December 2, 2009

Victoria’s Secret… Not So Secret?

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , at 10:37 pm by Gina

Ok Ladies,

I know you all saw it, the Victoria Secret’s Fashion Show. Am I right? mmmyes. Anyone with a DVR/Tivo for sure! This is a loaded show for me; for one the girl in me still thought it was fun and exciting and amazing. But then the woman in me who struggles with body image (just like nearly every other girl/woman on earth) was horrified!

I’m in a good place in my life with my body image and it took a lot of years to get to a point where I am comfortable. I’m sure many women are still struggling. It helps that I have overhauled my eating and exercising habits to live in the healthiest way I can! It also helped when I stopped comparing myself to those, far too often, unrealistic images on TV, such as the Victoria Secrets models. Why would I compare myself to them anyway, we don’t have the same body type by any stretch of the imagination. I’m 5’1″ altogether– a far cry from the mile high legs the models sport on the runway!!

The final reason the show was loaded for me is a more recent, and more personal one. I recently have made a very, very close friend at college who, I realized rather quickly, struggles with her eating/body image. Watching this show with her nearly broke my heart. When I scoffed at some of the skinniest of the models she was in awe. I know that we cannot blame the media for all our problems, but it certainly doesn’t help that these models are made into some kind of superwomen, revered by all. Too often we forget that we are just as good as them, just as strong, just as beautiful.

As women it is our job to shatter this narrow image of “beauty” and show the world how broad that definition can truly be. I don’t want to see my friend hurt herself any longer because these thoughts are so deeply embedded in her brain that she doesn’t know any other way. I love her and I love the strength of women and I hope we can take positive things from the show, such as another great blogger mentioned, the model’s confidence.

My sister ended a conversation we had about the Fashion Show with this truly insightful thought,

“I think that there should be a minimum weight limit of all models of 150 lbs, because if you’re 5’7″ you should be at least 150 lbs. Thats just the way it is.” haha Gotta love the sis!

Another friend (a boy) put this as his status: “I watched the Victoria’s secret fashion show last night. Their new models are pencil thin. Not womanly like they used to be. Much disappointment.”

I think September’s issue of Glamour is a great example of this common problem when they featured this picture in an article about feeling comfortable in your own skin:

The positive outcry women made about this gorgeous image proves other women are on the same page as me! Read the entire article here

Celebrate yourself!


  1. You can definitely link me anytime šŸ™‚ Thanks! Fab post, too!

  2. Amanda said,

    Did you also see Leah’s facebook status:

    “there’s nothing like turning on the tv to the victoria’s secret fashion show for a good old fashioned self-esteem boost HAHA :(”

    I think almost every girl can read that status & sadly agree. But being an education major, I think something has to be said for the upbringing of the child in this situation too because it’s not just the media’s fault, it’s how we were raised. Gina, you know from experience that there is no food in my house, save for the “mouth watering,” low fat, low calorie, no carb, frozen dinners packed away by the dozens in my mom’s freezer. Growing up, my mom was on a different diet almost every week in a constant struggle to lose weight simply to feel better about herself & her body. I think that the way a mother perceives her own self is often the largest message young girls take away with them about their body image. That being said, I don’t believe that the media is completely to blame… it has a lot to do with the way children are raised, their potential role models, & their need for approval.

    Woops, got a little into it there?
    ā¤ Amanda

  3. Maria Gallagher said,

    I LOVE THIS POST!!! It makes me so happy to see this up and read word for word what goes through my head!! It makes me feel empowered because I know so many women out there feel the same way. Also, the Glamour article was great too. It’s so refreshing to see the mainstream media catching up with everything real women already knew. Body issues suck but everyone has them.I know I sure do but and so many girl at college does too.I just wish girls could wake up and realize how beautiful they are.

    My secret..sounds stupid but it really has worked for me. I stand in front of the mirror when i first wake up and check myself out. Tell myself I’m beautiful, I’m worth it, and I’m strong.

  4. Renee said,

    The only requirements that models have is to have a healthy BMI
    the healthy BMI is between 18.5-24.9%
    the way they calculate ths is…
    Your weight in pounds times 703/ your weight in inches squared

    so if you have an average model of 5′ 7″ who weight 110 her BMI is 17.2 which is clearly underweight. The industy comes out to the public saying this is how they will do things, but clearly after seeing that show, if you calculated ever weight of every model, I would put money down that only 1 or 2 fell into the category of a healthy BMI weight…the rest clearly are underweight…..

    • Loooove the nurse terminology!!! šŸ˜‰ haha but seriously, THANK GOD someone put it in a matter of fact way. I’m not trying to put down those models because I’m sure many of them are wonderful people. I’m just trying to call attention to the fact that something like such an unhealthy BMI is so famous, popularized and celebrated for the whole world to see!! love you ney!!

  5. Amanda, SO TRUE!!! The way my sister and mom talk about themselves is sooo harsh but also so matter-of-fact. like it is any other conversation of their days. Then, they don’t do anything about it or when they do it is often in unhealthy ways. I’m glad the two of us have been able to at least realize this, if not improve on it!! A mother is a powerful, powerful person. I hope they remember that more often!!! (and I love the rant so don’t worry!)

    Maria, I agree about the mainstream media!! On one hand these kinds of articles make me so happy, on the other hand I turn to my pessimistic side thinking that every time we take a step forward there are two steps back. ha, oh well, like most major social changes- slowly but surely!!!
    p.s. LOVE you’re secret!!! I do the same thing just not every morning. haha I should start that ā¤


    • Amanda said,

      Why do you think I always say I’m never having kids?? I don’t wanna screw them up! lol

  6. Anita said,

    Gina you hit it right on the spot. Stupid models, they have ruined my self esteem (as you know) many a times. I have someone very close to me who got kicked out of her college because she is 5’3″ and weighed 82 pounds. She grew an inch over the summer and lost twenty pounds!!!! Luckily she is recovering and will hopefully be back at her college next semester, but the whole incident has really hit a nerve with me. Imagine going back to school after being in the hospital for an eating disorder and having everyone tell you how skinny and beautiful you look. I think its so sad that we always associate those words with each other.

    • Anita! Thank you so much for commenting. That is so sad about your friend, but I have seen that happen before too. People don’t mean anything by it they just want to give a compliment- except its not a compliment when the person is struggling to overcome a disorder as psychological as that. I love you Anita and I miss you!!!

  7. Jessica R said,

    So I agree with you all, for one thing, and wanted to add a bit.
    I saw the show some but I’ve never really consciously been one of those people that says “I want to look like her” except maybe when it comes to how well their breasts look in the bra haha but the skinny tummy and twig arms don’t even appeal to me.
    As far as my self-image, I used to think “oh I need to go do some crunches and get my abs flat.” Then I had a baby. Trust me girls, your “pouch” is perfectly beautiful and fine. Mine is too, my baby is the best thing in my life and I’d gain all the stretchmarks (thousands still gleam in the right light) and pounds over in a heartbeat for him, but it is MUCH harder to accept the pouch when it’s more like an under-filled waterbed. I know that with time I’ll lose it, or not, but as long as I feel good (healthy) and turn the lights off before undressing (a joke) I’ll be fine no matter what.
    There are much more important things in my life than how I look; as demonstrated when I glance in the rear-view mirror and realize I forgot to put on make-up–again. This is true for all of us and you know what, those VS models, though beautiful, worry about it too much too. Can you imagine risking your job by eating a second (or first) serving at Thanksgiving? That job is not for me.

    • Jess this comment is amazing!! I cannot believe how mature and strong you are, because you know, even though there are other moms who are just as thankful and proud of their babies, they do not handle the baby weight as well as you do. Maybe that is because you are naturally beautiful and have never had to worry much about your eating habits etc. Basically I desperately hope I can remember this comment if I ever get pregnant (by accident of course, see facebook post haha). Anyway, that job is not for me either. at all. ā¤ thanks for commenting šŸ™‚

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