If you came of age in the late nineties/early aughts, then you’re likely very aware of the extremely toxic body ideals perpetuated by media and society back then. If this sounds like you, then you’re going to absolutely love this viral “Victoria’s Secret” song that everyone is talking about.
The video featuring the song, written by singer/songwriter Jax, has more than 7 million views on TikTok. In it, Jax is seen leading a flash mob in front of a Victoria’s Secret store while the song plays in the background.
So what makes the song so special? Well, the simple answer is that the store is emblematic of that late nineties/early 2000s time period, and the marketing and advertising that preyed on girls and women of all ages. While the store itself isn’t solely responsible for the problematic body image projections of that time period, it certainly played an enormous role in how many of us felt we were supposed to look.
Check out some of the lyrics, and try not to get chills:
God, I wish somebody would’ve told me
When I was younger that all bodies aren’t the same
Photoshop, itty bitty models on magazine covers
Told me I was overweightI stopped eating, what a bummer
Can’t have carbs in hot girl summer
If I could go back and tell myself
When I was younger, I’d say, psst I know Victoria’s secret
And girl, you wouldn’t believe
She’s an old man who lives in Ohio
Making money off of girls like me
Cashing in on body issues
Selling skin and bones with big boobs
I know Victoria’s secret
She was made up by a dude (dude)
Victoria was made up by a dude (dude)
Victoria was made up by a dude
I mean…whew. Yes. All of this.
The song was inspired by Chelsea, a little girl that Jax babysits. In a video Jax shared last month (that now has more than 34 million views), she shares that when the young girl got into the car after swimsuit shopping at—you guessed it, Victoria’s Secret—she was “hysterically crying” because a friend had told her the bathing suit she tried on made her look “too fat and too flat.”
After having that tough conversation with Chelsea, Jax says she told the girl that she had struggled with disordered eating since she was 12. She decided to write “Victoria’s Secret” for Chelsea to make her feel better, but to also open her eyes to realize that the problem is with the store, not with her body (or anyone else’s).
“I wrote a song for you, because when I was your age I had a lot of eating problems and I wish somebody would’ve said this to me.”
The song hits hard for so many reasons. For me personally, it hits home because even though I was a thin child and teenager (I’m not thin anymore), but even still, I felt fat and “wrong.” I spent a lot of time hating myself when I should have been enjoying the last chapter of my childhood, mostly because of harmful beauty standards and the ultimate thief of joy: comparison. And I know I was far from alone back then. I wish I could go back in time and give Young Me a little squeeze and tell her that you can be happy, fulfilled, successful and loved…in a body of any size.
The last two lines of the song, which Jax sings to a young girl during the flash mob, are perhaps the most powerful—and absolutely why this should be the real song of the summer:
I know Victoria’s secret
She was never made for me and you.