Three University of Leeds students have created a social media firestorm after starting a petition under the hashtag #iamperfect against Victoria’s Secret’s new ‘Perfect Body’ advertising campaign
Students Francis Black, Garbiella Kountourides and Laura Ferris began a petition against the lingerie brand Victoria’s Secret after an advertisement for their new bra range ‘Body’ was released. The advertisement ran with ten models of the same slim body type with the words ‘The Perfect Body’ overlaid on top of them.
The students are petitioning Victoria’s Secret to “apologise for, and amend the irresponsible marketing of your new bra range ‘Body'”. The petition which is being run through change.org outlines that the advertising campaign “promotes unhealthy and unrealistic standards of beauty.”
They aim to highlight that the advertisements play on women’s insecurities, and send out a damaging message by positioning the words ‘The Perfect Body’ across models who have exactly the same, slim body type. It fails to celebrate the diversity of women’s bodies by choosing to call only one body type ‘perfect’.
The campaign, running with the hashtag #iamperfect, created a “social media firestorm” after they managed to gain international recognition, being covered by press in America, Australia, France, Germany and Italy.
The underwear brand, Dear Kate, has also joined in the campaign by creating a reimagined ‘The Perfect Body’ ad. In a statement on their website they write that their reimagined ad “showcases women who are often neglected by the media and traditional retailers. We show the multitude of shapes perfect bodies can take. We stand with the petition of Gabriella Kountourides, Laura Ferris and Frances Black.”
Speaking to the University of Leeds student newspaper The Gryphon, Gabriella Kountourides, said: “It’s going global because it’s a serious issue that everyone can relate to, both men and women, young and old. I think the public is crying out for people to hold big companies to account for their actions. Our petition is not about skinny shaming, it’s about accepting all body types, each person can make up their own mind as to what is perfect… we don’t need to be told!”
Last Thursday, as the campaign reached 25000 signatures, it was announced that the lingerie company had changed the wording on their website from ‘The Perfect Body’ to ‘A Body for Every Body’. However the Leeds’ students wrote in a petition update on change.org that “the campaign is not over! We still want them to change all the posters in their stores, apologise and pledge not to use such harmful marketing in the future”
The petition can be found at: https://www.change.org/p/victoriassecret-apologise-for-your-damaging-perfect-body-campaign-iamperfect