Last week, two media-savvy feminists launched the Pink Loves Consent campaign. Designed to look just like the actual Victoria’s Secret website, their site sells underwear boasting empowering slogans such as “ask first” and “let’s talk about sex.” Additionally, the home page of their website features a gorgeous plus size woman of color – something that would never happen on the real page.
The website caused quite a stir. In my opinion, creators Hannah Brancato and Rebecca Nagle chose a fantastic way to draw attention to rape culture and attempt to make social change. In designing their website as an exact copy of the real site, they caused quite a stir and got lots of people to talk about these issues in ways that they may not have previously.
A recent article on Jezebel described it perfectly:
“Through Victoria’s Secret’s social media, the concept of consent was cropping up in some unexpected places. The Victoria’s Secret facebook pages were flooded with “I heart consent” posts, excited campus reps were retweeting pinklovesconsent.com, and the “pink hearts” at pinknation.com were declaring their love for “open sex talk.” One employee tweeted, “I am so happy to currently have a job for a company that stands for something so beautiful!! @LoveConsent #victoriassecret #loveconsent” Highschool students were tweeting “I’m loving the new @LoveConsent! Victoria’s secret goes feminist!” At the outset, 100 young facebook users were in on the prank. It just went viral from there.”
In today’s digital world, going “viral” is integral to the success of a social justice movement. In order for a campaign to be discussed and get the kind of momentum it needs to succeed, it has to become an internet sensation. I’m happy to see that this campaign has gained so much momentum, and would love to see Victoria’s Secret take action and begin to really empower women rather than create dynamics that play into rape culture.