Sample Women and Gender Studies Essay Paper on Victoria’s Secret vs. Fredericks of Hollywood

Victoria’s Secret vs. Fredericks of Hollywood

            Victoria’s Secret sells bras, lingerie, sleepwear, clothing, eveningwear, perfumes, shoes, and beauty products. It has more than 1000 retail stores in US while its products are available in retail stores, catalogue and online business. It offers lingerie of different colors, patterns and style that give it more allure and sexiness through a combination of European style and luxury. In addition, it offers a cozy shopping place for men. Thus, it offers lingerie for a wide array of needs and diversity. In contrast, Fredrick’s of Hollywood, has over 200 stores in US with catalogue and website operations, although it offers the same merchandise like Victoria’s, Its deals more specifically in bras, panties, corsets and lingerie and there seem to be a more stress on racy lingerie. It deals in high-end seduction wear and focuses on the type of buyer it wants to get. Thus, they highlight one particular aspect of women’s undergarments as sexy at the expense of everyday comfortable type lingerie preferred by Victoria’s Secret.

            Fredericks of Hollywood’s market is somewhat racy and uses explicit images, which makes the buyers to perceive the company sells lingerie for a special occasions rather than everyday wear. This perception has made buyers to like Victoria’s Secret whose marketing campaign entails adverts and promotions that persuade customers to buy its products, specifically to boost their confidence and appearance. Victoria’s Secret’s products stress on fun, romance, fancy, and affection. In addition, it holds annual fashion shows that advertise its brand to audiences.

            Victoria’s market segments range from young girls to middle-aged women. Men are also buyers, as they buy their girlfriends and other female acquaintances gifts. That is why it was created to cater them. This contrast with Fredricks of Hollywood who targets younger women, who like to feel stunning and it is more sexually appealing. For instance, Frederick’s Cleavage bra differs a lot with versatility bra donned by Victoria’s buyers. Thus, while Victoria’s Secret emphasizes everyday wearable undergarments, Fredericks’ stress more on boudoir clothing.     

            Fredericks’ store uses red color as its theme, which echoes the hot and racy lingerie it retails to its buyers whereas Victoria’s Secret features shades of pink colors that symbolize romance and gentleness to reach its target market of women interested in lingerie and beauty products.

            There is no doubt that both companies portray different messages about sexuality while Victoria’s stresses on romance and fantasy images and Fredericks’ prefer racy and explicit images. In addition, Victoria’s Secret and Fredricks’ of Hollywood persuade women to look at the striking images of women in undergarments and feel connected with them. This persuades women to buy underclothes that will make them sexy, confident and alluring. This however may have a negative effect on the overall image and position of women in society and due to their physical attractiveness; men tend to view them as sexual objects. Thus, these images may have a contrasting view from both men and female on how they are perceived.

            This may diminish women’s image and make them uncomfortable. In addition, this image presents a false picture of reality, for instance, Victoria’s Secret’s emphasis on thinness, which may make one change her eating habits by dieting to attain the perfect body in the end interfering with her health. Fredericks’ photo tends to glamorize women as sex objects.       

In sum, lingerie images tend to objectify women and exploit them while sexist adverts attract men at the same time evoking sexual fantasies. Thus, these images enforce female gender stereotypes and diminish women sexuality by portraying them as sexual objects.