It’s that time of year again! The time for family, friends, giving back, and…the Victoria’s Secret fashion show? The show always takes place in early November and is televised right around Thanksgiving (This year it will be aired December 2nd). Each year as the show airs, I see posts on facebook and overhear conversations girls have saying that the fashion show just makes them feel bad about themselves, while at the same time talking about how unbelievably sexy the models are. I myself have wanted to look like a Victoria’s Secret model in the past, and I went to extremely unhealthy lengths in an attempt to achieve that goal.
In my opinion, Victoria’s Secret is one of the worst perpetrators of continuing the cycle of low self-esteem among women and girls everywhere. They “celebrate women from around the world” by having Asian, African American, South American, and European models. Yet every single one of these models has the exact same body type, one that is nearly impossible for any woman to achieve.
While some women do naturally have the body of a Victoria’s Secret model, even the models themselves go to great – and extremely unhealthy – lengths to look the way they do. Take for example one of the top models, Adriana Lima. She stirred up controversy last year by revealing her diet pre-fashion show:
“In the run-up to the annual shows, [Lima] works out twice a day and drinks only protein shakes for nine days. She indulges in “no solids” for those days, and then, for 12 hours before the show, ‘No liquids at all so you dry out, sometimes you can lose up to eight pounds just from that’.”
Lima then tried to justify her extreme diet and workout patterns, urging teenagers at home not to follow her lead, and saying other athletes also have extreme diets and exercise regimens, and her career isn’t that much different than an athlete’s.
Except that it is – Victoria’s Secret models are the epitome of beauty in this country, the body type which all women are supposed to strive for in order to be truly sexy. Lima may be telling teenagers not to follow her lead, but the fact that she “dries herself out” and then proceeds to flaunt her “perfect” body to the delight of millions of viewers is telling teenagers a completely different story.
This year, Lima again gained a lot of media attention for going down the runway just 8 weeks after giving birth. Various magazines praise her for her amazing post-baby slimdown, mentioning the fact that she went through grueling workouts and extensive dieting to bring her body back to a model-worthy status. Rather than celebrate the fact that her body just made a human being, Lima did all that she could to hide the amazing thing her body had just accomplished in order to look “sexy”.
Victoria’s Secret is supposed to represent feeling sexy and confident in your own skin, but its models are doing the exact opposite of that for many women. By having models of every body type who live truly healthy lifestyles, Victoria’s Secret could finally help women to feel good about themselves. So when girls and guys watch the Victoria’s Secret fashion show on December 2nd, I hope that they try looking at it from a different, healthier point of view.