Sunday, December 2 was the biggest night of the year for body insecurity—I mean, since Thanksgiving (but maybe that’s just my family)—because we were all treated to the 2018 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. I’d like to open with a few remarks. First of all, a big F*CK YOU to ABC and Victoria’s Secret, above all, for making this sh*t start at 10pm on a Sunday night when I should be
lying awake, crippled by anxiety about going back to work tomorrow asleep. Second of all, for making this sh*t exist in the first place. It’s 2018, we’re body positive now, sitting on my couch at 10pm watching tiny women who all somehow look alike prance down a runway while last year’s pop stars serenade them is not my idea of a good time. Like, didn’t Miss America even get rid of the bathing suit portion of their competition? It’s time to mix it up.
Fortunately, I have a few ideas for how the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show can be upgraded. Throw the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest in with this b*tch. Maybe add a talent portion (because I can assure you, walking in a straight line and blowing the occasional kiss does not count as a talent—if it did, I would be far more successful than I am today). Maybe a couch-to-runway portion, where models eat half a Domino’s pizza and then model lingerie? Give the people what they want!
In any case, regressive or not, I reluctantly tuned into the 2018 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. I missed the first performance due to connectivity issues, but tuned in to watch The Chainsmokers (aka the hot one pretending to play the guitar) and Kelsea Ballerini. I still have not figured out who Kelsea Ballerini is, to be honest. Is she from The Voice? Is she like, the Rita Ora of country music? Sure, I could Google it, but then who would be there in the comments to smugly correct me? She and The Chainsmokers (the other one was relegated to the back, my mistake, but he was there) perform some song I’ve never heard of.
Candice Swanepoel gets ready to walk down the runway. This is my favorite part—the soundbites of the underpaid PAs screaming “Go, Candice” to signal her trip down a flat strip of floor, as if she’s about to perform brain surgery and not just put one foot in front of the other. One of the Angels literally crosses herself backstage. I mean, I know someone did fall last year, but still, I can assure you, it is not that deep.
The theme to this line appears to be “random corsets”. It’s kind of like Candy Land mixed with Valentine’s Day? I’m sure that’s precisely what went on during the brainstorming meeting. Some models are wearing tiny sunglasses as if this weren’t filmed in November. The stage does look really cool, though.
We come back from the commercial break to a montage of Adriana Lima’s career as a Victoria’s Secret Angel. Lest we forget, Adriana is hanging up her wings after tonight. And when I decide to stop wearing lingerie in front of other people, they call it “letting yourself go”. This montage, though, is excellent. We move through Adriana’s awkward years—which, to be clear, are still better than any of us look on our best day—up until today. The most interesting part of this retrospective, I think, is the unintentional journey through women’s beauty standards. Initially, we see a stick-thin Adriana with arms that are smaller than my wrists, to now, where she appears to have been granted the ability to consume full-fat milk. Progress!
Adriana walks the runway in this gorgeous bejeweled hybrid between a bra and a shirt. How can I cop this bra for New Years Eve? Asking for myself. Adriana is crying, and I guess that’s how I’d feel on my last day of work too.
Immediately after this, Halsey performs, looking like a sexy white walker. (I don’t watch Game of Thrones, so you can let me know in the comments if that reference was accurate.) She’s got like, feathery eyebrows, I guess because if they didn’t put something stupid on Halsey’s face she’d look like an Angel and they wouldn’t want anyone to feel threatened. Halsey killed it, and I have nothing further to say on the matter.
This section is very “literal angel”—lots of white, lots of feathers. I guess it could also be winter. Whatever. One shining moment was getting to see Winnie Harlow walk down the runway, because it is about as far as VS will push the boundaries of what’s considered conventional beauty tonight.
Next, Bella Hadid walks down the runway and we cut to The Weeknd, clapping in the audience. I just want a guy to look at me with the mixture of admiration and bashfulness with which Abel looks at Bella, but I guess in order to achieve that I’d have to work out for hours every day and get some light plastic surgery… or so society would like me to believe!
We come back from commercial to footage of the models finding out they’re making the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. It’s kind of like watching a bunch of marriage proposals: a lot of screaming, crying, and tearful calls to loved ones.
Thank you, I’ll be here all week.
When we return to the show, it’s Bebe Rexha’s performance, and she’s wearing what is like, top half trench coat and bottom half ballerina outfit. It’s hot pink and garish. There are matching thigh-highs and a giant bow in the back. I imagine her conversation with her stylist went like this:
Stylist: How do you wanna look for the 2018 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show?
Bebe: Pink Panther, but make it sexy.
Stylist: Gotchu fam.
My favorite part of Bebe’s performance is the models who are half dancing down this runway (which, when your job is to walk, feels like cheating but ok), singing along to this song. How much do you think Bebe’s people had to pay them to pretend like they knew the words? Seriously, gun to your head, could any of you name a single Bebe Rexha song? And not like, a G-Eazy song where she’s featured on the hook—one of her own songs. I’ll wait.
The clothes being featured are the PINK line, and I didn’t even have to look at the garments closely to tell you that. I can tell that by the sheer amount of inappropriate sequins. What is this, 2000? Because that’s the last time I thought wearing a sequined striped referee top was a good idea.
After Bebe Rexha, it’s Shawn Mendes’ turn to perform, and this was a smart move on the part of the talent bookers for this show, seeing as being serenaded by Shawn Mendes is the only thing in this entire hour-long special that’s actually motivating me to purchase more underwear.
My favorite moment is when Gigi Hadid walks by, wearing a parachute strapped to her back. I get it, because I’m also thinking about jumping out the nearest window watching this.
Our regularly scheduled programming is interrupted by a Bachelor promo in which Colton holds a bunch of golden retriever puppies, who look like they would rather be anywhere else in the world than in his arms. I’m sure, come January, many of the women competing on the show will be able to relate.
Before we return to the show, we get a video of all the models’ fitness goals. Martha Hunt attempts to be relatable by saying her goal is to do 10 squats without breaking form (she has Scoliosis, so I guess this is actually difficult for her… fine). My fitness goals are to be able to eat whatever I want and not gain weight, so like, same thing.
After that, Rita Ora performs!! She’s wearing so much gold jewelry, it puts the Migos to shame. I don’t actually have anything bad to say about Rita; she can clearly sing and she looks good. As Behati Prinsloo walks by, they pan to Adam Levine, who is screaming after her. Once again, if my man isn’t going to show this type of loyalty, I don’t want him.
The theme of this collection is “we just realized people are pretending to like Rock ‘n Roll as a trend now”. Legit one of these shirts is cut up the sides and held together with safety pins, like I used to do for free with shirts I got at bar mitzvahs. And, literally the last look of this collection is straight out of Mugatu’s derelicte campaign.
I’m sorry, is that a trash bag?? With spray paint?? Oh wait, I get it: this entire show is one giant walk-off.
What I hope is the last performance of the evening is by “British rock band, The Struts.” And they need to qualify that because otherwise none of us would know who tf that is. Kendall Jenner finally gets her big moment in the sun—and that pun was intended since the theme to this collection is astrology. “What VS Bra Should You Wear According To Your Horoscope”—new article coming soon to Betches.
I have to pause for a moment here, because I’ve got to wonder why the rock band didn’t sing during the rock themed collection. I sincerely hope that, after reading this article, somebody will reach out to me to curate next year’s show. I’ve got good ideas! In any case, the one other positive moment from the show is what is sure to be the abundance of Kris Jenner memes. Behold, my blurry af screenshot of Kris Jenner filming Kendall walking down the runway:
First “thank u, next” and now this. What did we do to deserve this good fortune?? Additionally, I think Kris Jenner should just walk around with a camcorder at all times now.
And we’ve made it to the finale without incident. SNOOZE. Overall, I am disappointed nobody ate sh*t on the runway. One Kris Jenner meme does not a fashion show make. On the upside, I’ve been so distracted by how lame this show has been to even feel bad about my body. So there’s that!
Images: Getty Images (4); ABC