This week on her very popular podcast, Candace Owens took a moment to celebrate that Victoria’s Secret is “bringing sexy back.” The body-positive marketing gimmick is running out of steam, and Victoria’s Secret, having invested in the woke aesthetic, is running out of money.
So the company is “returning to the hot girls,” whose aspirational figures “make you want to buy what they’re selling.” Owens approves of this. She’s “glad they learned their lesson” and looks forward to “watching the hot girls replace the unattractive girls” in the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show and catalogs.
Sure, sex sells. And so sex has been completely commodified, the human body twisted and abused in service of psychological manipulation.
It’s important to steel-man the argument beyond the catty rhetorical flair: Beauty and excellence are obvious goods. Foregrounding beauty matters; to foreground ugliness under the pretense that objective beauty isn’t real is an affront to good taste, to say nothing of reality itself.
The worldwide ugliness campaign is real, too, and it is evil in its aims to degrade humanity’s spirit by depriving people of beauty, a process that blunts one’s connection to deeper moral and metaphysical truths, at least according to Roger Scruton.
Popular conservatism tends to regard wokeness as a beast that emerged ex nihilo from the supposedly flawless cultural moment that was the 1990s and early 2000s. In reality, wokeness is the aesthetic and ideological progeny of a certain brand of atheistic nihilism, expressed by the Dadaists in World War I-era Germany, intellectualized by the sexologists of Weimar Berlin, and carried forth by the Bauhaus architects, who built the world we know now, which is informed by their ideological and aesthetic ilk.
A short memory makes it difficult to conceive that the cultural moments conservatives now find themselves defending are fruits of the same debased tree of which their enemies eat freely.
Victoria’s Secret isn’t in the business of beauty qua beauty. Consider instead that Victoria’s Secret has played a world-historical role in delivering the philosophy of the sexual revolution to the girl next door. Hot girls were just a spoonful of sugar to help the medicine go down. The inferences the audience is meant to draw from these images aren’t godly, to put it lightly.
Owens, an extremely effective spokesperson for modern conservative thought, missed the forest for the trees. How could a conservative movement, if we are to believe that word has any meaning, defend a raunchy brand that publicly displays women in the near-nude? One that injected pornographic motifs into the public consciousness through unscrupulously manipulative marketing? Any moral good that the elevation of beauty presents is undone by lasciviousness.
Sure, sex sells. And so sex has been completely commodified, the human body twisted and abused in service of psychological manipulation, glittering images of moral depravity projected into the public square, fully visible to children.
Some of us still find that tragic.
The post Candace Owens is wrong: Victoria’s Secret is nothing to celebrate appeared first on TheBlaze.