Being a 21st Century feminist can come with many contradictions. I'm a feminist, but I love Gossip Girl, the main storyline of which is an essentially abusive relationship (Chuck and Blair). I'm a feminist, but I listen to Childish Gambino. I'm a feminist, but if I choose to get married, I want my father to walk me down the aisle.
Victoria's Secret is not off the hook yet. They need to apologise for the damage that this ad has done, and pledge that they will not use such harmful marketing in the future. It is not enough to just silently change the words and move on as if nothing has happened. Until then, it's only a partial victory.
Queen Bey recently displayed her feminist credentials in neon lights at the MTV Video Music Awards. She's a great medium to deliver the feminist message, but does it matter that she clearly benefits from people objectifying her (not to mention benefits from being married to a rapper who made millions singing about bitches, hoes and pimpin')?
If we're not happy with something about ourselves, that it needs to be for some other reason than because we don't have the legs of Gisele Bundchen or the skin of Naomi Campbell. It's buying into this archaic system of perfection and imperfection that has allowed Victoria Secrets to peddle such bullshit in the first place.
The message that this kind of campaign sends out to women is unhealthy and damaging. It promotes negative body image, low self-esteem and eating disorders among women. It tells us that only one body type is desirable. It tells us that only one type of woman deserves to be proud of her body in underwear.