This year’s Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show had all the hallmarks that this annual televised event has become known for. There were celebs (at least the ones who were allowed in the country). There were elaborate costumes (albeit with more than a touch of cultural appropriation) and, of course, there were hoards of statuesque models, strutting down the runway in Victoria’s Secret’s latest collection of must-have lingerie.
But the thing that really stood out to me this year was the surprising amount of sisterhood.
Maybe it’s because the past few months have seen so many empowering shows of strength by women from all industries and backgrounds, who have said #MeToo and stood in their truth against men that have harassed or assaulted them. TBH, I was surprised that a fashion show that can feel blatantly misogynistic—the fact that they have literally defined an angel as someone who is tall, thin and able to walk in heels and underwear is not lost on me—could also send a message about female camaraderie and strength. And yet, it did.
The show started with an opening collab collection between Victoria’s Secret and Balmain, which featured rocker-themed
boob holders underwear. Two models simultaneously walked out on either end of the horseshoe runway, and as each of the model pairs met at the end, we saw high fives and booty bumps. That set the tone for what was easily the most memorable moment of the night: when Shanghai’s hometown hero Ming Xi fell, literally moments after she hit the runway.
While Xi collected herself and her floral crown, VS model Gizele Oliveira came up behind her and helped her to her feet. Oliveira and Karlie Kloss, who was also walking in behind Xi, then stood back and let her literally reclaim her moment in the spotlight, cheering her on in the process.
Helping another women when she falls, & still celebrating her after is what female empowerment is all about #VSFashionShow
— Zulema (@ZulemaCalixto) November 29, 2017
I don’t know about you but, we love women supporting women #VSFashionShow
— Harry Styles Updates. (@TheHarrySource) November 29, 2017
— CBS (@CBS) November 29, 2017
Like, should this whole thing be renamed the Victoria’s Secret Friendship Show? It’s basically like The Sisterhood of the Traveling Panties.
While many pointed out that CBS did Xi dirty by airing the footage in full rather than editing it out, as they did when Ariana Grande got hit in the face by an angel wing, showing the fall also gave a sense of how women can help other women when we fall. When the news broke about Xi’s stumble, the model released a statement on her Instagram, specifically thanking Oliviera and the other VS models who helped her through “the hardest moments I have ever had to go through in my career.”
“Thank you for helping me up after the fall, it was a very selfless and loving act from you,” Xi wrote. “Thank you to all the girls who rushed to comfort me at backstage after what had happened, you are all family to me.”
Whether you liked the VSFS or not, let’s be real, supporting a sister is always in fashion.
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