“I didn’t feel it was an image that was truly reflective of who I am,” says Karlie Kloss.
Victoria’s Secret has seen its fair share of controversy. The women’s lingerie brand, which has customers in 80 countries across the world, has been criticised predominantly for using only thin models to market their products – a criticism which has led to claims that the brand pushes a very specific idea of what female bodies should look like.
Whatever you believe, there’s no denying that the types of bodies on display on the Victoria’s Secret runway could be more diverse – and it’s this which prompted supermodel Karlie Kloss to leave the brand back in 2015.
“The reason I decided to stop working with Victoria’s Secret was I didn’t feel it was an image that was truly reflective of who I am and the kind of message I want to send to young women around the world about what it means to be beautiful,” she explained to British Vogue.
“I think that was a pivotal moment in me stepping into my power as a feminist, being able to make my own choices and my own narrative, whether through the companies I choose to work with, or through the image I put out to the world.”
This is far from the first time Kloss has spoken about – and demonstrated – her dedication to feminism. Aside from the fact that she made the choice to study feminist theory alongside her extremely successful modelling careeer, she’s also passionate about getting more young women into tech, so much so that she’s set up a coding camp for young girls called Kode With Klossy.
The free two-week programs, which are designed for girls between the ages of 13-18, are designed to teach girls how to code their own apps. 87% of the girls who’ve completed the program have said they are more confident to pursue a career in computer science or other STEM related areas – an industry which is famously struggling on the gender equality front.
With role models like Karlie Kloss guiding the next generation of women, we’ve got a lot of hope for the future.