Visual Culture & Gender
A study of the Victoria’s Secret catalogues, which frames the period 1996-2006, reveals that the models’ poses and postures manipulate the formulaic gaze of objectification with seemingly empowering themes. Instead of the indeterminate, averted looks that Berger (1972) and Mulvey (1989) considered in their analyses, the more recent versions of Victoria’s Secret photographs confront viewers with pouts, glares, and stares of defiance. In this essay, I contribute to current conversations regarding mixed messages that concern post-feminism and third-wave feminism (Duffy, Hancock, & Tyler, 2017; Glapka, 2017; McAllister & DeCarvalho, 2014; McRobbie, 2009). In this regard, the Victoria’s Secret catalogues constitute an important artifact of the turn of the 21st century decade, one which saw the rise of so-called "raunch culture" and increasing depictions of hyperfemininity and hypersexuality in popular and celebrity culture (Donnelly & Twenge, 2017; Renninger, 2018; Scott, 2006, 2010; Zaslow, 2018).
Original Publication Citation
Ouellette, M. A. (2019). "And nothing she needs": Victoria’s Secret and the gaze of "post-feminism". Visual Culture & Gender, 14, 6-17.
Ouellette, Marc, ""And Nothing She Needs": Victoria's Secret and the Gaze of "Post-Feminism"" (2019). English Faculty Publications. 92.