A controversial Women’s US Soccer player has become a brand ambassador for Victoria’s Secret, raising eyebrows and ire amongst her critics.
Victoria’s Secret has tapped Megan Rapinoe as a brand ambassador, propelling the LGBTQ+ activist and female athlete back into the public spotlight.
Rapinoe was the co-captain of the US Women’s Soccer team and will be featured in the new VS campaign, alongside other “accomplished women,” such as actress Priyanka Chopra and trans model Valentina Sampaio.
The news comes after the company announced they would no longer be appointing supermodels known as “Angels” as brand ambassadors, following criticism that VS did not feature enough women/trans people of varying sizes and backgrounds.
According to MSN.com, Rapinoe’s appointment was somewhat unpopular with many, with even TV hosts joining in to slam on the soccer player.
“All of the ugly chicks agreeing with Victoria’s Secret’s new wokeness were the ones who didn’t shop there because no one wanted to see them undressed,” wrote TV host John Cardillo. “Dumbest. Brand. Strategy. Ever.”
Writer Jessica O’Donnell also chimed in.
“What PR agency suggested this garbage?” she wrote. “Women want to look like the angels. No one wants to look like Megan Rapinoe.”
Rapinoe’s behavior in the past has generated controversy, particularly when it came to treatment of the American flag and her attitudes toward the very country she represents in international sports competitions.
“First of all, the country was founded not on freedom and liberty and justice for all,” she said.
“I think we can just start to be very honest with ourselves about that,” she told NPR in November of 2020. “It doesn’t mean that we don’t have some of those qualities and that we can work towards some of those qualities. But this country was founded on chattel slavery and the brutal and ruthless system of slavery. So let’s all be really honest about that. So when I look at the flag, what I want to see is us constantly trying to live up to these words and live up to this ideal where all people are free, and all people do have all of the rights, and all people can have a life filled with liberty and justice for all. But I think we just so clearly have so far to go. And so I see patriotism as constantly demanding better of ourselves.”
In addition, Rapinoe was seen performing a dance during the 2019 World Cup Final as a US flag touched the ground beside her.
While she drew criticism for her foot touching the flag, “fact-checkers” at Snopes came to her defense, claiming that “Rapinoe momentarily allowed her boot to brush” the flag, and that both the brushing and the dropping of the flag “could reasonably be regarded as gestures that were disrespectful towards the flag.”
In regards to her new role with VS, Rapinoe stated that she was pleased to be part of a new team.
“I am humbled to join this group of incredible women to drive change within the Victoria’s Secret brand and beyond,” she said. “So often I felt myself on the outside looking in with brands in the beauty and fashion industry, and I’m thrilled to be creating a space that sees the true spectrum of all women. I believe in the power of authenticity and community and am excited to show what can be done through the VS Collective.”
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