Victoria’s Secret, Racism and Our Response

The Offense




In the unlikely event that you haven’t heard, there was an incident at a Victoria’s Secret location in Oxford, Alabama on this past Wednesday 12/7/16. In a Facebook Live video, Kim Houzah documented that another black woman whom she did not know had been caught shoplifting and store management then turned their attention on her. Ultimately, she and another black woman were asked to leave though they haven’t committed a crime……except for being……….black.

Credit: Victoria's Secret

Credit: Victoria’s Secret

Shortly after the incident, Victoria’s Secret posted an open apology to Kim Houzah stating “Victoria’s Secret is adamant that all customers regardless of race be treated with dignity and respect at all times,”. Umm…….Whatever!!! That would be fine except this isn’t Victoria’s Secret first rodeo concerning racism/discrimination. This past April, they had two lawsuits filed them against citing racial discrimination during an incident in their Beverly Hills store. You can read about it hereThe brand also isn’t known for it’s expedient response to the marketplace in terms of representation of the market that patronizes their stores other than white women. It wasn’t until 1997 that Tyra Banks was featured in their lingerie catalog.

Obviously, there is a pattern of that behavior in a number of their stores according to post on their Facebook fan page. As a matter of fact, the industry as a whole seems to struggle when it comes to serving and representing our sisters. You can go to a number of mainstream lingerie websites and it can be difficult to find many that have black women as models.


The Response

Credit: Nubian Skin

Credit: Nubian Skin


Did you know that according to 2010 sales, estimates are that black women spend 20 BILLION DOLLARS on lingerie/underwear!!! Do you realize the power that you have as a spending demographic? Imagine being able to take those same dollars and spend them with our own lingerie businesses. Our own businesses that represent you and respects your buying power while at the same time turning the tide when it comes to our economic best interest? You don’t have to cry, march or sing “We Shall Overcome” in front of a Victoria’s Secret store. You can spend your money at or any one of these other nine BLACK OWNED lingerie businesses! Click Here for the list . Let’s be smart with our money because we shouldn’t have to beg ANYONE to let you spend it with them! Supporting our own…….THAT’S HOW WE WIN!!!


Bobby Patterson

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