Without defending Victoria’s Secret, the author pushes back against some of the assumptions

Without defending Victoria’s Secret, the author pushes back against some of the assumptions that underpin the criticisms leveled against this retailer for its use of Buddhist imagery on a bikini, …

Without defending Victoria’s Secret, the author pushes back against some of the assumptions

With no defending Victoria’s Secret, the author pushes back against some of the assumptions that underpin the criticisms leveled against this retailer for its use of Buddhist imagery on a bikini, showing the controversy to be equally revealing about both contemporary consumer culture and contemporary religion. Finally, what are some of the ways the article complicates this issue?

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Sexuality, Exoticism, and Iconoclasm in the Media Age: The Strange Case of the Buddha Bikini

Sudhana saw the lay disciple Prabhu-ta upon a seat made of the precious
gems and metals. She was a very young woman: beautiful, gentle, and also fair to
behold with the first touch of youth … Her limbs were without ornament. Her
petticoats and sari were white. Aside from the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, no
one comes to see her whom she does not overwhelm with her physical and
mental superiority, the luster of her spiritual fire, her exquisite complexion, and
her beauty.

The Harmony of the Young Sapling Sutra
There is virtually no other item of clothing linked with so many ideas, images
and preconceived impressions. For the bikini belongs to the mythology of today
that shapes our concept of reality. In much the same way as the speed of a
motorcar bestows on its driver an intoxicating sense of power, and indeed just as
a gold credit card has the power to avail its possessor of infinite possibilities, the
bikini represents a blank screen open to a person’s imagination … So when a
woman wears a bikini, she … is wearing a magical thing, something that will
transform her and also turn her into someone else.

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