How to Look Like a Victoria’s Secret Angel

“How to be a Victoria’s Secret Angel” Jezebel’s banner teased. “Not that you can be one. You can’t,” ran the verdict following the hopeful headline.

“What people don’t realize is that they’re rarer by far than superstar athletes,” proclaimed Ed Razek, Limited’s chief marketing officer (they also own VS). “The numbers of people who can do this are probably under 100 in the world.”

After all, angels must be skinny and buxom, but also fit enough looking to believably hold up heavy wings. Hard to do all three at the same time (or even two).

Sometime-angel, Angela Lindvall told the New York Times she jumped rope and ate nothing but spinach, chard and kale to lose 20 pounds, post-pregnancy, to “make weight.” Others hire personal trainers, take many-mile runs, do squats and lunges, and generally “kill ourselves,” as one put it.

This Thanksgiving angel Adriana Lim ate no solid foods — only powdered egg-enriched protein shakes. She then added twice-a-day workouts. Finally, no food at all 12 hours before the show, which helps her lose up to eight pounds.

And the resulting body is what all women are supposed to look like? What sort of completely insane society do we live in?

The models “kill themselves” for a few months to acquire angel status. Yet the message is that all women can look like them by simply dawning VC bras and panties.

Much of advertising works by making people feel inadequate – which comes easily when an unachievable ideal is placed before us. But Victoria’s Secret offers a product to help! Really?

The message must be working. Sales are up.

A little VS can add some fun. But don’t stress if you don’t look like an angel. Most of the time, the angels don’t either.

Originally posted on January 6, 2011 by

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About BroadBlogs

I have a Ph.D. from UCLA in sociology (emphasis: gender, social psych). I currently teach sociology and women's studies at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, CA. I have also lectured at San Jose State. And I have blogged for Feminispire, Ms. Magazine, The Good Men Project and Daily Kos. Also been picked up by The Alternet.

Posted on December 30, 2011, in feminism, gender, sexism, women and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. Angels are recquired to do so much in order to be a part of the VS business, they basically starve themselves to portray what an ideal woman should look like, yet they make them look like reality barbie dolls but in reality women don’t look like that. But, they show a lot of motivation when it comes to staying fit so kudos for that! I’d like to know how they share their secret on how to stay fit, it can benefit people who are trying to lose a lot of pounds without having to spend a lot of money on a personal trainer and they can simply do it at home!

    • You make a good poing about starving. As for staying fit, I’m not sure they are — or would be — if they actually starved all the time. And it is their job to exercise a lot, for at least a few weeks before the show. Most people don’t have that kind of time.

      Thanks for your input.

  2. I think this post is really interesting. The models for Victoria’s secret are all in excellent shape. Maybe even a little too excellent. Many young teenagers and young adults look at them and think to themselves that they also want a perfect body. I think if they know what the price they are paying for that body, they’d think differently. To get a body like the Victoria’s secret angels, you need to do a lot of exercise such as running and some may not even be able to eat solid food for months. I think this is torturing and is obviously very unhealthy for a person to be doing such extreme dieting.

  3. This hits close to home with me because I am guilty for comparing myself to “The Angels”. I must admit, I obsess over Victoria’s Secret; I love their products and I’ve aspired to look like their models for a very long time now. In fact, my aspiration goes to such extreme that I have turned my closet doors into a huge collage of VS Angel cut-outs.
    At first I saw no harm in it, for the initial purpose was decorative. As weeks went by, I caught myself comparing my body to that of the girls in front of me. In my head, they were perfect; perfect hair, perfect clothes, perfect body, perfectly sexy, perfectly perfect. To make matters worse, I obsess over their annual fashion show. I wait all year for that night, nit to see the latest trends in sexy lingerie, but to desperately admire their bodies and, by the end of the night, tell myself that “perfect” is the only way to be. I hate to admit it, but it’s true; it kills my self-esteem.
    Now, you’d expect that, after realizing how damiging these messages are to my self-image, I would stop embracing them. Truth is, it’s just too adicting. Unfortunately, I was raised in a society where a size 0 is the new 14. As women, we are targeted EVERY day by the media who tells us that we are nothing close to beautiful, and that we must buy everything under the sun to achieve THEIR version of beauty. I would love to be able to accept my body’s imperfections, but, in reality, the media will never allow me to.
    The interesting thing is that I still wake up every morning to the disapproving stares of the women on my closet doors.

  4. Having wrestled for 7 years, I know what its like to cut weight and work your ass off to make weight, but this is ridiculous. I do not agree with these models in any way shape or form. In fact these models are actually hurting their body’s. Every human body has a unique weight that it wants to be when it is being worked out and maintained properly, by not eating ,having a poor diet and over exerting their body’s they are doing more harm than good. I touched on this in my presentation for women’s psych (roughly 4-5% of women looking like “angels”). By setting the beauty standard at a near impossible bar, its no wonder why so many women have confidence issues.

  5. Panda gets mad.
    My wife has stretch marks from our babies and (oh wow so lovely) a ‘normal’ body. Every scar and line is a mark in the written history of our life together and I want and love them all. Victoria can kiss my Panda ass.

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