Lizzo Is Side-Eyeing Victoria's Secret Fashion Show's Body Inclusivity Promise

Lizzo has expressed concern over the announcement that Victoria's Secret will return to its fashion show after a four-year hiatus. In response to the news, the "Special" singer took to Twitter to voice her opinion, questioning whether the fact that the brand was making a return is due only to the backlash it's received in the past for lacking diverse and size-inclusive models on its runways. 

"This is a win for inclusivity for inclusivity's sake," Lizzo, who has her own inclusive shapewear line, Yitty, tweeted alongside a recent campaign video from the brand. "But if brands start doing this only because they've received backlash then what happens when the 'trends' change again?" She added, "Do the CEOs of these companies value true inclusivity? Or do they just value money?" 

Victoria's Secret's chief financial officer Timothy Johnson announced during the company's 2022 earnings call on Friday that the fashion show will be back with a new version. "We're going to continue to lean into the marketing spend to invest in the business, both at top-of-funnel and also to support the new version of our fashion show, which is to come later this year," Johnson said. 

As a result of criticism that the brand failed to embrace models of all sizes and backgrounds, the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show was canceled in November 2019, when the Victoria's Secret Angel title was dropped. Also, due to a report published by The New York Times in February 2020 accusing former CEO Ed Razek of sexual harassment, bullying, and creating a misogynistic culture, the company suffered backlash. During that time, Rasek denied the accusations, telling the Times in an email: "the accusations in this reporting are categorically untrue, misconstrued or taken out of context," adding, "I've been fortunate to work with countless, world-class models and gifted professionals and take great pride in the mutual respect we have for each other." 

Initially held in August 1995, the fashion show ran 23 times in the coming years, except for 2004. Katy Perry, Maroon 5, Jay-Z, Kanye West, Taylor SwiftHarry Styles, Ariana Grande, Ed Sheeran, RihannaJustin Bieber, Bruno Mars, Destiny's Child, Usher, Justin Timberlake, and others performed on the show during its two-decade run. Since 2001, a performance element has been incorporated into the runway. 

Following the cancellation of Victoria's Secret's fashion show, Hulu's July 2022 exposé docuseries Victoria's Secret: Angels and Demons brought to light a history of sexism and body-shaming under former owner Leslie Wexner. According to the brand's statement at the time, it has evolved since becoming a stand-alone company in 2021.