Behati Prinsloo doesn’t think people should be taking the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show so seriously.
In an interview with Elle published before the annual runway show aired on Sunday, the longtime Victoria’s Secret Angel — who just returned to the show for the first time since the birth of her two daughters — defended the brand over the controversial comments that Ed Razek, the brand’s chief marketing officer, made last month.
In comments published by Vogue, Razek came out against hiring trans or curvy models for the VS Fashion Show, explaining that “the show is a fantasy.” He has since apologized.
“There’s a lot of talk about everything but I think people need to also understand that it’s a show. It’s not saying negative or positive about any body type, it’s ‘this is who they are,’” Prinsloo, 30, told Elle.
“We’re strong, we’re confident, and I think any woman is a Victoria’s Secret woman. But people also need to understand that it’s just a show. I don’t think that it says that they’re not for a certain type of body. It’s cool to talk about it and great to open up a conversation and so much good has happened,” she added. “Let’s just have fun and not make it about anything and just have a great night and celebrate everyone.”
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However, not everyone agrees with Prinsloo’s view.
Halsey, who performed on the runway this year, wrote on social media that although being a part of the annual extravaganza “was supposed to be the best night of my year,” due to Razek’s comments, she instead felt disappointed to be involved.
“I have adored the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show since I was young,” Halsey, who has been open about identifying as bisexual, wrote on Instagram. “However, after I filmed the performance, some comments were made regarding the show that I simply cannot ignore. As a member of the LGBTQ+ community, I have no tolerance for a lack of inclusivity. Especially not one motivated by stereotype.”
Encouraging her followers to donate to GLSEN, an organization that offers services to LGBTQ youth, and announcing that she’d made a “sizeable donation” herself, the “Without Me” singer defended those “targeted” by Razek and “made to feel ‘other.’”
“If you are a trans person reading this, and these comments have made you feel alienated or invalidated please know that you have allies. We stand in solidarity, and complete and total acceptance is the only ‘fantasy’ that I support,” she wrote.
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In November, Razek sparked controversy after addressing some of the backlash the brand has faced for its lack of inclusivity.
“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. It’s a 42-minute entertainment special,” Razek said.
In a statement released Nov. 9, he apologized, saying that, “To be clear, we absolutely would cast a transgender model for the show. We’ve had transgender models come to castings… And like many others, they didn’t make it…But it was never about gender. I admire and respect their journey to embrace who they really are.”
Over the past month, the fallout has continued. Numerous celebrities, including Tess Holliday, Rihanna, and fellow women’s lingerie brand ThirdLove have condemned the comments. The CEO of VS’s lingerie’s division, Jan Singer, resigned in mid-November as the company faced declining sales and the backlash for lack of inclusion.