not mean that watching other women parade around in their underwear is a normal or acceptable practice. We must be careful to guard our hearts and our minds from not just images, but also messages that tell lies about God’s created design for us.
When we don’t, we buy into the ambient culture’s message that sex and sexuality is for public consumption, not the privacy of the marital bedroom. Even if you are married, you have no business joining in the party that makes sex entertainment. The message of the Victoria Secret Fashion Show is that anyone can be sexy enough to be lusted after, if you just buy their products.
So if you are tempted to tune in every year to watch the Victoria Secret Fashion Show, or things like it. Or if you just think it’s harmless, think again. The message that a woman’s body is for everyone to look at is not a harmless message. It’s a deadly one. And as Christian women, our hearts should grieve that our culture has adopted such a perilous philosophy on sexuality, rather than revel in it and join the party.