The annual Victoria's Secret Fashion Show aired last week, and alongside the #vsfashionshow tweets, another--#loveconsent--was making its mark.
It seemed for a moment that Victoria's Secret had made a big leap forward with the launch of a new "PINK Loves Consent" line, a message promoting positive messages about women's bodies and consent for sex.
Featuring models (most of whom looked nothing like Victoria's Angles walking the runway) clad lingerie bearing messages such as "No means no," "Ask first" and "Consent is sexy," the campaign posed the women next to horrifyingly real stats on rape culture.
Sentiment online was overwhelmingly positive, with women posting photos from the campaign on Tumblr and tweeting their approval of an empowering, anti-rape culture message.
Of course the campaign, despite the official-looking website branding, was not actually made by Victoria's Secret, and soon the undie giant had lawyers issuing a cease and desist order to the activist group behind PinkLovesConsent.com. Twitter initially shut down the @LoveConsent Twitter account and forced the campaign's site offline (both have since been restored).
FORCE: Upsetting Rape Culture, the team behind the Pink Loves Consent campaign, explains their goals:
PINK loves CONSENT is a campaign that parodied the Victoria’s Secret brand to make consent go viral. Consent is a verbal agreement about how and when people are comfortable having sex. The organizers of PINK loves CONSENT believe the idea of consent should be as mainstream and common as wearing a condom. Just like pausing to put on a condom prevents STD’s, pausing to check in with your partner prevents unwanted sexual experiences. They say, “We need to create a culture where the sexual empowerment of women is more pervasive than the sexual violation. We want to see the practice of consent show up in the bedroom just as much as ‘V-string’ thongs.”