Being one of Victoria's Secret's Angels isn't as glamorous as most people think. Mostly because it seems Victoria's Secret is clinging on to the old-school world of modeling. They still want their models to be built like a twig, and then they'll just airbrush and photoshop until they achieve the desired result.
What fun is there in being one of the most beautiful women in the world if they have to suffer on a daily basis in order to please their employer? Lately, several models have expressed their true feelings about working for the lingerie company. And as far as their fashion show goes, the dwindling number of viewers speak for themselves. Perhaps it's time for Victoria's Secret to go back to the drawing board and come up with something new that resonates better with today's women.
20 Everything Is Photoshopped
In recent years, celebs started promoting self-love, healthy bodies, and several famous women even posted natural pics with no makeup. Victoria's Secret isn't quite there yet. Not only do they force their models to look a certain way, but in addition, VS airbrushes everything. They photoshop models to make them thinner, plumper, alter skin tones, remove imperfections... When they're done, the model looks nothing like herself.
19 Constant Criticism
Victoria's Secret models are facing constant criticism by the company, which has led some former stars to speak out about the psychological damage this can lead to. Cameron Russell modeled for VS in 2011 and 2012, & said her fellow models “have the thinnest thighs and the shiniest hair and the coolest clothes and they are the most physically insecure women, probably, on the planet.”
18 Liquid Meals
Supermodel Adriana Lima said that prior to the 2012 fashion show, she went on a liquid-only diet for nine days in order to lose weight after giving birth to her first child. Apparently, she drank powdered egg protein shakes and a gallon of water a day. Twelve hours before the show, she even stopped doing that. Starvation and dehydration can be seriously dangerous, so don't attempt that at home!
17 Gotta Measure Up
Victoria's Secret models must fit a certain biological mold. Angels must be 5 feet 9 inches tall, their waist must be 24-inches, and they should only have 18 percent body fat. Considering that healthy 'normal' women have somewhere around 21 to 24 percent body fat, while professional athletes measure between 14 and 20, that means their body fat percentage is lower than some athletes. Go lower than this, and you risk organ failure and death.
16 Lack Of Plus-Size Models
Recently, VS announced a collaboration with Bluebella, a UK-based lingerie brand. Unlike Victoria's Secret, the British company is known for being inclusive in its products and marketing. VS also announced that plus-size model Ali Tate will model pieces from the collaboration. While Victoria's Secret probably loved the praise they received for taking a step in the right direction, they didn't actually hire Ali Tate - Bluebella did!
15 Brutal Pre-Show Workouts
To achieve those aforementioned dimensions, the models have to train like professional athletes, working out every day or sometimes even twice a day. Some models even adhere to scientifically designed nutrition plans. Model Candice Swanepoel said; "The best part about training for the show is the amount of hard work, blood, sweat, and tears you put into something you always dreamed of doing."
14 They Have To Do It Twice
Back in 2011, model Alessandra Ambrosio wore a set of jewel-encrusted wings weighing in at 60 lbs - and she was four months pregnant. If that's not enough, try doing it twice. The Victoria's Secret Fashion Show is performed twice due to camera positioning, etc., then both shows are edited together from different angles. No wonder the Angels have to be fit.
13 CMO Razek Was God
Ed Razek, VS's former chief marketing officer, had final say over who got to appear in the televised fashion show. He's said nobody gets in because they're somebody, the spot has to be earned. The most important thing when choosing Angels for the show was how women responded to them, because 99% of the shopping done at Victoria's Secret is by women. Razek eventually stepped down from his role at the company.
12 Creepy Auditions
Some models have spoken out about the rather scary audition process, which honestly comes off a bit creepy to us. Those who wanted to become Angels had to parade in their underwear around Ed Razek and a board of Victoria’s Secret executives. This kind of thing seems more like a bachelor party than an audition.
11 Models Must Know Their Place
It's strictly forbidden for the Angels to express opinions that don't mirror the brands. Jessica Hart discovered that after she lightly criticized Taylor Swift after the 2013 show. The model said "God bless her heart. I think she's great, but I don't know, to me, she didn't fit. I don't know if I should say that." The aforementioned Razek said that wasn't VS' opinion, and Hart hasn't walked for VS since.
10 Constantly Wearing Heels
The Angels are wearing heels almost 24/7 when preparing for the show. Heels are worn during fittings & rehearsals, which means pretty much from the moment they wake up until they're back at the hotel. It's not just for looks though, as they need to make sure they're as comfortable as possible in heels on the catwalk.
9 Fix It With Tape
Apparently, tape is a model's best friend. We've already covered how much work they put into their bodies to look the part, and we've mentioned the photoshopping and makeup, so what else could be fake? Turns out they have to use double-sided tape to keep the lingerie in place and to give their cleavages a boost. Bra inserts are also available to models who feel the need for them.
8 Insane Amounts Of Makeup
The models have to spend hours in the makeup chair before a Victoria's Secret fashion show. There's waxing, hair extensions, body makeup, facial makeup, the list goes on. There are at least six manicurists on hand, 32 makeup artists, and hairstylists that will use at least 40 cans of hairspray. We doubt it's healthy to be exposed to all these products over longer periods of time.
7 Exhausted By The Time The Show Starts
All VS Angels say the preparations are exhausting. The night before the show they have a dress rehearsal, and the day of the show seems to never end, with hair & makeup and interviews to do. By the time the show actually starts, the models are practically exhausted and, remember, they have to do it twice.
6 It's Not About The Models
Some models say this show is different from high fashion, as VS is more about the models than what other shows offer - where everything is about the clothes and the designer. That part is kinda true, but make no mistake, the fashion show is still all about VS getting sales. They're not allowing anyone who's not a perfect fit for their brand and image up on that catwalk.
5 It's A Fantasy
Ed Razek expressed zero interest in the idea of casting plus-size and transgender models in Victoria’s Secret shows. His reasoning was that the show was a fantasy, a 42-minute entertainment special, and apparently, there was no room for models who didn't fit into his fantasies. His statements also speak volumes as to what he really thinks of the models on the catwalk.
4 Really Shady Behavior
Former US model Kylie Bisutti won a competition to be part of Victoria’s Secret. In her expose, I’m No Angel, she said they encouraged Angels to “get together” with a male celebrity for the publicity they would gain from it. They didn't seem to care that she was married, and one exec asked if he could give her number to a celeb who liked her.
3 Pays Less Than Before
Lately, it seems like the money being offered to the models who do the Victoria's Secret fashion show has dropped. Two of the most popular Angels, Karlie Kloss and Doutzen Kroes, quit after rumored pay cuts. Some older contracts, such as Alessandra Ambrosio, used to be worth millions of dollars, but now they’re closer to $100,000.
2 Huge Commitment
It's not just the insane preparations and pay cuts they have to deal with. The models' stress load is increased by unpredictable working patterns, with several models having quit. Angels have to commit to a minimum of 50 days a year, usually more, to support the company. This can happen at any time and anywhere in the world, which means they'll have to give up other lucrative opportunities.
1 Only One Bathroom
At the fashion show, there are 47 models, dozens of makeup artists, crew members, journalists, and only one unisex bathroom for everyone to share. It's one thing to keep costs down, but come on, this is just ridiculous! Cosmopolitan reported that there were photographers in there doing their business alongside the models having to relieve themselves before heading out on the catwalk.
Sources: Insider, The Sun, Cosmopolitan, NY Times, Forbes