Don’t worry. This isn’t my real opinion. I’m very much of the opinion that beautiful bodies come in all shapes and sizes, and that the fashion world should reflect that. However, the above title sadly reflects a lot of people’s views in the industry, views that I can say with vehemence that I don’t share. Whilst I appreciate that the very nature of modelling arguably allows for striving towards certain ideals and standards, I’m totally opposed to unhealthy expectations and body shaming.
Why, then, am I not surprised to hear that a Victoria’s Secret model came forward this week to talk about her experiences of being forced into a body weight which isn’t natural for her? Yes, bodies can be naturally slim (these girls are genetically smaller, in most cases), but when you’re having to starve yourself to reach a certain weight, it’s completely unacceptable and not the way that things are supposed to be at all!
The claims are that former Victoria’s Secret model Erin Heatherton was pressured by the lingerie brand into losing more weight. Despite being on a strict diet and exercise regime, Erin felt that her body was letting her down. Of course, this wasn’t really the case – her body looked fantastic. But because she was being told it wasn’t good enough, it triggered a battle with depression, which she said made her feel as though she had to speak out.
Despite being featured in campaigns for the world’s top designers and having her pick of the world’s most sought after men outside of her impressive career, Erin was under a constant watch. Her agents told her to stop eating, as though this is somehow normal. In modelling, sometimes it is. She says she looks back now and realizes it was ridiculous, and she doesn’t want people who aspire to be like her to think that it’s an easy ride.
This isn’t the first time though that we’ve heard of models who are looked up to all around the world being called fat, and that’s really sad. On the one hand, these women look AMAZING. On the other hand – should ‘fat’ be such a feared word?
If we can’t all learn to accept ourselves and diversity – which we certainly need to see represented more on catwalks – then this cycle will continue. Why do some people feel the need to bring others down?
With Victoria’s Secret, they’re all supposed to be a certain height and weight. Essentially, they’re supposed to be unattainable.
I personally don’t believe this is the best way forward. These women look gorgeous, so they deserve their place, but so do women with a few extra pounds. And no, that’s not ‘fat’; that’s pretty normal.
However, normal is different for everyone. And, with Victoria’s Secret being a worldwide seller of lingerie to ordinary women, you’d think they’d realize that and show that women can be beautiful no matter what!