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5 Iconic Moments From Victoria's Secret Fashion Show & How They Shaped Millennials

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There is a very heated debate over the relevance of fashion shows in today's day and age. From environmental concerns to the issue of objectifying women, to the fact that these shows have often been seen as avenues for discrimination on the basis of race, gender, and sexuality. There are tons of reasons why the advocacy to shut down fashion shows all over the world has grown stronger by the day.

iconic moments from victoria's secret fashion show that shaped millennials© Reuters

However, if there has been one fashion event that has always been in the zeitgeist of any given generation, it has been the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show.

iconic moments from victoria's secret fashion show that shaped millennials© Reuters

Men and women alike, irrespective of their sexual affiliations, have always looked up to the ramp that the lingerie maker had laid out, albeit for different and wildly varying reasons ranging from entertainment to inspiration.

iconic moments from victoria's secret fashion show that shaped millennials© Reuters

Indeed the fashion event has had a troubled history since it was one of the most evident facets where the male gaze was objectively at its highest. Nevertheless, it would be foolish and ignorant to not give the people at Victoria's Secret their due, by not acknowledging the profound impact it had on culture, our upbringing, and how as millennials we grew up to be the most woke or socially inclusive society in the history.

iconic moments from victoria's secret fashion show that shaped millennials© Reuters

Now that the iconic lingerie maker is pulling the plug on this year's show, and quite possibly, forever, here are five iconic moments from Victoria's Secret Fashion Show that have shaped our consciousness.

Gisele Bündchen Chased By PETA on the Ramp

iconic moments from victoria's secret fashion show that shaped millennials© Reuters

Animal welfare groups and the fashion and grooming industry have been at loggerheads forever. However, no one could have anticipated what PETA would pull off in 2002. Protesting the use of fur, both real and faux fur by the fashion industry, four PETA activists rushed to the ramp when Brazillian supermodel Gisele Bündchen walked down the ramp in an ethereal outfit. The demonstration had a profound effect on Bündchen, and several others, wherein they started looking at the bigger picture, and the ecological consequences that their practices had.

Tyra Banks Becoming The First African-American Woman To Walk The Ramp

iconic moments from victoria's secret fashion show that shaped millennials© Reuters

Although Naomi Campbell was the first dark-skinned model to walk the ramp for Victoria's Secret, back in 1996, when Campbell first walked the ramp for the lingerie maker, she was already well established as a model and had a relatively strong following. The next year, 1997, saw Victoria's Secret cast their first African-American model, then an emerging face in America. Given the complex race relations that the United States has had, this came as a welcome surprise for many.

Winnie Harlow, The First Model With Vitiligo To Walk The Runway

iconic moments from victoria's secret fashion show that shaped millennials© Reuters

In a move that got Victoria's Secret one of the most resounding approvals from regular people, when last year, in 2018, Winnie Harlow walked the runway for Victoria's Secret. Beauty shows and fashion events have had a very rigidly defined and pedantic set of abstract structures as to what defines beauty. Naturally then, breaking this mold was a welcome change.

Heidi Klum Walking The Ramp 5 Weeks After Her Fourth Childbirth

iconic moments from victoria's secret fashion show that shaped millennials© Reuters

Ask any woman who has experienced childbirth how painful the ordeal actually is, and you will be greeted with the most disapproving looks you'll ever see in your life, if not something worse. Now imagine the tenacity and grit that you have to be born with when you walk down the ramp in a set of lingerie, just five weeks after giving birth to your fourth child. This is exactly what German supermodel, Heidi Klum did, back in 2009. 

Adriana Lima & Alessandra Ambrosio Walking The Runway at 36

iconic moments from victoria's secret fashion show that shaped millennials© Reuters

In an industry that normally does not let women take the ramp once they cross a certain age, Victoria's Secret in 2017, had Adriana Lima & Alessandra Ambrosio walk the ramp, making them the oldest women to do so, at that time. Since then, both of them have gone on to speak publicly on a number of issues that pertain to empowering women, with Lima, returning to Victoria's runway for one more time in 2018, at the age of 37.

iconic moments from victoria's secret fashion show that shaped millennials© Reuters

Clearly, the impact that the fashion show has had on our lives will stay in our collective memories for long. Here's hoping that they make a strong comeback, with a new and refreshed image, and break a few more glass ceilings this time.


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