Victoria's Secret fans are praising its body-inclusive swimsuit campaign: 'Yeees curvy queen!'

Erin Donnelly
·3-min read

Victoria's Secret is making waves with its new spring swimsuit campaign.

Though physical catalogs won't hit mailboxes until March 1, the retail brand launched its online campaign for the 2021 spring swim collection on Monday. Titled "Destination: Swim," the seaside shoot features two curve models — recent Vogue cover star Paloma Elsesser and Dutch beauty Jill Kortleve — in a move that's being hailed for its body inclusivity.

"I’m really happy to see you incorporating some curvy girls in your campaigns," one commenter responded to a shot of Elsesser modeling a coral bikini for the campaign, which also stars Imaan Hamaan and Taylor Hill. "Keep it up."

"I like this change," read one comment, while another follower added, "It's so good to see VS promoting all body types."

"Thank you for now having models of all body types!" a commenter wrote. "Living for this."

"It’s about tiiiiime!" gushed a fan. "Yeees curvy queen!"

"The first image here is making so many women comfortable in their skin," another commenter said of Elsesser's shoot. "Keep it up."

A shot of Kortleve — who last year became the first curve model in 10 years to walk the Chanel runway — posing in a leopard-print two-piece also got rave reviews.

"Body positivity I see u," read a comment, while another fan wrote, "Nice to see VS is using models with a healthy body type."

Amid the praise, however, come reminders that there's more work to be done for the retailer in terms of celebrating, and clothing, larger bodies given its limited sizing (XS to XL, with bras ranging from 32A to 40D) and historic glorification of slim, wing-wearing supermodels known as "Angels." To quote one commenter: "Better late [than] never I guess."

From model Robyn Lawley's 2018 "We Are All Angels" petition calling for the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show to be more inclusive, to former L Brands executive Ed Razek's controversial comments that casting trans or plus-size models in the show would conflict with its overall "fantasy," to last year's allegations of body shaming and misogyny, the lingerie brand has frequently been accused of failing to support body diversity.

That backlash and scrutiny has prompted the company to step up its game, particularly as inclusive competitors like Rihanna's Savage X Fenty rise up. That includes tapping Ali Tate Cutler, a size 14, as its first official plus-size model as part of a 2019 collaboration with the U.K. brand Bluebella, expanding its sizing and including curvy and trans models in its Spring 2020 Body by Victoria campaign. Curve models like Candice Huffine and Devyn Garcia now feature prominently in its campaigns, and the inclusion of Elsesser and Kortleve in the latest swim shoots suggests that bigger bodies won't be just a blip. Whether the positive reaction spurs more size options on par with a Savage X Fenty or ThirdLove remains to be seen.

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