Victoria’s Secret models keep their clothes on for Super Bowl

Lingerie models faking it for Superbowl ends week in women’s sport with a slam dunk

It has been a week of not-so-sporting stereotypes. Women's tennis was rocked by "twirlgate" after a courtside reporter asked top player Eugenie Bouchard to "do a little twirl" and show off her outfit at the Australian Open in Melbourne.

And it was more Ruby than Andy Murray when sportswomen found themselves mopping up "periodgate" after British number one Heather Watson was felled by nausea during her second-round Open match.

Pressed by the press, Watson said she had been compromised by a “girl thing”.

The guys at the Open loved that.


The story gained more legs than anyone’s normal monthly occurrence should, and we had to deal with a haemorrhaging of bloody think-pieces about the effects of menstruation on sporting performance.

Good job many of us were mid cycle at the time or we might have gone ballistic.

No one mentioned sanitary towels when several high-profile football and camogie players gathered in Dublin for the official launch of the Women’s Gaelic Players’ Association (WGPA).

Nine-times All-Ireland football winner, Valerie Mulcahy of Cork, said that the women's association will try to improve things for women in Gaelic games. She is confident that no one will be "going home in the car giving out" now the WGPA is togging out.

Mulcahy loves playing for Cork, but it does leave her out of pocket, she said.

Periods of misjudged interview demands, periods of Gaelic pride and plain old periods aside, the final joyous period for women in sport arrived with the latest Victoria’s Secret advert.

The advert is set for broadcast during the Super Bowl showdown between the New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks on February 1st.

The lingerie company famous for throwing a few cents into Hozier’s hat as he busked behind the busts at the lingerie brand’s recent London showcase has left a lot more to the imagination this time out.

Famed for its sexy mid-game TV retail displays, when at least 60 per cent of the audience are men, Super Bowl Sunday is an advertisers’ Mecca. No wonder Victoria’s Secret has its eye on flogging Valentine’s knickers to America during their great national sporting occasion.

But this time the Victoria’s Secrets “Angels” are covering up; not getting them out for the lads.

The Irish Sport for Business group, which aims to do exactly as they say on the tin, “thought long and hard” before posting the advert. It said: “Yes they are supermodels, yes it is an ad targeted at men ahead of St Valentine’s Day, but when it airs on February 1st it will show women playing sport, being active and being in charge. Oh and fully clothed in sports gear as opposed to lingerie.”

Indeed the Victoria's Secret "Angels" do actually have their kit on. But "playing sport"? Did the Sport in Business people watch Matt Damon "playing rugby" in Invictus. François Pienaar he ain't.

In the US, there is a league dedicated to “Lingerie Football” where women play American football in their bra and panties. But they do “play” it. It is quite popular.

So should women be grateful to Victoria’s Secret for this new look?

The company has gone too far, wrote one of its blokey commenters. “Where are the tits and bras? This is no Victoria’s Secret. Why don’t you stop selling lingerie too while you’re at it, jumping on the feminist empowerment wagon, turning all women into tomboys.” One man’s liberation is another man’s selling out, it seems.

Lingerie models pretending to play competitive sport, then removing their helmets to reveal blow-dries and lip gloss? Perfect white bums in super-tight leggings? This is what corporate American feminism looks like.

Unlike women Gaelic football players, the Angels probably had a few bob left after paying their expenses.