Sometimes the Perfect Body Isn’t

Following a backlash late last month, Victoria’s Secret, the US’s largest retailer of lingerie, has removed the tagline “The Perfect ‘Body” from its new bra campaign. It is now “A body for every body.”

Victoria’s Secret’s campaign has been followed by a perfect storm of perfect bodies, depending on your point of view. The campaign first came under fire last month for promoting what was deemed by many as an unhealthy image for women and called for the lingerie brand to make a public apology.

An online petition created by three students in the United Kingdom went viral with the hashtag #iamperfect and demanded that Victoria's Secret pledge not to use what was described as such harmful marketing in the future. The petition has garnered at least 30,000 supporters.

“Every day women are bombarded with advertisements aimed at making them feel insecure about their bodies, in the hope that they will spend money on products that will supposedly make them happier and more beautiful,” the petition stated.

Underwear brand Dear Kate ran its own campaign with the image below:

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“As an all-girl company making smart undies, we think we can do better. Through this photo, we showcase women who are often neglected by the media and traditional retailers. We show the multitude of shapes perfect bodies can take,” the Dear Kate brand said on its website. “We stand with the petition of Gabriella Kountourides, Laura Ferris, and Frances Black for Victoria’s Secret to apologize and amend the wording on their advertisements for the “Body” bra.”

Dove Soap, a unit of the Anglo-Dutch multinational consumer goods company Unilever, chimed in with its own panel of differently-enabled women, promoting its own extremely successful “Real Body,” saying “today we celebrate the perfect REAL body and all the women who have said “"#IAmPerfect the way I am."

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So did JD Williams, a brand that British television presenter Lorraine Paula Kelly designs a range for, launched a #PerfectlyImperfect campaign, which asked for women to share their #FavoriteFlaw on social media channels. According to the New Zealand Herald, the campaign hopes to push women to share the aspects about themselves the love.

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Elizabeth Low reports for the Hong Kong-based Marketing Magazine., where this first appeared.