Meet this year's crop of Victoria's Secret models - but would it kill them to hire a plus-size model?
We are, once again, approaching that exciting time of year: the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show.
The lingerie giants, who are arguably the best marketers in the business, have elevated the show to near mythical status - walking in it, even for one year, can be a game changer for your career. It is the show that elevated Heidi Klum, Gisele Bundchen and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley to new levels of supermodeldom and every 5'10" gazelle who hears the news that they've snagged a spot in the annual show is hoping to emulate their idols' success.
There's a reason it remains the pinnacle of most models' career, thought - the effect an affiliation with VS on your personal brand cannot be underestimated. Case in point: outside of the industry, no one knew who Stella Maxwell was before she became an Angel. Since her first show in 2015, she has been named Maxim's Sexiest Woman Alive, featured on five Vogue covers and most recently launched an eponymous handbag line with The Kooples.
Over the years, as Victoria's Secret is still finding the balance in a changing industry awash with influencers and 'social media supermodels', it has routinely come under fire for featuring models with large Instagram followings over those who have casted four years in a row never to make the cut even once.
The decision to include Kendall Jenner and Gigi and Bella Hadid in one show was too much to take for some corners of the internet.
It is trying to move with the times and like every other business, there is no blueprint for guaranteed success. It is increasingly self-aware though, which makes it all the more perplexing that they continue to ignore the plus-size market. Among the new recruits confirmed to appear in this year's show include first-timers like Sadie Newman and Kelsey Merritt, with the return of the likes of Barbara Palvin, Shanina Shaik and Kelly Gale.
Amid the excitement on Instagram yesterday, with most newbies sharing videos of the moment they heard the news, it became clear that this year wasn't going to be the year for size diversity as a barrage of beautiful women with interchangeable bodies celebrated the accomplishment.
Your physique is the main selling point at the audition, during which, casting agents will ask how much you've been working out (they already know from your Insta stories). And if you're lucky enough to be cast, you are then projected as the pinnacle of health and fitness.
But there's nothing healthy about working out up to three times a day and restricting your calorie intake to get that 'naturally' lean look you'll display in your smalls sashaying down a runway in December.
It's fitting that the announcement of some of this year's models was made the same week the media became downright obsessed with Tess Holliday's Cosmopolitan cover. The size-26 model appeared on cover of the UK edition of the magazine posing unashamedly in a swimsuit and people were beside themselves with either praise for both the magazine and the model for being unapologetic in her size and those criticising what they believe to be the glorification of obesity.
It's a fight in which no one really comes out a winner.
With that kind of talking point for a publication with a 400,000 circulation, can you imagine the knock-on effect that a brand like Victoria's Secret featuring a woman, just as unashamedly, walking down the runway with even a hint of cellulite, would have? The possibilities would be endless. Not to mention lucrative.
Plus, you just know that Ashley Graham is chomping at the bit to wear those wings and begin the next phase of her world domination.