It's mid-November, so you know what that means: It's time for the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show.
You heard it right; get your popcorn ready–I mean veggies–because who wants to gorge on carbs while watching the world's hottest models strut down the runway half naked in skimpy lingerie, right?
Each year, men and women around the world fawn over the ethereal, genetically blessed gazelles who, without fail, grace us with their fierce and flirty struts, hot bods, busty chests and plump booties to match. It goes without saying that we are all guilty of tuning in, for beauty catches anyone with a beating heart.
In just under a month, Victoria’s Secret will be broadcasting their 20th annual runway show, one of the most regarded televised events of the year. The VS Fashion Show racks up tens of millions of viewers every year, with star-studded performances and a line-up that, in the last two decades, has included some of the most iconic supermodels in the industry, including Naomi Campbell, Heidi Klum, Tyra Banks, Giselle Bündchen, Adriana Lima and more. This year, there’s a bit of twist.
I cannot for the life of me, wrap my brain around the announcement that Jenner was invited to walk in the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show this year. It’s more a disappointment than shock, because we all know that big companies love It girls, but let’s be honest; this involves a moral compass beyond the fact that Kendall doesn’t match the image of a voluptuous bombshell.
If the fashion industry is cutthroat, the VS Fashion Show casting is the guillotine. Victoria’s Secret has made it known that they don’t accept just anyone to represent them. In the end; only around 40 out of hundreds make the mark. That’s right, don’t assume that making it one year constitutes for the next, as even VS veteran, Izabel Goulart, broke down on camera during casting this year saying, “Every year, it feels like it’s the very first show. One thing that I do all year long is really try to work as hard as I can so I can deserve to be here.” Goulart has modeled for Victoria’s Secret since 2005; clearly, 10-years don’t exist.
Is it not mind-boggling that a model who has walked for Victoria’s Secret for a decade is basically pleading to people she’s been acquainted with for years, explaining how hard she works just to qualify, while Kendall gets a pass like it’s nothing?
So now, tell me why Jenner effortlessly nabs a spot without lifting a finger, while hundreds of hard working girls, (many of whom spent their hard-earned thousands for airfare across the country for the slight chance that they might get casted), while a famous Kendall Jenner gets to pop a $500 bottle of Dom Pérignon in celebration, and kick her feet up in her Range Rover?
I get it. If the road to success has basically been paved for you, taking advantage of that should be the only option; I’d do the same. But if Gigi Hadid, who has a major social media presence and who in my opinion, fits the image of a VS model 100x more than Jenner does, got turned down by VS just last year; why is Kendall any different? Why should she be the exception?
She shouldn’t be.
In 2014, high fashion model Arisce Wanzer wrote a didactic, thought-provoking open-letter to Jenner about the true struggle of trying to make it as a model. She began, “Dear Kendall, Take a moment and remove yourself from your current situation, if you can, to a life that isn’t riddled with excess and only hearing the word “yes” to your wants and requests.” She continued, “Casting after casting, and you just can’t seem to get your place. But suddenly after a week full of the word ‘No,’ killing yourself at the gym, exhausting yourself in classes, cutting your diet in half, not talking with your family and sleeping in a room with six equally exhausted girls, you get the call.”
Wanzer’s letter took a turn when she blamed the industry as a whole saying, “One by one like dominos from Vogue to Givenchy, fashion is selling out to the ignorant masses for money. What happened to the art, the cerebral part of fashion? Did it really all die with Alexander McQueen?” She continued, “Gone is the prestige you once felt as a ‘chosen one’ by Marc, Anna or Ricardo — this cheapens your entire experience. You thought you were special, that your hard work had finally paid off. You didn’t realize that these coveted spots were for sale. The cost? The soul and dignity of a fashion house. The clothes will still sell, and the players will still play, but the image will be forever tarnished by these real life Veruca Salts buying their way in with sleazy fame rights.”
In all honesty, I like me some Kendall Jenner; I really do. If it isn’t one of her runway looks that’s stunning me, it’s her even more effortless candids that somehow always look straight out of a photoshoot. Jenner is visually appealing, an undeniable force to be reckoned with in the fashion world, and a substantial high fashion model, might I add, but that still isn’t enough of a reason for her to be able to whisk her way through deals without recognizing the blatant priveleges she has in an industry where such few get to thrive.
We all know that being born into a distinguished family is by no means an accurate representation of one’s ability, so let’s stop hiring people just because her sister is Kim Kardashian, and instead put every qualified being on the same platform for the sake of sheer adequacy.
Regardless of the facts, we’ll always be told one thing at the end of the day: life just isn’t fair, y’all.
Reach Contributor Claudia Dayani here.