The luxury lingerie company has recently confirmed more than 50 models who are set to walk the runway at the annual Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, with 18 new models set to “spread their wings” for the first time for the brand.
Part of that lineup includes Kelsey Meritt as the first ever Filipino model for Victoria’s Secret, and Canadian model Winnie Harlow, who has a skin condition called vitiligo, will also take to the catwalk, according to CNN.
“Thank you mommy for praying with me everyday for the past 3 days,” Harlow wrote on Instagram. “And thank you so much to my fans who have been pushing me forward to this point in my career.”
The other models who make up the 18 debutantes are as follows: Josie Canseco, Mayowa Nicholas, Sabah Koj, Willow Hand, Sofie Rovenstine, Isilda Moreira, Myrthe Bolt, Yasmin Wijnaldum, Cheyenne Maya, Mélie Tiacoh, Lesha Hodges, Lorena Rae, Maia Cotton, Sadie Newman, Duckie Thot, and Alannah Walton.
While there is plenty of racial diversity in the lineup, there is still no diversity in terms of size among the girls.
The brand has made a major push to be more inclusive, and in 2015 even allowed Maria Borges to walk the runway with her afro instead of wearing extensions. In 2016, a “record number of Chinese models” was cast for the show.
— Victoria's Secret (@VictoriasSecret) September 6, 2018
Despite the progress made in including women from all races and ethnicities, no plus-size or even curvy models have made the cut yet for the exclusive runway.
The brand caters to sizes ranging from extra small to extra large as well as bras up to a size 40DDD, so Victoria’s Secret is well aware of the fact that their market is not only teeny tiny women with no meat on their bones. With 67 percent of the American female population wearing a size 12 or bigger, the market for underwear the size worn by the current Victoria’s Secret model lineup is rather small.
There are a number of models who could easily earn their wings for the popular lingerie brand if they decided to diversify the size of their models, with Ashley Graham, Candice Huffine, or Robyn Lawley springing immediately to mind.
Casting for the show is still a very select process, per Refinery29, with John David Pfeiffer and Victoria’s Secret’s senior creative/chief marketing officer Ed Razek reaching out to agencies requesting specific girls, making it rather difficult for plus-size models to even get noticed.
At the same time, Victoria’s Secret has in previous years kept some of their top names a secret until the actual show, so it’s not entirely implausible that a plus-size model could still grace the runway in a wonderful surprise for all the larger-than-size-zero fans of the brand.