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TikTok Artist Jax Calls Out Victoria’s Secret for ‘Making Money Off of Girls Like Me’ in Hot 100-Charting Single

Variety
Variety
 2022-08-09

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TikTok star Jax ’s body-positive anthem “Victoria’s Secret” was written prior to the Hulu docuseries “Victoria’s Secret: Angels and Demons,” which offers a glimpse into the scandalous connection between Jefferey Epstein and disgraced Victoria’s Secret founder Les Wexner. But the timing turned out to be  perfect — and warranted — as the singer delivered “Body-insecuri-tea” to her social media audience of 11 million followers.

“I would like to take credit for the genius timing of the release but honestly we had no idea the Hulu documentary was coming out,” she tells Variety . “In fact, the producers saw my first Victoria’s Secret TikTok before their premiere and immediately asked me to create one for the show. … Crazy coincidence!’”

The song– recorded early in the summer — struck a nerve on the social app and now on the charts, with streaming numbers skyrocketing to 2.8 million the week of August 5 and resulting in her first placement on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart, debuting at No. 83.

The company tried to do damage control, even commenting on the video, saying the company is changing and Wexner is no longer with the brand. However, that message may have arrived too little too late.

“The intention of the song was never to go up against any specific brand,” said Jax. “The whole point was to go up against the whole culture. There are a bunch of young girls my age running marketing over there and hard-working models. This is no knock on the models. Those are powerful, beautiful girls. But at the same time, it’s not exactly my job to keep up with the growth of a corporation.”

She continued: “I just need to write songs about my truth and tell my story. And I feel bad that there has to be some damage control on that front because I did that. The point of the song is he realized he was getting called out by a culture of women standing up for themselves. So then he liquidated all the money and ghosted and went off the grid. Now we’re all sitting here with body problems and he has billions of dollars. That doesn’t sit right with me.”

The genesis of the song was inspired in early June after Jax  — the winner of this year’s iHeartradio TikTok songwriter of the year award — picked up the young girl she babysits, Chelsea, after she spent the day bathing suit shopping with her friends and was mortified by what she heard.

Chelsea had gone shopping for a suit to wear for her first boy and girl swim party in Los Angeles, and burst into tears because she was told by another girl that a suit made her look “too flat and fat.”

In an attempt to comfort Chelsea, Jax shared that she had been struggling with eating disorders since she was 12, and did what she did best to cheer her up: she wrote a song about it.

Says Jax: “It’s a really hard time in middle school. It’s a really hard time in high school. I remember experiencing it in middle school, especially when my body started to change. I started to compare myself to other girls and some girls were insecure. So they’d take it out on me, which made me insecure and take it out on the next girl. So it was one big war, zone, I guess.”

“Chelsea’s always telling me about things a girl said to her — her body, her ears, you name it and she’s insecure about it. So I’m like, gosh, ding, ding, ding. I’ve been holding back on writing a song about what I’ve been through with my body for a very long time. It was like a light bulb. I could actually do something good here for these kids.”

In a TikTok video that has now amassed over 37.6 million views, Jax takes on the lingerie legacy with a playfully scathing review: “‘God, I wish somebody would have told me when I was younger… all bodies aren’t the same. Photoshop, itty bitty models on magazine covers told me I was overweight” and laments that you “can’t have carbs and a hot girl summer.” What is Victoria’s Secret? “She’s an old man who lives in Ohio, making money off of girls like me… she was made up by a dude.”

“I always wanted to write the song ‘Victoria’s Secret’ just because I like puns. And I like to play on Victoria as a person and I never knew how to put it to work. They were just sitting in my notes section. So we finished the song. I started an idea, spoke with Chelsea, always talked to Chelsea about what’s going on in school and then finished the idea with uh, a pop-punk song.”

That “dude” — Wexner, the billionaire founder of Victoria’s Secret’s former parent company, L Brand — is the punchline and villain of the song, which has resonated so much on social media with even Rosie O’Donnell, “Married at First Sight” star Jamie Otis and “America’s Got Talent” judge Howie Mandel singing its praises.

Fans enthusiastically embraced the song making their own videos for TikTok and most recently, a young girl shared a video of herself singing the song in her camp talent show . Jax even organized a flash mob in Los Angeles outside of a Victoria’s Secret store, and women of all shapes, sizes and even a girl in a wheelchair were featured.

“The flash mob was so much fun because I can’t dance. So I had a bunch of professional dancers who, because they’re professional dancers, had gone through even worse things about their body than I had growing up,” she said. “So it was almost like a therapy retreat for two hours of them desperately trying to help me learn these moves that I couldn’t learn. And then we got there and we finished the dance and it was very cool.”

The outpouring of love has extended to the pop charts hitting the No. 2 on the Spotify U.S. Viral 50 (No. 15 Global), No. 4 on the Billboard Emerging Artist chart, and No. 10 on the Billboard Bubbling Under Hot 100 Chart. In another surprise, the song hit the No. 1 position on Tampa’s iHeartRadio countdown show of top songs on 93.3 FLZ.

“They surprised me with a lot of random support and I got to hear it on the radio. They didn’t tell me, they told me, ‘sit down, we’re going to air this.’ That’s happened in the past, especially with SiriusXM,” she said. “But they didn’t tell me it was in the No. 1 slot.”

Just this week, the song made its major market debut in New York City on Z100. The experience, Jax says, has been overwhelming.

“Not only did I feel like I maybe spread a message that people have a hard time addressing, but it was cathartic for me to hear other people sharing their stories,” she says. “So I felt really not alone anymore in this.”

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