On paper, the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show sounds like something that’s perfectly engineered towards men: a bunch of hot girls giggling and blowing kisses as they flaunt their lingerie. Yet the truth is that the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show is a yearly ritual for girls, where we tune in to bask in self-hatred and ponder how our lives would’ve been so different if we just hadn’t discovered french fries.
It’s a cult of personality — these girls are the model equivalent of the high school homecoming queen. Not only are they hot, but they’re so fun and relatable, too! Look at them hanging out backstage in their matching pink robes like one big, friendly sorority! And naturally, there’s the secret hope one of them will trip and look stupid, too.
So, of course, this year was no different. I eagerly tuned in to CBS at 10pm sharp, ready to worship at the alter of Victoria’s Secret.
The girls come out for the first montage…or set…or whatever they call it, and they essentially look like they got lost on their way to shoot a Miley Cyrus music video, done up as half-naked hippies. Kendall Jenner, the big celebrity get of the night, comes out in probably the prettiest outfit, adorned in vibrant colors and a sweeping cape, but looks so stiff and uncomfortable that you have to question if her claims that this “is so much fun” and “such a dream!” were done at gunpoint.
The other girls blow kisses and wink at the audience, while Kendall shows off a strained smile and the patented Kardashian dead eyes. She does an awkward little shimmy to match the other girls, and her eyes finally reveal some emotion: “Help me,” they say.
Of course, she’s still superhuman beautiful, etc. etc. But on another note, Kris Jenner had literally no chill while watching Kendall from the audience.
The theme for the next set of bras is a little harder to discern, although it looks like they’re wearing jackets and ruffles from the Elizabethan times, like a porn version of a Shakespearean play — “A Midsummer’s Wet Dream,” perhaps. The Weeknd is playing, because nothing says “sexy and playful and carefree!” like the Weeknd’s dark, ominous odes to his fucked up sex life. Ellie Goulding is the next performer, singing a song I’ve never heard before and don’t care to hear again, seeming even less comfortable than the Weeknd and Kendall put together.
The weirdest (or best?) parts of the show, though, are hands down when they let the models speak, proving that these girls perhaps aren’t doctors for a reason. One segment is all about their workout regimes. “I think maybe a lot of it is good genes,” says one model, voicing the sad truth we all secretly know but refuse to acknowledge. Shut up, perfect girl! I just need to spend a few more hours in the gym, and then I’d look exactly like you. BUT I HAVE A LIFE, SO I DON’T REALLY HAVE TIME, THAT’S ALL.
They talk about all the time they spend working out right before the show, and its kind of sad. I realize I’m totally fine with not being an Angel because unlike them, I got to have Wendy’s tonight.
The other highlight is their advice on how to take a good selfie. They talk about which girls have the best Instagrams (“Kendall has a lot of followers” one girl astutely notices) and discuss at length all the angles and lighting that are necessary to take the perfect picture. Adriana Lima merely raises her arm and takes a quick snap: “Uh see, look it’s not that hard.” she says, sounding somewhat confused. She is my new favorite Angel.
Selena Gomez is the big performer of the night. She gets to sing with a whole crew of backup dancers. Her backup dancers quickly prove that they are more talented than any girl that has been on the stage tonight, including Selena. Still, Selena looks appropriately sexy and her new songs are amazingly catchy, so I’m excited to see her.
There’s a whole little segment devoted to Gigi Hadid — a girl who looks like she was made in a lab to be a Victoria’s Secret Angel. To say she’s pretty adorable is an understatement, especially when she breaks down in tears, talking about what a dream it is. Although I have to laugh when she gushes “Anyone from high school would tell you this has always been my dream!” Right, people who knew you two years ago can confirm you’ve mentioned it, what a life long dream!
Gigi and her friend (whose name I do not remember, because she was not Gigi and thus not relevant to me in any of these scenes) see the stage for the first time and appropriately freak out. They go on the roof, spot the Empire State Building and start freaking out more. I’m about go call bullshit because I think it’s a safe assumption that Gigi Hadid has seen a rooftop view of the Empire State Building before, let’s not pretend this is her first time in New York. But then I realize she’s jumping up and down because its lit up pink and white for the show — which, yeah, is really cool. I’m with you, Gigi!
The theme for the next segment of the show is VERY inscrutable. Girls come out in American flag apparel, and dressed as sexy cops, and then with Gigi Hadid as a sexy firefighter. I decide this segment must be Republican-themed. Gigi does kill it in her sports bra and fireman pants, proving her worth to the brand in a way her BFF Kendall did not, in my opinion. Ellie Goulding then comes on the stage again to sing another boring song while snow falls and the girls model the underwear with fur hats, reminding me of that weird phase in high school when girls would take photos out in the snow in Ugg boots and bikinis (maybe this was just a New England thing?).
Ahh, we’ve reached the end and it’s the unveiling of the VS Fashion Show’s highest honor. It’s time to award the VS Oscar — THE FANTASY BRA. We find out it’s being bestowed upon Lily Aldridge. She starts crying a little. I quickly realize the fantasy bra is no joke to these girls. We see the fantasy bra, built out of jewels, and it’s actually quite beautiful, but not as mind-blowing as in years past. It also costs $2 MILLION so nbd. Lily caresses it, whispers to it like Golem.
Of course, once it was actually on her, it was pretty much hidden within her costume. I didn’t even realize she was wearing it. Kind of a tepid payoff for something Lily made sound like such a big fucking deal, but whatever. The finale montage involves the Weeknd actually being fun and lively, singing “Can’t Feel My Face” and the energy of the show goes up with him — a recovery from Ellie Goulding’s funeral dirge. The costumes again seem to have no coherent theme, except looking like Cinna from the Hunger Games designed them, as my roommate accurately pointed out.
Then it’s time for all the models to come out, awkwardly dancing together like only a gaggle of sober white girls can.￼
Was this my favorite Victoria’s Secret fashion show? Nope. Selena was great, and the Weekend recovered towards the end, but the performances really did leave a lot to be desired.
Some notable faces were missing, like Karlie Kloss and Miranda Kerr, and Kendall Jenner was really out of her element — hardly a worthy successor. However, I officially have the biggest girl crush on Gigi Hadid. More of her next year, please.
Overall I got my annual fix of watching pretty girls live a fun, glamorous lifestyle I’ll never experience. The Victoria’s Secret Show is a fantasy, one that can be quite silly, but it’s fun to indulge in all the same. At the end, everyone crowded together for a big class photo, and they all had huge smiles, including Kendall. Well, except the Weekend. That dude’s just miserable.