Victoria's Secret

What to do when the photos are nearly nude.

Posted Nov 28, 2019

hans / pixabay
Source: hans / pixabay

More than 100 men in dark suits sit in the meeting room at the Ritz Carlton, listening intently to the projected earnings of Intimate Brands, Inc. They are current and prospective investors, some paunchy, some slick, young and buff.

Lights off. On the screen models clad in bras and panties do cartwheels and back flips. “This is our Miracle Bra,” Liz Curtis, president and CEO, announces. “It sold out in test stores and our feedback is that the liquid enhancer in each cup does not shift with use, resulting in a continued smooth line through the day.”

A few faces in the audience crack into grins.

I pull out my notebook and pen and begin taking notes in the dark.

Liz is short and compact with a round face. She will not be modeling lingerie, but she can attest to the joys of the company’s new line of body lotions and fragrances. “Angel Divine won the Fiji last year,” she says proudly. “The Fragrance Foundation’s top award.”

She fills us in on new stores in the works. They’ll be more contemporary—“very upscale with crystal chandeliers.” She punches a button on her laptop and the prototype store interior appears, complete with a wall of plastic boobs in bras and three headless torsos without arms or legs, sporting demi-cups and thongs (rear view, of course).

“Now I’d like to show you our latest ad campaign. Video please.”

We all try to look serious as the nearly naked model cavorts in graceful, orgasmic delight, back arch, leg kick, slow and smooth.

The saliva level in the room is rising. Seats are creaking. The temperature is an air-conditioned 66, but men are perspiring. I don’t want to look any of them in the eye.

Who would come to this presentation? I wonder. I have come to this day of stock presentations to learn more about this world. In other seminars, I have seen companies project images of water treatment plants and circuit boards. This underwear extravaganza catches me off guard, embarrasses me. As we exit, each member of the audience receives a small white shopping bag with shocking pink tissue, hiding the goodies. What’s inside? A thong? Creamy lotion? A condom? When 1000 men enter the ballroom for lunch, 100 are carrying small white feminine gift bags.

I wrote this in the darkened room, while the performance was unfolding. I sensed tension, titillation and irony. All these straight-faced men in structured suits and ties, watching a show that was mildly pornographic, but within the bounds of decency.

Prompt:  Write about an embarrassing situation in which you found yourself.

Copyright © 2019 by Laura Deutsch