Victoria’s Chilling Secret

Victorias Chilling Secret

Hannah Kirkpatrick, Writer

Leslie Wexner is an American businessman who is the chairman and founder of many big name brands like L Brands, Bath and Body Works, Abercrombie & Fitch, PINK, and Victoria’s Secret. Mr. Wexner recently retired from all of these big brands in 2020. Though, a docu series, “Victoria’s Secret: Angels and Demons” was recently released on Netflix in July of 2022. The series talks about the ins and outs of the business, and even its dark side. 

The store’s saying “A Body for Every Body”, has spun out in controversy about its very select sizing and unrealistic body standards. Throughout the entirety of the business, there was always a sense of mystery and confusion. Selita Ebanks, a former model for Victoria’s Secret, says “When modeling for Victoria’s Secret, there’s a secret code you have to follow” and “Unfortunately, we are going against Mother Nature. It is not something that’s natural, it is not something that should happen. It’s tough.” The high pressure of modeling, and the constant fight to be on top drives some VS models to create unhealthy eating habits. Mr. Wexner spoke on this as it was becoming a scandal involving him. He says, “No one is taking food away from the models. They do it to themselves. I never meant to promote any eating disorders or bad habits through this company.” That comment itself seemed a bit back handed. Sadly, there’s no surprise that poor eating habits develop alongside a giant modeling company, especially in our world today. 

In the mid-90’s Mr. Wexner was looking for two financial advisors in New York. At an outdoor event, Mr. Wexner had run into an infamous New York financier who had millions of dollars and power- Jeffrey Epstein. Epstein had heard that Mr. Wexner was looking for a financial advisor for Victoria’s Secret and slowly developed a hold on Mr. Wexner. Epstein bribed Mr. Wexner with his philanthropy and private life. After their friendship was formed, Mr. Wexner authorized him to hire people and sign tax returns. He served as his personal money manager for about 12 years. The most disturbing part, Epstein had a say in all of the shows the models participated in. As well as participating in after parties and outside events. In 2008, Epstein was arrested and convicted of sex trafficking 66 girls, as young as 14. Mr. Wexner claimed that he was never involved in any of this and does not support anything Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell have done. “I would never have guessed that a person I employed more than a decade ago could have caused such pain to so many people,” he wrote. After further personal research, I’m not too sure if I completely believe that. To this day, there is still no clear answer as to what deeper, mysterious things Victoria’s Secret has been up to behind the scenes.

Photo from Vanity Fair