For the past two years I have watched the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. I watch for the over-the-top lingerie creations, the cliché pop sensations that turn up, and to see who’s my favourite model this year. I watch to see the backstage footage of the girls telling stories about their lives, and to see them interact with each other — and the pop stars. Basically I watch to see a well-constructed, super-American circus show. There’s not a moment, however, when I’m thinking of the girls’ bodies and how they should affect me. Cause they don’t.
Who watches the show?
Victoria’s Secret Angels are not regular models; they are created to be multi-commercial, sporty, goody-goody role models for (I assume) young girls who want to spend money on cutesy lingerie worn by their favourite VS girl. They want that bikini because Candace is their favourite “doll.” They watch the show to see what they want to buy.
Then there’s another group of people who (scarily) watch the show to get workout inspiration. Doutzen has such-and-such abs and Miranda must do squats all day and Karlie merely exists out of muscles — “I must have their bodies now,” the insecure scream at their TVs. Let me sketch out a day in the life of a Victoria’s Secret model for you. Imagine though, that it’s you doing all this stuff, and no, you won’t walk a runway show later this year.
Your daily VS routine
It’s 09:00. Why aren’t you up yet? You must have done at least a morning run of an hour by now. Well, seeing that you’ve skipped that, let’s break our fasts. Turn to your fridge, get out everything that is green, and pour it into your food processor. Add one scoop of peanut butter for some protein. Oh, wait! You forgot your workout this morning? Then there’s no breakfast for you! Go to work.
Lunch break! Been sitting behind your desk all morning, have you? Candace would’ve spent at least an hour in the gym already. Is there a park nearby? Go jog for thirty minutes, while using a playground to do some boot camp exercises. Kick those kids off their swing sets! They have far too little knowledge of what it truly means to look thin anyway… or of lingerie, for that matter. No park nearby? Fine, use your workplace. If anyone’s in your way, ask them to be your personal trainers. Jump over some tables to create that extra firm bum. You’re on a roll now! Lunch break’s over, no time for food, go to work.
So you’re home again. What are you doing here? Go to the gym immediately! You still have to catch up on some good three hours of working out! “Tired” comes after “thin” in your dictionary, go look it up. When you’re done, boil some eggs, bake some fish, feast on vegetables and eat a big bucket of low-fat Greek yoghurt (that’s meant to be fatty, right?) to overdo it. Now go to sleep, you’re going to need your energy.
Imagine doing this every day without getting paid for it, and without anyone ever seeing the results — besides that one week you spend at the beach each year. At the beach, where people care too much about their own body insecurities to even look around. Fun, right? Of course, this is only my idea of how intense their lifestyle is, but Victoria’s Secret Angels are molded out of clay; they were certainly not born looking like they do. It’s their full-time job. They aren’t put on television with the expectation to show what regular women look like; they are cast specifically out of hundreds and thousands of pretty-looking girls, to ensure that they are absolutely flawless looking spokesmodels with on-trend facial features and bodies that are already naturally slender. They have ridiculously expensive personal trainers and never have to cook for themselves. They are meant to portray something that is beyond any earthling’s powers: angels.
You can’t be one. And that’s okay. Imagine Real Life like that beach I was talking about earlier: people are minding their own business, hanging around in little groups, engaging in nice picnics (sometimes there’s sand in your food, but hey, can’t have it all!) and go for a swim when it gets a little too hot under their feet. There’s a soothing breeze and it might rain for a bit, later on. It’s not all sun, tan and perfection, but at least it’s real.
Photos by Amanda Schwab