Victoria’s Secret ‘What is Sexy’ list draws fire for its ‘young, white and thin’ women

Taylor Swift is the “sexiest entertainer” on Victoria’s Secret’s annual “What is Sexy” list.
Taylor Swift is the “sexiest entertainer” on Victoria’s Secret’s annual “What is Sexy” list. Associated Press

What is sexy?

That would be Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga, Mandy Moore, Nikki Reed and Margot Robbie, according to Victoria’s Secret annual “What is Sexy” list celebrating the “fiercest and most inspiring people in Hollywood.”

People on social media noticed instantly what was missing from this list: diversity, of race or size.

Actresses Jamie Chung, Priyanka Chopra, Chrissy Teigen and Olivia Munn made the list. But most of the other women listed are white.

People hit back at the lingerie brand — which a press release dubbed “the authority on what is sexy” — sarcastically labeling the list, “young, thin and white.”

The public reportedly chose the people on the list, tagging Swift “sexiest entertainer,” Gaga “sexiest songstress,” Moore “sexiest actress” and Reed “sexiest fitspiration.”

“Of course, all women on this list are beautiful and strong — but its blaring lack of diversity cannot be ignored.” writes Christina Careaga for Mashable.

“Yes, Vanessa Hudgens won ‘sexist style risk taker,’ Priyanka Chopra won ‘sexiest red carpet look,’ and Jamie Chung won ‘sexiest festival style,’ but what even are those categories?

“While thin white women top the list in their professional field, women of color win nonsensical categories like ‘sexiest festival style.’ It’s invalidating, VS (do better).”

The International Business Times India offered its own alternative — and more diverse — list of celebrities from different parts of the world, including Dominican volleyball player Winifer Fernandez, Rihanna and Nicki Minaj.

And the publication suggested Malia Obama as “sexiest risk taker,” for “setting a trend with her internship outfits and pushing boundaries.”

People are also irked that sexy is not a one-size-fits-all proposition for Victoria’s Secret, noting the lack of size diversity among those listed.