With 32DD breasts, a killer hourglass figure, a height of 6’2” and a successful modelling career, Rain Dove would seem like the perfect candidate to be a Victoria’s Secret Angel. Yet, with her masculine facial features and short pixie hair, are her attempts of challenging VS’s limited beauty standards a losing battle?
The androgynous model has been sending out powerful messages to lingerie giant, Victoria’s Secret, with her recent controversial photo shoot.
The photoshoot of the 26-year-old ex-firefighter sees her striking sultry poses adorned with luxury lingerie similar to that of VS’s Christmas campaign, with the heads of various VS models superimposed over hers – highlighting the only evident difference is her visage, which seemingly doesn’t fit the industry’s ideas of beauty.
“Every year I see VS promote their show as featuring the ‘most beautiful women in the world,’” she told the Daily Mail. “During my career path I’ve experienced first-hand what people deem as beautiful. It’s not me. It’s not most people. It’s limited and small. It needs to change.
“The face of beauty literally needs to change. Which means the way we think of beauty needs to as well. That starts with us. Individually.”
Rain endeavours to remind society and the industry that beauty is in the eye of the beholder; what one person may deem beautiful may differ to that of someone else. It leads to the question: will VS be encouraged to alter the way they represent their angels at all, ever?
If VS wanted their brand to represent all types of beauty values, including casting women of androgynous features, they would have done so by now. However, since their first runway show two decades ago, the kind of models they cast have barely evolved from the slim, toned, leggy, feminine, tall, long-beach-wave haired, delicate-featured ladies they continue to cast today.
But the thing is, that’s okay. Because VS choose to cast models of that stature, which is the way they have chosen to represent their brand and the vamped-up, sex kitten fantasy they have going on is the particular image they want and have chosen to portray to sell their products – which most likely is never going to change.
Much like if Dove’s campaign of ‘real women’ suddenly included women of VS’s sexual classification, all dolled-up and glammed to the max, this wouldn’t conform to the brand image they are choosing to represent.
Not all models fit Victoria’s Secret conventional beauty mould: not everyone in the world does; it’s an incredibly small minority based on genetics and having your own personal makeup, hair stylist and personal trainer.
Victoria’s Secret brand managers would simply tell you that they are going with what sells; who can determine what is ‘beautiful’ anyway? Is it the industry? The consumer? Or perhaps even a bit of both?
Of course, Rain has an attractive body and a striking face to go with it, like any VS model, but she doesn’t tick every single box that VS is going for unfortunately. You could argue that putting a long wig and some makeup on her would do the trick, but then Rain wouldn’t be sticking to her true self – as far as her Instagram conveys.
Nonetheless, the fact that Rain is choosing not to conform to VS’s singular beauty standard and already has a successful career as an androgynous model with masculine and feminine features is a message she should focus on sending out more.
We need more androgynous models to expel the idea that there is only one kind of beauty standard in the industry and to expand the definition of what beauty is. Just because VS is a heavily dominating brand in the industry and media doesn’t mean how they look is the ultimate definition of beauty.[interaction id=”566ff0439fd14ce8302f8b5f”]