There Has Never Been an Asian Victoria’s Secret Angel — And Maybe That’s A …

10 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

J.J. Watt’s grandma told him to scout Victoria’s Secret show.

The 23-year-old singer took the stage of the 2015 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, which aired Wednesday night, to perform a series of songs off her second studio album “Revival.” Despite her captivating and sexy performance among a bevy of angels clad in fantasy-themed lingerie, some viewers were not buying her vocal. Gigi Hadid is one of those stars who suddenly starts to land magazine covers and trend on Facebook even though you’re really not quite sure (a) who she is; (b) why she’s famous and (c) if you should care that you don’t know who she is or why she’s famous.Selena Gomez was a featured performer during the annual fashion event that aired Tuesday, and some viewers took to social media to accuse her of lip-syncing during the show.

When one doubter commented on a photo of Gomez posted to Victoria’s Secret Instagram account and asked “she sings live?” the pop star responded to her directly. You may have seen Hadid, 20, in Taylor Swift’s splashy “Bad Blood” music video earlier this year; or on “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” in which her mother, Dutch former model Yolanda Foster, is a cast member. The 23-year-old shared the runway with lingerie-clad models, including pals Gigi Hadid and Kendall Jenner, during the fashion show, and performed two songs from her latest album “Revival”: “Hands to Myself” and “Me & My Girls.” The Weeknd and Ellie Goulding were also performers at the 20th annual fashion show that featured veteran walkers Alessandra Ambrosio and Adriana Lima blowing kisses to the crowd.

But more important than her TV appearances or lucrative modelling contracts is the way that Hadid — much like Karlie Kloss, Martha Hunt, Lily Aldridge and other rising models — has managed to elevate her profile through her strategic use of social media. After traveling to London last year, the Victoria’s Secret Festival of Shimmering Flesh was held at the Lexington Armory in New York last month, where the audience ogled acres of toned, russety thighs, stomachs as firm as cutting boards, and breasts bobbling atop jewel-encrusted bras and bodices.

Indeed, the show’s budget has been estimated at $12 million in recent years, which covers the high-profile entertainment acts that make it more like the superbowl than a fashion show. Take her now-viral Instagram post that slammed body-shamers. “I’m not going to lie, I did let the negativity get to me a little,” she wrote after some commenters made rude remarks about her runway bikini photo. “Your mean comments don’t make me want to change my body … if I didn’t have the body I do, I wouldn’t have the career I do.” The underlying message: Even supermodels have insecurities.

Model Behati Prinsloo opened the show for the second year in a row, wearing thigh-high suede boots and a paisley, jeweled bodice with fringed velour sleeves. She also tries to prove that despite her family money (her father, Mohamed Hadid, is a wealthy real estate developer), she still works hard on her own. Bras, panties, and bikinis were accessorized with long capes in psychedelic prints and leather wings, which morphed into butterfly wings as Adriana Lima, a 34-year-old veteran Angel, modeled the first in the next series of looks. Other veterans included Alessandra Ambrosio, also 34, and 30-year-old Lily Aldridge, who wore the $2 million Fireworks Fantasy Bra—embellished with more than 6,500 precious stones—in the final leg of the show. Though viewers may have rolled their eyes at what Foster called her daughter’s “little party,” Hadid’s emotional speech in which she thanked her parents was admittedly moving. “One thing I’ve always said about my parents is that they both came from amazing families, but they both definitely had to work their way up for the life that they’ve given me,” Hadid said through tears. “And obviously, beautiful homes and great opportunities have come with having them as parents.

She’s candid about her star-studded friend circle (some of her closest friends include Kendall Jenner and Taylor Swift), making her jet-set life seem completely casual. “I’ve known Selena for a little bit, and my boyfriend’s known her for a very long time ’cause he’s friends with Justin and all that,” she says in one interview. These reality TV-like moments, along with footage of the models preening and taking selfies backstage, fill the remaining 45 minutes or so when the girls aren’t actually on the runway. While traditional fashion models look sullen, fierce, predatory, and generally miserable on the catwalk, the Angels look like cheerleaders: gleeful, energetic, and eager to please.

Or there was that time Hadid inadvertently stepped into politics when Vogue had Hadid (of Palestinian descent on her father’s side) strike a pose reminiscent of editor Anna Wintour’s first cover in 1988, which happened to feature an Israeli model. “Is the Israel-Palestinian conflict being fought on the cover of Vogue?” one publication asked. (Come on.) And as of Tuesday night, Hadid will make headlines for her appearance on the “Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show”: Which happened, her family wants you to know, after she was rejected twice by the brand — so she understands failure. Every year, the show ends with the Angels prancing around together and embracing on stage amidst a confetti storm, evoking Old Navy commercials and middle-school girls at sleepovers.

As woman who happily objectifies women from time to time, I watched the broadcast hoping there would be more opportunities for gawping, and hoping it would be sexier (and remembering that it was sexier in past years).

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