The 2017 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, which aired Tuesday night, was plagued by a series of hot messes almost from the start.
First, various models and talent meant to be featured in the show, which took place in Shanghai, failed to secure visas, including model Gigi Hadid. Though her absence was suspected to be over racist behavior. Then media outlets and bloggers had a hard time getting permission from Chinese bureaucrats to film the event at all.
Once the show aired, it was filled with some pretty cringeworthy moments of cultural appropriation, models caught singing the N-word, no models above a size 4 and a TV edit that has Twitter and Chrissy Tiegan epically POed. It felt more like a shit show than fashion show.
Here’s an outline of the hot mess moments from the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. Hold on to your bra straps, this one’s a ride.
When word got out that VS’s theme this year was “Nomadic Adventure,” there’s no doubt the woke fans of VS took a big gulp and held their breath.
Mostly because, no matter how well its models can strut down a runway, when it comes to mastering cultural sensitivity, the brand has a history of repeatedly falling flat on its own face. VS’s continues to make the same offenses, and this year proved to be no different. As models marched down the runway, audiences watched them wear a display of feathered headdresses, beaded body jewelry and neck rings.
On Twitter, the ensembles from the show were met with pretty intense slap downs, especially when, once again, the brand appropriated various cultures.
Why must we suffer through the cultural appropriation segment every year #VSFashionShow
— Raqueletta Moss (@itsmadsyo) November 29, 2017
its not a vsfs w/o some form of cultural appropriation pic.twitter.com/pSwlBxN70R
— santa buddy (@goalietandem) November 21, 2017
Not only did were they guilty of cultural appropriation, many also bemoaned the fact that the company paraded costumes that poorly represented cultures.
But it wasn’t until after the show’s airing that the caca really hit the fan, after models were caught singing the N-word.
The Victoria's Secret angels singing Cardi B's "Bodak Yellow" backstage. pic.twitter.com/gGFbNBnQLI
— Pop Crave (@PopCrave) November 29, 2017
A backstage video from the fashion show revealed a room full of models singing the lyrics to Cardi B’s “Bodak Yellow.” Their performance also included singing the N-word along with the music. Twitter users were quick to point out that a majority of the models in the video were not Black (which all of us already know is pretty much business as usual for the brand).
So far, none of the models in the video have commented about the incident, but Twitter had plenty to say about it.
If you’re not black, don’t say the N word. Point. Blank. Period.
So who said it ?
— Stefan (@insatiablevices) November 29, 2017
Most critics of the video underlined a key reason why the women shouldn’t have felt comfortable saying the word.
It’s not okay for anyone of color to say it, only black people can say it. And please DELETE this tweet, that is not what the word means and never meant it. You sound uneducated. https://t.co/VQzTfY62Kr
— cass? (@gIossygucci) November 29, 2017
Oh, and it doesn’t end there. Producers decided to feature and play up the moment model, Ming Xi, fell, but cut out when fellow model, Gizele Oliveira, helped her up.
— Rebecca Ramos (@BekeRamos) November 20, 2017
For many, it felt like an empowering moment where we got to see one woman help another. But the big fall and what followed – Xi walking off stage in tears – proved to be too juicy for producers to cut. Oliveira’s part in the incident was left on the editing floor and Xi tears of horror were included. ?
Viewers from last night were hardly thrilled by the decision to keep the image of the model falling and crying.
The fact that the VSFS producers not only aired Ming Xi's fall, but also her crying after…….idk man.
— Lan (@alanaarosee) November 29, 2017
Most expressed their disappointment in CBS’ decision to air the segment because it was ultimately just an embarrassing moment for Xi. Especially considering it could have easily been left out since they film the show twice to make sure they get everything right.
Even a few celebrities dragged them for it.
Especially when they film it twice.
— christine teigen (@chrissyteigen) November 29, 2017
For many, the decision to air the segment felt like an attempt to play up the drama of the show, and many were unimpressed.
Here’s hoping the brand will do better next year.