Victoria’s Secret has been under fire by many people for their lack of representation. In fact, the brand actually once considered their brunette models to be an example of “diversity”, even though they were still rail-thin.
For near 50 years, this lingerie company has always recruited beautiful women. But what needed to change was the definition of beauty. People were particularly outraged by this annually during the brand’s world-famous Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show.
But in 2019, that all changed. They made an effort to change their bad rep by hiring Ali Tate-Cutler, a size 14 plus-size model who did a campaign with Bluebella Lingerie. In the past, VS never used models who were bigger than a size 12. While it’s a positive move towards more body inclusivity at Victoria’s Secret, the brand still has a long way to go.
Ali booked a job directly for the brand rather than going through a casting process, as many models have. She told Life & Style, “Body positivity is so important because [it’s] time we love our bodies in order to transcend them. It’s our character and the people we are in the world that truly matter.” Additionally, she has stated that the average size of women in America is a size 14, so this is the first real step in VS becoming more relatable to the majority of women in the country.
Modeling helped her love herself
The model said that in a world where beauty is often dictated by a number on the scale, fashion actually helped her appreciate the skin she was in. Plus size modeling opened her up to meeting models who were bigger than a size 14 and absolutely stunning. This caused her to require her brain and help her understand that she was beautiful at any size. Today, Ali Tate-Cutler is represented by Milk and Muse Model Management.
A podcast host
As part of her work as a self-love advocate, Ali Tate-Cutler hosts a lifestyle podcast called “The Love You Give”. Recent episodes include explorations of fat positivity, dismantling oppression, cancel culture, and all different kinds of trauma. Think of it as the cool older sis who promotes self-care and wellness through hard to have but necessary conversations.
A #loveyourself campaign with Bluebella Lingerie and Victoria’s Secret
These brands partnered in a campaign that celebrated self-love, so obviously Ali was perfect for it. The campaign celebrated Bluebella’s designs being worn on “diverse, empowered women” and the designs were available to buy through the U.S. and U.K.
She applauded VS on their attempts towards inclusivity
While many people criticize VS for integrating inclusivity a little too late in the game, Cutler actually applauded the brand for listening to their audience’s requests. We agree with Ali — as long as women of diverse sizes and shapes are being catered to, we don’t have any complaints.
A healthy lifestyle change after her dad’s cancer
Tate-Cutler wasn’t always so wellness oriented. She only converted to total veganism and regular juice cleanses recently. Before, she was a carnivore and professional soccer player in London. At the time, her dad was diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer and diabetes. The diagnosis was severe, but after embarking on a three-month juice cleanse, he recovered. She’s not the only one to do a lifestyle revamp — her parents gave up their California restaurant to join a spiritual community in Arizona called Tree of Life, to focus on wellness further.
She suffered from mental health issues related to her curves
Although she’s a major role model for curvy girls today, Ali wasn’t always this confident. After being surrounded by thin models and the beauty standards in the West, she had struggles accepting herself. But even pre-modeling and from a young age, she experienced something called “disordered eating” but only came to overcome her mental health issues when she realized that true inner happiness doesn’t come from what we buy, look like, or wear.
Not everyone is happy about Ali being hired
Although this is a celebration for women all over the world, the fashion industry still has warped perceptions and expectations of what the everyday woman should look like, and plus-size models only make up about 1% of the mainstream modeling world. Diversity is still a major issue for many fashion brands, and until they all hop on the inclusivity bandwagon, we still have a long way to go. Still, Ali is essential in helping change this sad truth. ‘
She’s said some controversial things the past
Ali Tate Cutler might be a body positivity champ today, but she wasn’t always an icon. In fact, she was far from it. But we’ve all made mistakes and said toxic things out of pain at one point or another — learning from it is what’s important. In Tate-Cutler’s past, she’s made some startling remarks on obese people, such as “I do care about the excessive amounts of carbon, nitrous oxide, and methane gases it takes to produce a large person; the amount of animals that have been killed; the amount of exploitation that is going on to create fat. Being obese is simply bad for the environment.”