Megan Rapinoe's Victoria's Secret Role Sparks Huge Backlash

Victoria's Secret has been lambasted by conservative commentators for hiring soccer star and LGBTQ activist Megan Rapinoe as a brand ambassador.

In a departure for the lingerie company, Rapinoe has become one of the faces of its VS Collective, alongside other "accomplished women" including actress Priyanka Chopra and trans model Valentina Sampaio.

The announcement comes almost two years after Victoria's Secret announced that it would no longer be appointing "Angels"—brand ambassadors who were often supermodels. The company also canceled its November 2019 fashion show, amid criticism that the annual event failed to represent women of varying sizes and backgrounds.

However, Rapinoe's appointment has drawn the ire of conservative commentators on Twitter, including Jesse Kelly, who wrote: "Some of the dumbest people run the most powerful companies on earth and it's hilarious watching them destroy themselves.

"Megan Rapinoe?? Nobody likes feminists. Nobody. Even other feminists hate feminists. They're the least appealing people on the planet."

TV host John Cardillo posted: "All of the ugly chicks agreeing with Victoria's Secret's new wokeness were the ones who didn't shop there because no one wanted to see them undressed. Dumbest. Brand. Strategy. Ever."

Jenna Ellis, who served as a senior legal adviser for former President Donald Trump during his 2020 re-election campaign, posted: "Is Victoria's Secret really trying to pretend that women aren't into being sexy and beautiful too? I don't want to look like Megan Rapinoe. I can be feminine AND empowered, thanks."

Writer Jessica O'Donnell commented: "what PR agency suggested this garbage? women want to look like the angels. no one wants to look like megan rapinoe."

O'Donnell continued in a follow-up tweet: "noone is saying she's not in great shape. but she's an athlete who doesn't have curves. the vast majority of VS's target base are curvy women. the argument that you're better represented by a world cup athlete is laughably false."

Is Victoria’s Secret really trying to pretend that women aren’t into being sexy and beautiful too? I don’t want to look like Megan Rapinoe. I can be feminine AND empowered, thanks. 🙄 https://t.co/1JiCsQnywh

— Jenna Ellis (@JennaEllisEsq) June 17, 2021

However, a large number of Twitter users praised the company's decision to hire the 35-year-old, who has won two World Cups with the the U.S. women's national soccer team.

Author Kimberley Johnson shared Kelly's tweet, adding the comment: "RT if you think Megan Rapinoe is an amazing, powerful woman who threatens misogynists."

Financial adviser and writer Lynnette Khalfani-Cox shared an image of Rapinoe from a past photoshoot, writing: "What's w/ the Megan Rapinoe slander on my TL?

"If she can rock a swimsuit like this (photographed by Sports Illustrated) why in the world can't she be a Victoria's Secret model? She's hot. Just look at her! Or do y'all just have a problem with strong, outspoken, empowered women?"

Another Twitter user, @DJ_ILLIN_PAIN, wrote: "Seeing how people are reacting to Megan Rapinoe being named a brand ambassador for Victoria's Secret just proves the point of why we need more people like Megan Rapinoe representing companies like Victoria's Secret."

RT if you think Megan Rapinoe is an amazing, powerful woman who threatens misogynists. https://t.co/q2mTgqew7R

— Kimberley Johnson (@AuthorKimberley) June 17, 2021

Announcing her new role, Rapinoe said in a statement: "I am humbled to join this group of incredible women to drive change within the Victoria's Secret brand and beyond.

"So often I felt myself on the outside looking in with brands in the beauty and fashion industry, and I'm thrilled to be creating a space that sees the true spectrum of all women. I believe in the power of authenticity and community and am excited to show what can be done through the VS Collective."

The lingerie company has also launched the Victoria's Secret Global Fund for Women's Cancer, which will donate "at least $5 million annually to examine and address racial and gender inequities and unlock new innovations that improve cancer outcomes for all women."

Newsweek has contacted representatives for Megan Rapinoe and Victoria's Secret for comment.

Megan Rapinoe joins Victoria's Secret
Megan Rapinoe speaks during Graduate Together: America Honors the High School Class of 2020 on May 16, 2020. The soccer star has become a brand ambassador for Victoria's Secret. Getty Images/Getty Images for EIF & XQ