Have you ever wondered why outside of Tyra Banks, you never saw any women of color, more specifically black women advertised anywhere in Victoris’a Secret? I love the VS brand, I really do. But it always bothered me that there wasn’t a fair representation of women of color in there. I’ve never seen any Latina, Middle Eastern,or Asian women represented. It’s sad that in this day and age this is still an issue.
Victoria’s Secret launched a collegiate line including 33 schools back in June of 2008. Only recently though, they decided to include HBCUs. While they won’t admit it, I suspect they sped up the inclusion because of a young lady Amelia Reid who started a movement on Facebook called “HBCU Ladies Wear Victoria’s Secret Pink Too” and blogged about her displeasure that people like her were not represented. Not only is she an HBCU student, she is also an employee of Limited Brands- the parent company that owns VS. Hhhhmmmmm.
In any case, while late, VS is now in partnership with some HBCUs and is offering paid internships and scholarships to HBCU students. I think in theory it’s a great idea and it will help further the agenda of getting more black women educated and opportunities in the industry. But I can’t help but wonder if this is just a move to pacify us. Yes, the CEO Richard Dent claims the company had been in talks with HBCUs way before Amelia’s blog. I’m on the fence with that one. We all know how the corporate heads try to cover their tracks. I’ll definitely be watching as this unfolds. If you want to read the entire story, you can find it on Black Enterprise at http://www.blackenterprise.com/business/business-news/2008/12/16/pink-rolls-out-hbcu-apparel/
Til next time.