Rather be a Victoria’s Secret Angel or You?

  1. L.A. Loves Alex's Lemonade Culinary EventPlayboy wanted to know how average-looking Lena Dunham, the award-winning producer, director, writer and star of HBO’s Girls, would feel if she woke up in the body of a Victoria’s Secret Angel.

Not so great, said Dunham, who frequently appeared nude on her show.

I don’t think I’d like it very much. There would be all kinds of weird challenges to deal with that I don’t have to deal with now. I don’t want to go through life wondering if people are talking to me because I have a big rack. Not being the babest person in the world creates a nice barrier. The people who talk to you are the people who are interested in you. It must be a big burden in some ways to look that way and be in public.

Looking like a Victoria’s Secret Angel instead of me. I can see the upside. Women are hugely judged by their looks so in an Angel-body I’d land at the top of the pack. How nice. And I could have any guy.

But studies show a downside. Plain women are more likely to get a job interview, for instance. Maybe they seem less sex objecty and more brainy. The beautiful are also believed to be more conforming and self-promoting.

Or, therapist, Mary Pipher wrote in her bestselling Reviving Ophelia that,

Girls who are too attractive are seen primarily as sex objects. Their appearance overdetermines their identity. They know that boys like to be seen with them, but they doubt that they are liked for reasons other than their packaging.

Michael Kimmel, a sociology professor who studies men, says some guys are more interested in bragging to other guys that they nailed a beautiful girl than in having sex with her. Other guys entirely miss seeing the girl because they’re obsessed with her body.

And then there’s this: A lot of guys thought Dunham’s response was B.S. But in a Slate comment thread one woman wrote,

You think you’d be happier if you were better-looking, but would you feel the same way if you were in prison? You don’t associate being attractive with any sort of threat, but for women it can be.

On a more mundane note, it’d also take a lot of time, work, starvation and calorie-counting to keep up that body when you could be doing other stuff. Healthy is good, “perfect” takes too much time and surgery.

Related Posts 
How to Look Like a Victoria’s Secret Angel
Celebs Less Weight-Conscious
Believe You’re Beautiful – Others Will, Too

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 3, 2018, in body image and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 115 Comments.

  1. The question posed by this article is a tricky one. My whole life I’ve been conditioned to think VS models are the standard of beauty and to be beautiful I needed to look like them. From this, part of me thinks it would be grand to walk around being “universally” beautiful (and by universally I mean I would be fitting the media’s idea of beauty). To not have to wonder whether a man would be attracted to me would be kind of cool. On the other hand, I feel like if I was a VS model, I would be used a lot for my beauty and not for who I was. Men would want me just because I’m pretty and not for who I am on the inside. In addition, it would take quite a lot of work to keep that physique and many of the habits involved in keeping that body are unhealthy. After weighing the pro’s and con’s, I suppose my answer to this question would be that I would like to keep what I look like (this realization shocked me to my core). Although I am not confident in my looks by any means, I wouldn’t want to be seen purely for my looks or keep my body looking a certain way at the expense of my health. (Also I wanted to note the quote about the luckiest girls not being too beautiful or too plain really made me think about things and I think it really hit it on the head.)

  2. Between being a Victoria’s Secret Model and myself, I would rather choose myself. I understand I have a bunch of flaws, but that just makes me who I am. I really liked what Dunham said, “The people who talk to you are the people who are interested in you.”. With how I look, I feel this is very true and it makes me feel good. I wouldn’t like being tall, skinny, and gorgeous because I would feel like everyone wants to be my friend just because I’m pretty. However, this is subjective. People could see me as pretty and think that way about me, but it’s different for everyone. It all just depends on how we view ourselves. I have also read and watched countless things those models endure on a daily basis. I know a few who don’t eat for days and just drink juice, and that’s just not something I have the persistence to do.

  3. Victoria Secret model or me? Interesting question. I guess my answer depends on what mood I am in. Even though women are mostly only seen for their looks, sometimes that’s not a bad thing. I would be naïve to say that I don’t like attention from men. I do appreciate it more when I am in my sweats and makeup free, but the bottom line, I like it no matter what. Do I wish I sometimes had the perfect VS Angel body, absolutely! Would I want to have that body all the time, only if I don’t have to starve myself, cut myself, or be in any way, shape, or form unhappy. Sometimes eating that extra slice of pizza and that side of ice cream with my cake is WAY more preferred to having a perfect body though. So, Victoria Secret model or me? I’m going to have to stick with me, I still get attention AND I get to eat/do whatever I want and be happy all the time.

  4. Idania Rodriguez

    Waking up to a Victoria Secret Models body, or staying as me. That’s one interesting question considering the fact that there was once was a time that every girl would say yes. Over time, that has changed. There is a lot of back lash of how much self imaging issues the models have caused, and how they created a label in some women’s mind of how they should look, or what is considered beautiful. I personally believe that every one is beautiful, and as much as it would be lovely too be known. I am more than glad to stay as me. There is beauty in imperfections. I like being known as more than a body. I’m sure those models have amazing personalities and shouldn’t be judged for pursuing their dreams. But, I wouldn’t feel comfortable walking in my bra and underwear in front of hundreds of people, I rather keep people guessing what’s underneath my clothes. And that’s my choice. I’m happy, I’m working hard towards my own dreams, I feel beautiful, living at my own pace, so no thank you. I rather be me.

  5. In this Blog Post, “Rather be a Victoria’s Secrecy Angel or You?” it made me think a lot because growing up, I have always been obsessed with them and wanted to look like them. Shoot, I still wish I do sometimes. It’s different though when you get hit with the question directly because would I actually want to look like them or do I actually appreciate all the corky and weirdness of who I am. I have also been more of the built body type because I have been playing softball my whole life. I am also a pitcher, so my right arm is way more buff than my left. As weird as it is, I kind of like showing my friends like hey look how uneven I am and then we can all get a laugh out of it. When I would see the VS angels growing up, I did get insecure about myself because I had a lot of muscle, so I was not petite as they were. When I would wear tank tops, I hated it because my arms and shoulders were so broad. Now, I have learned to accept the fact of how I look, because I am in shape, but just my shape and there is nothing wrong with that. Its all about self-acceptance of who you are and getting societies beauty standards out of the way. I do hate how woman are judged based off of their looks though. For example, how guys would just go after a hot girl to have sex with her and just brag about it to his friends. Or even how plain woman are more likely to get a job interview because they are more “brainy”. That irritates me because that is still objectifying woman. All woman are the same, we are all human, our looks are just our looks and not who we are as a person.

  6. I feel like Victorias Secret Models can all fit into one category: tall, beautiful, and skinny. It is very rare to see one of their models who is different than that. I personally feel like I would rather be different and unique as opposed to just another Victoria’s Secret model looking girl. It has taken me a very long time to love my body and come to terms that I will never look like that. For a long time, especially when I was a teenager I thought the only way to be beautiful is to be skinny. Over time I have realized that any body type can be beautiful, and that everyone is different. Even though my body doesn’t look like a Victoria’s Secret model, it is still beautiful, and worthy of celebrating. I have finally come to terms with my beautiful body, and my beautiful curves and I wouldn’t have it any other way!

  7. I will always choose to be me. I have never been what society labels “slim”, but I am happy with my body. There was a time when I was younger where I felt unattractive because of my size and I tried excessive dieting to where I knew it wasn’t healthy. While I lost weight I felt less unhappy with myself than before I lost the weight. Sometimes I wonder if models get that feeling too and/or if they just dealt with it because of the fame and money that comes along with their “Victoria’s Secret Angel” look.

    Today I am comfortable in my body, in my luscious thick thighs and butt. I do work out and am cautious about what I eat appropriately. I do this to stay healthy because if I don’t focus on my physical activity I can easily gain weight. I am plus size and I feel sexy in my body. I would hate to be glorified and to get attention just because I’d look like a model. It is too much work, and can lead to mental disorders, to count calories to the extreme and always be concerned about maintaining a certain weight. I am happier when I am focused on me and what makes me feel sexy and not what others “say” sexy is. My partner always tells me that he loves my genuine self and he even loved me the same when I was a little heavier. Sexy is not one size or look and this is something us women should always keep in mind when we are flooded with adds showing us “Angel” looking bodies.

  8. The stigma that women bear because of the way that they look is large. Women are pigeonholed into roles because of how they look. If they are deemed by the male gaze to be too sexy than they must be a sex object. There are many women who are gorgeous but also smart that are objectified or their intelligence is questioned. I agree with Lena Dunham on this one though, I wouldn’t want the burden of being in a supermodels body. You couldn’t trust the motives of those around you. While some things in life would be easier, your entire identity would be wrapped around your looks and there isn’t much you could do to stop that. It isn’t just men, but women as well would treat you differently. I like the comment that compared being extremely attractive to being in prison. It would be apt because you would be stuck in that role of attractiveness. There is a lot of work that goes into maintaining that type of physique as well that would be an unruly burden. As someone who has calorie counted to the extreme it is difficult, time consuming and sucks away at your soul. Food no longer gives you any pleasure but is just a burden to bare. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.

  9. I personally think that I wouldn’t be happy with the body of a Victoria’s Secret Angel. The way that social media portrays the models is based on how they look and not who they are. I wouldn’t want to feel objectified any more than what I have to deal with men on the streets of my hometown. I do agree that the idea of people possibly wanting to talk to you solely based on how you look would wander every once in a while. I love talking to new people and making new connections in the world but never choose who I speak to based on how people look. My insecurities would just grow if that were something someone I knew took into account.  I would want people to know me for what I like to do or my interests, not because I’m a model and have a “nice body”. I’d also be constantly checking what I eat feeling pressured to stay as fit as other girls that are also models. It’s a very toxic mindset for me personally because I’d trick my mind into thinking I need to skip meals. 

  10. I thought the initial question presented to Lena Dunham was a bit rude. She’s a talented, successful person and their question is basically, “how would you feel if you were pretty?”. But I found her response to be thought-provoking. I feel like most women would automatically say yes, as most people have a couple things about their body they would like to change. She was able to see the merit of being an “average” looking woman in today’s superficial-beauty obsessed culture. The study in the article backed her claim that being perfectly beautiful is not exactly what it’s cracked up to be for women: “In one study of job applicants, beautiful women who included a photo with their résumé were 41 percent less likely to land an interview than “plain” women who did the same [6]. When accused of homicide, beautiful women are more likely to be presumed guilty [7]. And attractive people are also more likely to be associated with a number of negative traits, such as conformity and self-promotion [3]”. So it seems like the maintenance and outside opinions of being beautiful isn’t worth it unless you will be making money off of looks alone.

    • I am often amazed at how hurtful people can be to one another. For some reason I just don’t get used to it. But yes, I appreciate her response. It is thought-provoking.

  11. Others, including men, will better treat women who look good. This is because a beautiful person like the writer can raise the self-esteem of others, and because it is beautiful, if it has a high ability value, it will be highly evaluated as a person. Of course, beautiful women are making great efforts to protect their beauty and health so that they can add praise. Good appearance is the same as appealing excellence at the genetic level. Because beauty leads to an original image and emphasizes physical sex differences, it is easy to imagine that people who are prominent and have a healthy sexual appeal tend to stay in the eyes of the opposite sex. In addition, many people with good appearances have high self-affirmation, and many are confident. And it is friendly and easy to like. Considering these points, good appearance is one way to attract people and give them a positive feeling.

    • People assume that more attractive women are treated better but it actually doesn’t always work out that way.

      The author of “reviving Ophelia“ is a therapist who specializes in treating young women. She came to the conclusion that the luckiest girls are not too beautiful because the girls who were extremely beautiful were often used as trophies. And some well known beauties have been in abusive relationships, like Victoria’s Secret model Stephanie Seymour and Halle Berry.

  12. I think everything Dunham is saying makes perfect sense. From the derogatory male perspective which claims her words are B.S. it is easy to see the ignorance and lack of empathy towards the real world that women face everyday. It is easy to be misled by popular media which showcases only a specific type of women who qualifies to be on the big screen solely because of body shape and facial features. So yes, for a quoted “normal” woman, I can absolutely see why it would be stiffing to suddenly be placed into the body of a Victoria Secret Angel. These Angels who are so often objectified by their looks and nothing more can often lose out, I feel, on simple interactions between people who are genuinely interested and care for a person’s character rather than looks. I think it is also important to point out the insecurities that can develop from being almost “too beautiful”. Your blog post mentions how a woman’s looks over defines herself and she begins to wonder whether people like her for her looks or her personality. This to me is a tragic result of the over objectification of women in general.

  13. This question really intrigued me. At first glance, it would seem like an obvious decision. Society is always pushing for women to look like those supermodels and there are goofy movies like “Freaky Friday” with body swap scenario. Who would not want to look like a model? Female professions that depend on beauty, like modeling, make the most money. They seem to be popular and have more friends. However, after reading the blog posting, I think I agree with Lena Dunham. It can seem easier to be “beautiful”, but there are challenges associated with it too. I feel comfortable in my body and can focus more on my interests than my appearance. I do not have to worry if people are talking to me based on my appearance. My friends are genuine. Also, the maintenance for a model’s body is insane and I know it would cause me serious problems to attempt it, both mentally and physically.


    i would 100% rather be myself than chose to be a v.s model. i could see why women may want to or why children idolize them. however i think being a v.s model would be very challenging. i feel like if i were in their shoes i would feel as if someone was always judging me and or talking about me behind my back or even someone befriending me because of who i am. being myself id like to believe everyone who talks to me or is my friend because they generally care.

  15. I really liked how Lena Dunham answered this question. I think that on the surface it would seem like the obvious choice to want to essentially attain the ideal standard of beauty in today’s society, but in reality, it ends up being a sort of double-edged sword. If one day you woke up looking like a victoria secret model it would make sense that people would treat you differently. People would most likely objectify you more, place less interest/emphasis on your thoughts and ideas, and they may be more inclined to make assumptions about your life. In my mind, all of these effects would feel somewhat isolating as women may find it more difficult to relate to you, and men are more inclined to treat you like a prize to be won. While this may not be the case in every situation it seems like a life-changing side effect of looking good. I think that I personally would find it much harder to relate to the women around me and really enjoy my life if I had to be so focused on how I looked. At least for me, something that takes that much work and sacrifice wouldn’t be worth the outcome.

  16. Being beautiful as a Victoria Secret model has many advantages as well as disadvantages. Beautiful women are covered by their looks rather than what impressive characteristics they can bring into a workplace. Being average gives people more opportunity to get to know you. It help can help you grow in your career, where some that is seen only for there looks aren’t not always taken seriously and not too many people see them as being impressively smart or a leader especially a beautiful women. However, being beautiful like a Victoria Secret angel can give you more opportunities in life, meaning people wanting to be around you and workin with you. Also being a Victoria Secret Angel comes with a lot of maintenance which someone people don’t have time to for or nor do they care. For example, like having a strict diet and doing intensive workouts . That why it is important to appreciate yourself and to recognize what characteristic you have that make you important. 

  17. Society has always had an unrealistic cookie-cutter shape expectation about how women should look and act. Anything that doesn’t fit in the woman cookie-cutter had been made feel less than comfortable in their own skin. Victoria’s Secret angels are the woman cookie-cutter most women compare themselves to. I believe these comparisons are harmful to women and young girls who struggle with their ever-changing bodies. Victoria Secret should be more inclusive and support and celebrate all women because that’s who supports their business. Women should support women and not put each other down. By celebrating all women, women wouldn’t have to feel constant pressure to look and act a certain way. Society will always judge women for everything they do or don’t do, for how they look or don’t look, and how they act or don’t act. By women celebrating each other, we can try to end the division between unrealistic women standards and move forward with loving ourselves and each other without judgment.

  18. I agree with Dunham’s response. I think there are a lot of burdens that come with being so beautiful. I feel like properly expressing myself and showing who I am to the people I meet is very important to me. I would not want to constantly worry that the only reason people are interested in me was because I looked pretty. I cherrish real conversation with real people, and I worry that attracting so many people would make those genuine conversations much harder to find.Further, I agree with the article in that being beautiful comes with additional risks. Men are more likely to cat-call or harass women for their beauty. When I wear a dress compared to baggy sweats, I notice more unwanted attention from men. If I could never take that dress off, I would feel like I was constant prey, more than I already feel like I am as a woman.

  19. Mirella Corona

    I agree with Lena Dunham’s point of view with waking up in a “perfect” body. Being used to and being comfortable in my body the way I am now, waking up in a Victoria’s Secret model’s body would be uncomfortable for me. Although I don’t agree with this comment in every instance, I think she brings up a good point in saying that looking average creates a shield that protects women and creates a more emotional barrier between the people we meet. As women, we are conditioned to be cautious of men from the time we are little girls. Even as teenagers and adults, women are afraid to walk by themselves day or night and have spoken out countless times about the fear or walking past a group of men in fear of being catcalled or worse. Waking up in a “perfect” body creates a threat many people decide to overlook in order to be able to fit into a norm.

  20. My immediate response was absolutely NO- I have zero respect for the whole Victoria’s Secret franchise and the “models” dolled up as angels with wings…btw, everyone should know by now that convicted and registered sex offender Jeffrey Epstein (that was the only good thing that came out of the Florida case from years back) actually had only one client in his financial empire (how exactly did he earn his money? hhmm) and it was Victoria’s Secret and I find that both strange and telling considering what the public knows about Epstein. I think the only real “secret” is that it is all a sham. Beyond the obvious that attractive women get a lot more attention, and people generally do think they are less intelligent, plus that it takes a lot of work to maintain that attractiveness (diet, exercise, makeup, etc.), these models have a limited shelf-life. Attractiveness, the physical kind, by the standards in our society (and others), doesn’t last- women age, and no matter diet, exercise, surgery, etc. the hourglass catches up with those curves and looks. The other issue is that the body type selected to be one of these models is by far not the norm and it seems out of proportion. It all reeks of a fantasy. That all said, my immediate response was NO, but…it would be interesting to wear the wings…just for fun (but not if they are made from real feathers).

  21. I agree with Lena Dunham with regards to not wanting a body of idealized perfection, such as a Victoria’s Secret Angel. I can see where having good looks that are defined by the media creates a lot of expectations to maintain it. The tendency of society is to objectify beauty. I think it’s easy to objectify, not just beauty. I want to be good at what I do, and while I wouldn’t mind being well known in my profession, being generally famous is one of my biggest fears, because that would mean I would have to maintain both my talent and my fame. I would become just a name and a representation of a skill, losing a little bit of individuality. With fame comes expectations of fitting into a mold of beauty, and if you don’t begin fame looking how they want, you are constantly scrutinized because you don’t. While I think this is true for both males and females, think about male singers now and how they all fit some standard of beauty, while female actresses/performers are held to an even higher standard of beauty. You rarely hear comments about a change in a man’s appearance, but its front page news when a female star “isn’t a natural blonde” or something as arbitrary as that.

  22. A woman should feel good of her physical appearance rather than worrying about what the media has to say about her. Many woman are always put down if they’re not curvy enough have a big bust or aren’t skinny enough. The problem society has today is all of this they objectify a woman based on their looks. They rather look at a woman who really doesn’t have enough clothing or is thin. But in reality like Mary Pipher said “Girls who are too attractive are seen primarily as sex objects” I do believe this because men look at females like if they’re some price of meat they could go chew on for a couple times and then leave. A female should always feel good about her appearance because it’s what she thinks that matters most. If she doesn’t have the self confidence men will take advantage of that. My sister went through this because she felt like she’s wasn’t good looking enough and later realized that she was better off without her boyfriend. Those models who do so much work to get the attention from society should really focus on themselves so that society could focus on who they really are.

  23. I find it sad that nowadays in society women are still strongly judged by their looks and when one does look like a Victoria Secret model and meets the beauty standards they still have to worry about whether or not people are talking to them just for their appearance, as Lena Dunham mentioned. I personally would rather just be me especially with the way that girls who are too atractive can be viewed, “as sex objects” or as less brainy. In general I don’t want my looks to affect how others treat me. I am happy with how I look and don’t try to make myself look beautiful to please others, especially because I think it is just an extra worry that isn’t necessary since I am so focused on my education and getting into college. There are so many girls who starve themselves and use plastic surgery in order to look like Victoria Secret Models when in the end they’re still faced with social challenges. Women shouldn’t have to deal with this judgment that is based solely on our physical appearance.

  24. Thank you for writing this post about body and self positivity. I loved reading Lena Dunham’s response to the question and aim to be just as self-confident one day as her. I have no doubt that her response has inspired many young girls to ignore haters and be proud of who they are.
    To address the question, I know I have definitely hoped for a more “beautiful” outward appearance, but I also understand that the majority of models work for their bodies. Though models have naturally attractive faces, I also think many models are unhappy because of the pressure that others put on them to keep their beauty. So I wouldn’t want the pressures of staying beautiful that models get. But to answer the question: Do I wish I could have a Victoria Secret Angle body? Honestly, I’d be lying if I said no. I wouldn’t want the life of a Victoria Secret Model, but it’d be nice to have a naturally attractive appearance. Unfortunately, I do think people who are more attractive have it easier. Whether it comes to getting a job to being in a relationship, society, in some cases, seems to favor prettier people.
    Do you think more attractive people have it easier?

    • I’ve heard more than one supermodel say that super models are among the most unhappy and insecure people. Despite apparent “perfection” the fashion industry is constantly picking up them for tiny things. And I’ve been surprised at how many of them have ended up in abusive relationships.

  25. The faulty logic used to create the assumption that women who are beautiful are typically less smart is socially constructed. Even if this may be a pattern people see, I have a feeling it is a self-fulfilling prophecy – if we as a society have that expectancy, it will most likely be reflected back in some ways because people respond to our consistent messages of expectation based on external and social characteristics. Either way, Victoria’s Secret Angel or not, by choosing one or the other is feeding into the typification of women based on assumption and not by actual correlation independent of the confounding social-intellectual expectancy of people based on looks that would probably largely change results if we somehow were able to control for social and intellectual expectancy. To me this question, while important in assessing how beauty and body standards affect image on an individual level, within one’s career, within one’s social life and social standing, I think it is a question that ultimately feeds into this unhealthy idea that you have to be one or the other. No matter one’s health, someone’s value should not be determined by how “healthy” they seem, or what they do, or how they look. I definitely agree with that women are sexualized and invalidated and belittled about their individuality (anything besides their looks). Many of the “pros” and “cons” you addressed about high levels of (socially accepted and perpetuated norms about) attractiveness vs. being otherwise stem from social expectation and the pressures that accompany them. They seem to be the more important topic in this post than the question posed, as I find the question to be punitive in that it oversimplifies the conversation to the point of inaccuracy – the point is missed completely by asking an either/or question.

    • Well, someone asked that either/or question and the person the question was addressed to had an interesting perspective. Unfortunately, we live in a society that makes a lot of assumptions and these assumptions often are not Correct. Many people assume that anyone would prefer to look like a Victoria’s Secret angel without considering the downside.

  26. I wouldn’t want to be a supermodel, but at the same time, I would like to. The reason for that travel, meeting new people and more. At the same time, it’s too much work and a strict diet that I won’t follow. I’ve had always cared for my looks definitely about my weight, I eat want ever I want, tell know that I can’t, I have done sports soccer, track and weight lifting class in high school and I have gone to the gym but I did that motivation to keep going, I never liked makeup, did not care for it, not just because I don’t know how to apply it but it because it never got my attention to use it. All-natural beauty is what I have been told. Also, you have a good complication of skin and you don’t look your age. Like when you die your hair, add highlight, never done that. I’m still the same person and I still look the same since I finished high school, just thicker after my 3 kids. I have noticed that I’m more interested in my studies know then when I first started college and I take it more serious than ever, even though I have kids, I’m showing them a great example to continue with education and take the same steps as me. Even when I see all these famous people on social media, new, tv show, I see perfection something that I would like but then I don’t. They also make it seem effortless, and while most models are society’s definition of naturally beautiful, many must work for it. While I myself don’t have the confidence, because I let myself go after having kids and know I’m trying to get back in shape and I don’t have driven that I use to, or patience to keep up appearances because I don’t dress up as when I was high school and had a family, but I do hold ton of respect for those Victoria’s Secret Angels, that have all the confidence in the world to dress like that and walk on stage proudly with the hard restriction that they have to follow. Beauty is everything for this world and perfection.

    • Being a Victoria’s Secret model does not come naturally to anyone. The models train for it by eating nothing but kale, working out incessantly, and dehydrating themselves 24 hours before the show.

  27. PinappleJelly

    I personally, wouldn’t want to be a supermodel, its too much work. I’ve never really cared for my looks, I eat what I want to, and I don’t have time for guys. Growing up, I played soccer and no one ever taught me how to put on makeup (not that I ever held a desire to). Not much has changed since then, I’m more interested in my studies than dating and have only ever had one boyfriend in high school. Now in college, keeping up with a relationship, along with all my other responsibilities, sounds stressful. On the other hand, the media always portrays these models as perfection, an image that society needs to strive for. They also make it seem effortless, and while most models are society’s definition of naturally beautiful, many have to work for it. While I myself don’t have the confidence, drive, or patience to keep up appearances, I do hold a ton of respect for those Victoria’s Secret Angels.

  28. I love Lena Dunham for her quirky and unique perspective on everyday topics like this. I recently had this discussion with my friends and we all were in agreement with Dunham’s perspective. One friend of mine said “When I was younger, I was a lot thinner and more attractive, but I was groped, assaulted and catcalled. As I put on weight, all of that stopped. I feel so much safer being a heavier girl.” Quite literally this statement broke my heart. Here was a beautiful, intelligent and kind woman hiding herself in order to feel safe. And yet, I can almost relate to her feelings. Being a Victoria’s Secret model won’t change your self esteem, it won’t make you a nicer or kinder person. All that changes is your appearance. As the article states, many “model” women are approached and used simply because they are pretty, they are trophies. I think John Mayer said it best: “If you’re pretty, you’re pretty; but the only way to be beautiful is to be loving. Otherwise it’s just ‘congratulations about your face’.” Wouldn’t you rather be known and approached because you are smart and kind vs because of your looks?

  29. To have the same look as a Victoria’s Secret model would not only be incredible difficult to achieve (working out, breast augmentation, etc.), but difficult to maintain. I, for one, would not enjoy depriving myself of binge eating ice cream or enjoying something that isn’t nutrient-packed every once in a while. To be constantly counting calories, weighing yourself, and worried you don’t look perfect just doesn’t sound great to me. I believe if you are unhappy with your body, go ahead and do whatever makes you happy! Go to the gym, get toned, eat healthier, create a better lifestyle for yourself. However, it’s incredibly unfair for Victoria’s Secret to tell us what we should look like, they have no plus sized models, limited sizes in their stores, and constantly make us feel like we have to be the girl in the window to be beautiful. It’s just ridiculous.

    • And it’s even worse. The Angels models don’t even eat healthily. They eat like, nothing but kale for months and then dehydrate them selves 24 hours before the show. No one should live their lives like that.

  30. This was a hard post to read. Mainly because, as women, we are judged by our looks, and society is constantly telling us what to buy/watch/do and as a teenager it can be easy to get wrapped up in that and to get so bombarded by images that it makes you feel less than if you don’t look a certain way. As someone who was bullied as a child ( as I’m sure a lot of people are, because, you know, kids can be assholes) and as someone who developed an eating disorder and ended up in hospital because of it, this is hugely relatable for me, so I applaud Dunham for being comfortable in her skin, I applaud anyone who is really because that takes a lot of work. It takes a lot of work to feel like you’re enough no matter what your clothing size, or what you look like ( whether that’s like a Victoria’s Secret Angel or not).

  31. First of all. I think you should be the one that you want to be. If you want to be a Victoria’s Secret Angel, then you have to go achieve your goal, but I don’t think everyone wants to be a Victoria’s Secret Angel. In this world there is not any particular character is the best. I think the most you want to be which is the best choice for you. I remember that when I was 6 years old, my teacher asked us that what do you want to be when you grow up. Everyone in my class says Scientist, doctor and teacher, but me, I said I want to be a Taxi driver. My teacher said to me that you should have a better goal. Honestly, I think there is not a better goal. Goal for everyone is the same, there is no better or worse. So be the one you want to be.

  32. Lena Dunham brings up interesting points when she talks about the downsides of being attractive. I agree with Dunham that the downsides of appearing like a Victoria’s Secret Model outweigh the benefits. But, I do think that being attractive has many advantages in life. I understand that being attractive in the way of a Victoria’s Secret model leads to gross objectification by men and the risk of being judged by your appearance rather than intellect. I would much rather feel that I am being judged for the quality of work I produce rather than my appearance. I agree with Dunham that one is more likely to form friendships and connections with people who care about character rather than superficial things when one is less “attractive.” This can be very damaging for a woman and is undeserved. I do think that being generally attractive has benefits for how others interact with you and job prospects. As wrong as it is, people have implicit biases and often that is towards appearance.

  33. I think we all have this idea of a perfect person and think that if you changed the way you looked things would be much easier and better. I think that these beautiful Victoria secret angels also have their own insecurities and have their own battles. They have to maintain their weight and just as it was commented on this blog they can also be unhappy because they do not know when someone approaches them because of their appearance or because of them as a person. Self-image becomes their job and can control every aspect of their lives. Yes, they are beautiful but I can say that it makes their life twice as hard. Society has labeled women that are beautiful as having all the beauty and no brains, which of course is not an accurate statement, but now is stuck in a situation where they have to prove themselves how capable they are.

    • Yeah, a lot of people have several cosmetic surgeries thinking that will solve their problems but their looks aren’t the real problem so they are never satisfied.

  34. I really enjoyed reading this blog post because I think it put a lot of how I personally feel into perspective. I would have had the same response of not wanted to be a Victoria Secret Model. I think that there is so much baggage that comes with being an Angel that having everyone swoon after you is not really worth it at that point. People look up to these Angels because they are society’s idea of beauty but the pain and suffering that it can take to get to be an angel is not something that i would personally want to put myself through. I also really like that it was pointed out how women who are stereotypically hot are not taken as seriously as other woman and I think that is a sad hard truth that we all have to face. How a women looks suddenly starts to affect her ability or it makes her be seen more and more as an object.

  35. This blog post was really interesting and brings up some really going points. For example, how a woman’s virginity determines if she’s worthy enough of dating. This is an issue I see quite frequently in my environment as well. If a girl is not a virgin, boys will tend to see her as a sex object and not wife/dating material even though they, themselves, are not virgins.
    I would much rather be myself and have someone like me for me, not my body or appearance. Personally the nicest and most meaningful compliment I have received is “Do you read a lot? Because you sound very articulate” not “I think you’re hot.” The first compliment shows that they were engaging in the conversation and listening to what I was saying (or how I was saying it), while the second just shows that all their looking at is my appearance.
    One thing Victoria Secret models have that I would want is their self-control and dedication when it comes to good eating habits and regular exercise.

  36. Brisa Villa-Becerra

    My answer is that I don’t want to be a Victoria’s Secret Angel because I like the way I am. Being a an angel requires you to be a certain type of way for example, you have to be skinny and pretty. A lot of girls tend to complete these expectations because they want society to see them as something perfect. They inspire to look like those women some day which then turns out bad because of how much pressure they put on themselves to look like that. For example we have girls that starve themselves and girls that make adjustments to their bodies. What can go wrong with these adjustments is that girls can damage their bodies and never go back in looking like they were before. There are many famous people that have came out of surgeries in really bad shape which I think is truly sad because they take their body for granite. I would never alter my body to follow the society’s expectations.

  37. Heck yes, I’ll take being a Victoria’s Secret model any day, over being me. Great for Lena Dunham, who is cool and popular and friends with Taylor Swift and has what appears to be a successful career and life. She thinks it must be a sad life to be a VS model because she’d never know if someone is talking to her for her looks or because they really want to talk to her. Boohoo.

    Well I’m a lifelong outcast, laughed at my whole life because I don’t dress like everyone else, have horrible hair, a long face and big ears. I look like a horse when I laugh, by the way. I’m still the awkward, ugly duckling I was when I was 12, and have given up on relationships at 56. It just didn’t happen for me. So the great love of my life is my rescue dog. We’re very happy together.

    People are drawn to pretty people. My sister is gorgeous; she breaks a nail and she gets 150 likes and comments on FB. I could feed all of Africa and get 2 or 3 likes on FB. No one cares about anything I do, no matter how kind or big or wonderful it is. And I’m really an upbeat typically happy person! It’s been a weird joke of a life. So yeah – I’ll take the horrors of being a VS model. Oh, to wear those wings on that runway for just a few seconds and have smooth skin and long flowy hair…what a dream!

  38. Men care about a women’s virginity way too much. More than the women herself.Yes, I agree with the statement that virginity plays a big role on how we treat women. Majority of men are pursuing a women who is a virgin or has a low body count(number of sexual partners). And the women who do have a high body count are not seen to be wife material. Even us women judge other women who have decided to have multiple partners throughout their lives.Personally I think there are no set of rules that define virginity. There is no such checklist that one checks off to see whether you qualify as a virgin or not. I think thats more of personal decision, because what I consider a virgin might not be what the next person considers a virgin. And that’s okay. Also the perception of virginity can also change for an individual as time progresses. What one thinks that virginity is as a teen could change as we grow and mature into adults.But with what I don’t agree with is “it ain’t sex unless you orgasm”. I think it’s BS because if a women gets raped and orgasms does that mean she has had sex and is no longer a virgin?

  39. Would I rather be a Victoria’s secret than myself ? Yes, a one-hundred percent yes. I wish I had the self control these model have. I wish I had the tenacity these model have. I wished I have the motivation to get keep up with the body these models have to maintain.These women work hard to portray an image, they have worked hard to be in the position they currently are in. They have chosen to put their bodies threw so much in order to be one of the most well known models in the world, a Victoria’s Secret Angel. I personally don’t think they get enough credit for what they do. I always hear about how “The Angel’s” portray a false image regarding women, but they are just fulfilling their job. These women are just doing that what their job requires them to do.

    This post does bring up a good point. Pretty women do have problems that us ugly women don’t have to encounter. Just the other day my sister was on her way to school and she was followed by a guy in his car for a couple of miles because he wanted to get her number. She didn’t think that was cute in fact she was so scared thinking she was going to get kidnapped. Attractive women also have the issue of being cat-called when they are walking down the street and they have to fear walking alone at night. I can honestly that since I don’t fit into societies norms of attractiveness I don’t have to worry about any of that. I completely agree with the person’s comment on “attractiveness being a threat of women”.

    But with that being said, I do envy the women how can look at themselves and be completely happy with the image they see in the mirror. Just like Whether they are an Angel or not. I don’t think every women should aspire to have the body of Victoria Secret Model, because at the end of the day they are just fulfilling a job.

  40. Isabelle Chappuis

    I found this blog post very interesting. My answer to the question “rather be a Victoria’s Secret Angel or you?” is that I would rather be myself than a Victoria Secret Angel. While yes, it would be nice to have the body of a Victoria Secret model, it is not a sustainable and healthy lifestyle. As a Victoria Secret model, your job is to have a “perfect body”, their career consists of doing extremely hard exercise, surgery and do not eat enough to look the way they do. I personally do not believe that kind of lifestyle would be worth it. Victoria Secret angel’s have many men after them, but it is all for the wrong reasons. I think it is so sad that they are looked at as “sex-objects”, I would rather have a man like me for my personality and maybe a little bit my looks rather than just solely based off of what I look like. Men who do end up getting with a Victoria Secret Angel show them off. I would not want men to be into me just because of my looks and because of how my body looks. Another point that stuck out to me from the article was, “plain women are more likely to get a job interview, for instance. Maybe they seem less sex object and more brainy”. The image of being a Victoria Secret Angel takes away from the women’s personality and brain which is so unfortunate and should not be the case but they are viewed and treated this way.

  41. I found this article really interesting to read because I never really thought about the downside to looking like a model. I have aways thought about the benefits of having the “perfect” physic but never considered that it would attract people that might not be the greatest, that would want to approach me solely based on how I look. Depending on how good these people are at acting you can easily forget who your true friends are and who wants to be with you. Being in college I find myself hearing different stories from different guys and I noticed something that was mentioned in this article, that guys would just talk about who they slept with and brag about it because of the persons looks. This is really disappointing to me because there are so many things you could talk about other than bragging about sleeping with someone, its really objectifying but its something you commonly see wherever you may be.

  42. Christine L Hansen

    I think the main problem with this guy asking Lena Dunham if she wants to have a body like a Victoria’s Secret model is that she obviously does not want that. If she really wanted, she would have a body like that. It seems like he’s expecting her to say something self deprecating so he can get a laugh. I don’t think its fair to assume everyone wants to look like a Victoria’s secret model just because that’s the preference of most men. The expectations imposed on those in the public eye are unrealistic and potentially harmful. Attractive people do have an advantage over average people in normal everyday situations regardless of what the article says. At the very least they don’t get people asking them whether or not they are satisfied with their own bodies. There definitely can be drawbacks but you can find a problem with anything if you try hard enough. Being treated differently than someone because they are more conventionally attractive hurts. Of all of the things he could have asked it’s kind of sad that he only wanted to know is “Are you insecure about your body?” He ignored her accomplishments completely so could attempt to be funny.

  43. First of all, the title of this blog got me interested off the back. The question reminded me of my high school days when my mothers Victoria’s Secret catalog would come in the mail. I can remember sitting on the couch envying these older women, Marissa Miller was hands down my favorite. This blog shared some interesting views but I can’t say I agree with all of them. The statement “…it’d also take a lot of time, work, starvation and calorie-counting to keep up that body…” I find partially true for the fact that genetics can also play a huge role as to how some models can stay super skinny. Also in that same statement “…when you could be doing other stuff” makes me imply that an individual is lazy and sounds like a bit of jealousy. I absolutely believe in the last statement “Healthy is good, “perfect” takes too much time and surgery.” I don’t think models are perfect and some may have even been under the knife or syringe to reach that perfection but that is a preference. Healthy doesn’t necessarily mean a woman has to be a size 2, it can be simply understood as a proper balance in diet and exercise. Overall, I really liked the blog.

  44. This post does a great job of pointing out the negative situations that go along with being more attractive or being a Victoria Secret model. Those women are beautiful and they do work hard to get their bodies in shape to look like that but it isn’t necessarily for everyone and thats what people need to remember. People need to remember that you don’t have to be beautiful to look like that. People are definitely beautiful in their own way and it is important as a society to continue voicing out that everyone is beautiful no matter what shape or size. I also feel like the stigma against women who are “very attractive” are looked at for sex and not anything else it also really dissatisfying to hear and that should not be something people consider because people have way more to offer then they way they look and women should know that. Answering the question I would rather be me, I don’t need to be a Victoria’s Secret model to know my worth.

  45. This post does a great job of showing the negative effects that the media has on women. Considering the fact that the Victoria Secret show is filled with beautiful women, it makes sense why people watching this show would feel bad about themselves. Due to this, I believe that there are two issues that arises with shows like these. In my opinion, I believe that rather showcasing latest trends that fashion shows aim to do, I do agree that these women are seen as sex objects. For example, considering the fact that all the women in this show are gorgeous, this obviously draws attention to both men and women. However, the effects are different. For example, in terms of the effects that Victoria Secret models have on normal everyday women, I believe the outcome is the issue of insecurity and makes women want to be like these models. This causes them the psychological damage of their self-esteems and how they perceive themselves. Yes, I agree that these models have worked very hard to obtain the bodies that they wanted to achieve for the show, however, there are also “backstage” problems that they have to go through that they do not discuss “onstage”. Some of these issues include starving themselves to get unhealthy bodies and unrealistic diets that are just impossible for an average person to have. I believe that beauty is found in every person no matter where they are from, how they look like, their nationalities etc. If a woman is being someone that they are not just because a model does, then ultimately, they are not being themselves. It is sad to see the extremes that women go through just to look like these models which is absolutely sad. On the other hand, I doubt that men have to go through the same struggles that women viewing this show might have. Rather, I believe that these shows are what causes men to develop “ideal types” when searching for their partners, and to me, that is an issue.

  46. The blog, Rather be a Victoria’s Secret Angel or you, starts off by asking a producer, Lena Dunham if one day she woke up in a victoria secret angel body, how would she feel? Her answer was that she would not feel very good. Her argument is that it would be a huge load to carry. Trying to be attractive take a lot of energy and it is not something she wants to devote her time in. The blog then talks about how women who are more attractive are portrayed as less smart. Also, this blog states that men just date women who are hot because they want to show them off to other men. I don’t necessarily agree or disagree with this. I have met attractive, beautiful, women that are very intelligent. I’ve also met a lot of women who wish they had those bodies but they are just not willing to sacrifice overeating or they simply don’t want to work out. Also, some women prefer to devote their time elsewhere. For example, watch tv, sit around and eat junk food, etc. Ugly doesn’t necessarily mean intelligent and hot/beautiful doesn’t necessarily mean dumb. Also, I have met many women who only date attractive intelligent men to show them off to other girls. So, I think it can go both ways. I don’t necessarily think it is ok. As a tall skinny woman, I like who I am and how I look. I don’t starve my self. I think I eat and work out the right amount. I do limit the amount of junk food I eat. I also notice that when I overeat or eat junk food I feel sluggish and get acne therefore, I limit the amount. If I was given the chance, I probably would not become a Victoria Secret model. However, my reasons are not because of the appearance or because these women have a certain stereotype but because of the nudity. I don’t think I would like my parents to see me model underwear. Just be who you are. I think trying to be someone you’re not will only make you miserable. I do enjoy reading your blogs. They are fun and interesting. Thank you 🙂

  47. Rather be a Victoria’s Secret Angel or You?

    In our society women that are drop-dead gorgeous and emulate the look of Victoria’s Secret model do initially capture the attention of men. However, beauty fades and men know this fact to be true. A beautiful face and body can only captivate men temporarily unless they have more to offer than a fantasy come true and bragging rights to their friends.

    It’s questions like the one proposed to Lena Dunham that will make a woman with low self-esteem feel like she is inadequate because she doesn’t fit the stereotype of American beauty. I love that she responded to this question and represented for all the women in the world that have no desire to replicate the look of a model or maintain the image for men that are shallow and can’t see the beauty that is in all varieties of women. Moreover, you can be an average woman and still be just as remarkable, intelligent, and successful in life without your beauty being the reason for your achievements.

    On the contrary, more and more women are coming to terms that their natural beauty, intelligence, and self-acceptance is quite attractive and contagious to men and empower other women to accept themselves for who they are. I am a huge advocate for recognizing that true beauty exudes from the inside out. What makes a woman beautiful is not just her looks! It’s also her ability to understand her value, strength, and purpose regardless of her figure and features. I’d rather be me because I’m my kind of beautiful, successful, happy, and priceless for being exactly who I am.

    • Once a man gets past the question of how beautiful a woman is, the next items on the agenda are how she is in bed and whether she can make a sandwich.

  48. I think everybody is a Victoria secret model I think everyone is pretty in their own ways and we all need to knowledge that and let everyone know they don’t need to wear makeup nice and expensive clothes to be pretty body needs to be a size 1 in order to look or feel beautiful but sadly this is the world we live in. Nowadays guys think unless we are a size 1 we are t worth talking to which is really bad and disappointing of how things have turned a toll to but we need to start encouraging girls to embrace their natural beauty.

  49. I agree with Lena Dunham, I would not be a Victoria’s Secret Angel. They work hard to get their bodies in the right shape but I on the other hand don’t have their tenacity. I work out on and off but I never have a set schedule and will always put off working out but what always gets me is diets. I can’t do diets, I think if I workout then I should be able to eat whatever I want to, not be restricted. Their is a good side to being a Victoria’s Secret Angel such as the attention they get, all the attention would feel good at first but I would get tired of it. I would want my privacy after a while. The Victoria’s Secret Angels should be given more credit because they work hard to be where they are they need more than just a pretty face to be successful.

    • Also, I think a lot of people don’t realize how damaging looking like a Victoria’s Secret angel is on the body. The women who do this exercise and eat nothing but kale for weeks and then the hydrate themselves for the show. Even they can’t keep it up full-time. It’s not quite so bad for the other VC models but consider that these are women who naturally have bodies that fit the Victoria’s Secret style and yet they still starve themselves. At least one model decided to stop because she was worried about the example she was giving her niece who started starving herself.

  50. I, truthfully, have no desire to look like the Victoria’s Secret models but I have my own reasons for this. The first reason for this is because I have a lot of confidence in my looks and I almost never feel insecure about my appearance. This is not because I think I am extremely attractive but it is because I naturally stray from society’s ideal beauty standards. When I see women on Instagram who are famous for their looks or even Victoria’s Secret models, they all look the same to me. This is because they all seem to have the same exact body parts and proportions and same exact features: small nose, big lips, cheekbones, etc. This is because they get surgical procedures to look how society wants them to. To me, I cannot see beyond these surgical procedures as it looks way too unrealistic for me. I do not compare them to other women because it just is not practical in my eyes and I also do not find these standards attractive. For me, I live by “beauty is in the eyes of the beholder” and I truly believe this.

  51. In today’s society, looking like a Victoria’s secret angel is deemed the goal. We are forced to think that that is what we should look like but in reality it is unhealthy. It is an unrealistic image of women and saying that in order to be beautiful you have to be thin, tall and curvy. Practically all women do not look that way which creates insecurities and self image issues. But the women that do look like this also face the struggle of objectification. Men feel entitled to reduce them down to a thing they can just use for their pleasure. So in my opinion, I would much rather be myself than a Victoria Secret Angel. Sure I am not content with the way I look but it sure is a lot better than practically starving myself and constantly objectified by random men and women.

  52. From what I remember from reading some studies on attractiveness several years ago, most people benefit from being more attractive.Despite this I think Dunham’s opinion on wishing to remain average is a grounded perspective. People as a whole can be harsh and shallow by forming quick opinions off of nothing but physical appearance. I think some attributes people assign to others can be complete opposites just based off of appearance. If a person is attractive being quiet can be seen as an endearing shyness whereas if a person is unattractive they can be seen as aloof. I’d also echo Dunham’s point about attractiveness masking others’ intentions from you. If you’re attractive how do you know if people actually care about you and your thoughts or just care that you’re attractive? Being a Victoria’s Secret model has the additional issues that modeling puts forth as a whole. It promotes unrealistic beauty standards. Although the knowledge that models’ beauty is often enhanced through illusions created by angles, lighting, and photoshop might be easily available it’s still hard to avoid the bombardment of images on what beautiful woman “should” look like. All the methods used to enhance a models looks makes it so the model themselves couldn’t live up to their own projected image. It is doubly concerning when the beauty standards pushed forward can be physically unsafe. Some of the bodyfat percentages being lauded as the ideal standard for sexiness are actually unhealthy in both men and women. A certain level of bodyfat is essential to having a healthy body and the bodyfat levels promoted in modeling potentially could imbalance hormones. Lastly modeling looks like a very cruel job. Your value exists solely in your attractiveness, a fleeting resource. I’d imagine being extremely attractive would be stressful because aging is unavoidable and you’d be losing the main attribute that people see when they look at you. All in all modeling seems to place attractiveness on a pedestal and for what reason? People who don’t meet that standard can feel inadequate and the people who do will have to contend with their defining attribute constantly fleeing from themselves.

  53. I do agree with Lena Dunham to some extent. Not every woman has a VS body, but a lot of them are just naturally tall and skinny without needing to have a crazy diet. There is nothing wrong with having a VS body and there is nothing wrong with not having one. I’m a curvy latina with big boobs and a kinda big butt and the way that a tall skinny women is looked at by people my body type is also looked at the same. Although, to me it seems like Lena is making it seem that having a VS body is a complete nightmare. But everyone is different and everyone has a different body type. Now with how women keep up with their body is something totally different because many women are not comfortable in their own skin and starve themselves just to look like VS models. It is harder said than done but I think every women should be comfortable in their own skin. I really do agree with when said that more attractive looking women are seen as sex objects and “plain” women are seen as brainy. Looks do not determine how smart you are.

    • Yes, I’m sure that having a Victoria’s Secret body would not be a complete nightmare. But she put an interesting slant that a lot of people may not have thought about.

  54. yaritza Valladolid

    When it comes to expressing my thoughts on beauty runways like Victoria Secret models. For example, I strongly think that Victoria Secret is creating an unrealistic woman. Which clearly it is leaving aside the true value and importance of women. Therefore the image that Victoria Secret is portraying with these women is the image that a woman is valuable through a lightweight in order to be a beauty. In other words, this image to young teenage women can lead to believing that in order to be accepted you would have to have an eating disorder to achieve your objectives to have somewhat an image like these models. I also strongly believe that it is necessary to find alternatives to increase the idea that a women’s value is based on their own morals, not their aspects. Especially when we live in a society where women are always considered inferior to men. After all, women should learn how to accept themselves just the way they are.

  55. As a male, I do sure like to see a nice body but I don’t think it is suffice for me to marry her. There is more to a woman than there body. I also feel for these because a lot of men are only interested in looks and not what the person really is so how can a woman tell if the guy asking for her number is really into her or just into her behind and/or chest. I respect how Lena Dunham responded to the question. It just goes to show how not all woman wants to have that stereotypical “sexy” body. It really shows how confident she is in her own skin. A woman who is comfortable in her own body is much more sexier than a woman who has a slim waist but starves herself just to be in that so-called “perfect” body that everyone wants.

  56. I find this topic really interesting because I am tall and skinny and some of my friends sometimes ask me why I’m not a model. My answers most of the time is because I like to eat and I would not be able to maintain a strict diet. But apart from that, the other reason is that in my opinion, Victoria’s Secret angels look too skinny, even though they said they’re eating healthy and is only because models have a strict diet, in my opinion, they’re still too skinny. And is true I said I am skinny, and I also eat healthily, but I don’t have a strict diet and compare to Victoria’s Secret Angel I’m not that skinny. And is true I also think that there is a possibility that I could have or date any guy I like if I looked like a Victoria Secret model. But as mention in the blog, what assures me that the guy is not going out with me because I am a model or because of how I look. In the case that he is going out with me because of how I look what would happen if I gain weight would he leave me? Would I look less attractive to him? All those questions would not let me feel secure about myself. And that’s why I will rather be me.

  57. I found this article interesting because it shows that not all women are obsessed with having perfect bodies or looking perfectly sleek and thin. As a woman, I am very worried about my weight and want to be as thin and attractive as possible. While I am not as obsessive over myself and my appearance as many other women, I still do not want to be overweight, either.
    What surprised me to hear in this article was that the less a woman looks like a supermodel, the more successful she will be in certain ventures, such as job interviews. Furthermore, I found it interesting how women who do resemble super models are often viewed solely as sexual objects, not as real human beings. And the thought that some women consider looking attractive to be a threat intrigued me because it shows that not all women are worried about imitating super models.
    Even after reading this, I still want to live healthy; however, I do not necessarily want to be “perfect”.

  58. In a blog that the main topic is equality between men and women, this post tendency is to stereotyping the models and consecutively, all the women in the Victoria’s Secret Angel looking like category and our duty as women and society is exactly the opposite, to fight against the labels. If the stereotype is that supermodels or beautiful women are less intelligent or don’t work hard, we should fight against it. Why women cannot be both, beautiful and very smart? Why a beautiful woman is always associated as a sex object? Models leave the comfort of their home at a very young age, in their early teenagerhood, and normally to live abroad. They learn how to speak different languages and how to manage their own money as we, the rest of the world, still high schoolers. The photo shooting average is 14 hours a day, meaning that they work really hard. Instead of agreeing with these labels we should be questioning the roots of the problem – why we, as a society, still buying the image of Goddess woman, skinny and forever young? And why we still allow the ‘so old but up-to-date’ woman and sex object association in all the media? Also, as women, we should be proud of the fact that the female models make in average 148% more than the men – one of the rare category where it happens.

    • Well you are arguing against something that was not argued here. No one said that a woman can’t be both beautiful and smart and I have talked in other blog posts about how they can. But I don’t think that it should be assumed that all women would want to look like a Victoria’s Secret model or that that would necessarily be a good thing.

  59. Cynthia Saavedra Ruiz

    This post brings me back to when I was younger and I wanted to look “prettier” but as I grew older and started to realize how men can make you feel so uncomfortable in your own body, I realized I was happy with my appearance. Looking like a Victoria model can be very appealing and can definitely boost up your confidence but it also makes you a huge target for crazy people who can become obsessed about you for your looks and can go to extremities to try to get you for themselves only. Like you mentioned in one of the comments that someone said, being attractive is never associated with being harmed but in reality it’s the complete opposite. Being in a prison, walking on the street, going out to your car at night, simple things that people never associate with danger can be very dangerous for a tall, skinny, beautiful women. It’s really a tragedy that women are judged by their appearance instead of truly admiring someones beauty for who they are inside and out.

  60. I honestly could not imagine having the life of the Victoria’s Secret Angels – restricted diets, excessive exercise, and the pressure to maintain a certain body type. The pressure becomes greater as you get older and can no longer maintain a body that is youthful, which eventually leads to the replacements of models to others that do meet the expectations to become these Angels. Just as Lena Dunham mentioned, “it must be a big burden…to look that way and be in public”. I actually think about this often when I am commuting on my on own through public transportation since I am in no way the expectations of beauty and do not have a perfect body such as these angels, so thankfully I am not bothered by men through catcalling and the such, since I do not bring that kind of attention. But I can only imagine how these females that do appear in such standards and how much of a burden it would be to get that much attention by men; it must certainly become annoying and even uncomfortable. So to answer the initial question of the title, I would much rather be myself than a Victoria Secret Angel, because at least I can eat whenever I want and exercise without any pressure of having to appear a certain way.

  61. isabellaselvitella

    I found this post very interesting. As someone who does not look like a Victoria Secret model, I have always wondered how it must feel to look like that. I think the author brings up a really good point about how beauty can be a prison, and how women who are not classically beautiful might get treated differently than women who look like models. Something I found interesting was how the author mentions studies that said women who are average looking are more likely to get a job interview. This blows my mind because girls are constantly taught from a young age that the more beautiful you are, the easier it is for you to succeed in life. However, according to this article the opposite is true. I also found it interesting that according to Michael Kimmel men are more interested in bragging about being with a beautiful girl than actually being with a beautiful girl. While I found this interesting, unfortunately it did not surprise me. With the way men are portrayed in the media, and with what I have over heard men say in the real world, I’ve discovered that men are much more interested in what they can brag about to their friends than the actual experience itself.

  62. While I do admire how much hard work models have to put into keeping their image and how strong they must be to have to deal with a lot of comments and attention thrown their way, I wouldn’t want to be a Victoria’s Secret Angel. Personally, I have had body issues for the majority of my life now and it was mainly due to the way society portrays women in advertisements and movies; I grew up watching Disney movies and playing with Barbie dolls, seeing the tiny waists and gorgeous features all of them had made me envious. I thought that my body wasn’t “perfect” and it made me feel even more sad as I went to the mall and saw the Victoria’s Secret store with the huge pictures of beautiful models. However, I eventually learned that beauty is subjective and everyone is beautiful in their own way. As said before, beauty really does come in different shapes and sizes. Unfortunately, it is true that in society some people mostly focus on the looks of someone rather than other things, like their character. From personal experience and from what I have heard many others have to go through, it is difficult to follow the societal pressures of being a certain weight or body type, but I think that as long as you are comfortable in your own body and you’re happy and healthy, then that is most important.

  63. I honestly have thought about what if I was taller, thinner, prettier many times in my life and wondered how different my life would be. However, I feel I have become who I am not for how someone perceives me by my outward appearance, but by what I have accomplished. As our first few chapters in Women’s Realities, Women’s Choices have discussed, historically the women’s movement and women activists have criticized the subordinate place of women in American society and the Victoria’s Secret Angel is an image that perpetuates our subordination. Women have been advocating for our place in society, fighting to be acknowledged for our academic achievements and our civil rights. Women have been judged for their looks and expected dress and act a certain way. Television, media and other social media platforms have expanded the means to create that perfect women, impossible for most women to achieve. Girls younger and younger are expected to be sexy, skinny, dress in the latest fashions and if you don’t you are outcast even by other girls. Society has promoted competition and exclusion for those not meeting the criteria.

    Do little girls dream of being a Victoria Secret Angel, I am sure some do. I cannot even imagine what they must go through to keep looking like they do. However, do you believe the models were chosen for their intelligence, probably not? Are they taken seriously, maybe and maybe not? I would rather know I received a job because I was the most qualified, not because I was young and pretty.

  64. I feel like women can definitely be both. Beautiful and have brains. Personally I would not be too happy to be a Victoria’s Secret model. I don’t like attention and It would be so hard to keep a ” Victoria Secret Model” weight. I love to eat. I hope a day comes that women are not seen as an object. There are many beautiful women I know that are very intelligent. Why do we have to be one or the other. Things really need to change and little by little we will get there. All women are made in so many different shapes and sizes, that shouldn’t define who a woman is. I remember going to a working interview once and the doctor who I was interviewing for had commented on my scrub shirt. He said I my breast were too big for it. Comments like these are the reasons why I would not be able to be a Victorias Secret Model. I am not big on the attention, but I do applaud all the beautiful women who do model and take comments like these. Hopefully soon things start to come together and beauty won’t be so much of a big deal some day.

  65. This post brings up a really interesting point that I don’t think I ever actually thought about. Most celebrities–Victoria’s Secret models in particular–are seen as beautiful, unattainable, and the ideal of what women should all look like–or what we should all at least try to look like. The Victoria’s Secret runway show and other such events along with pretty much everything else portrayed in the media is constantly telling us this is true and reminding us of this fact. Chapter one of the textbook, Women’s Choices, Women’s Realities, mentions that “there is no problem with these media images except that they act as norms” that are “so powerful that we enforce them not just in others but in ourselves”. Therefore, asking any woman if they would rather look like a Victoria’s Secret model instead of themselves should garner a “yes”. However, Dunham makes a pretty good point in saying that her life is probably a lot easier than the lives of these other women. If women are already primarily seen as objects and sexualized on a regular basis in their everyday lives, then it would make sense that being beautiful would just heighten this fact and would definitely have men fighting over the chance to brag about “nailing” them above anything else.

  66. tanza erlambang

    I love with this question:” You think you’d be happier if you were better-looking, but would you feel the same way if you were in prison?”

    have a great day

  67. At this point in life i am happy with my body, after a few years of trying to go back to my ideal weight, before having children i finally realize that our body changes through out the years . i don’t consider my self  fat i see my self more thick and curvy, i don’t mind this new body, however i do prefer to be slim, like when i was in High school. I believe it will be difficult to adapt to a new body specially like the Victoria Secret Angels that are thin and tall,  i admire their bodies it requires discipline, hard work and special diets, specially to those who have children and return back to modeling and still are in good shape,  i defiantly don’t think that having good looks will me happier, their is more to life then a perfect body and good looks. I chose a healthy life.

  68. I agree with Lena Dunhan I would not want to wake up in the body of a Victoria Secret model body I have read articles about how much preparation the models have to go through. The insane diets, and workout plans those things would all take an insane amount of self discipline. Even after all that preparation it is not guaranteed that they will be given a spot on that runway. Going through all that hard work just to put on a pair if wings might seem like a dream come through to others but it is not ideal for me. Not only that but everyone would be constantly judging and criticizing your body. Beauty should not be seen as a negative thing after all beauty is in the eye of the beholder and people should not be judged simply because they are above average.

  69. The question posed here is that ‘would you want to wake up as a Victoria secret model or yourself? and it is safe to say that many women would prefer to wake up as themselves because as a women who is very physically attractive, many people disregard them as a women, but rather as a sex object. Although beauty is a gift many males regard it as a sex appeal for their sake. The reason for this mentality men have is that throughout the course civilization and the structure of society, women’s role in society was often to stay home and look good for their husbands. Women throughout the course of history have been degraded lower than a human being and onto being a sex appeal to their husbands and when the time came where their lost their beauty, their husbands just left them, leaving them alone and in distraught and in confusion. This is better resembles the story La Lorna, a myth where there was once a girl who was the most beautiful in her village, but came from a very poor family, and one day a son of a noble came and saw her majestic beauty and instantly married her. They then had 2 twins, but the son didn’t inform his parents about the secret marriage and so she had to live alone while her husband was away with his parents. Over time La Lorna lost her beauty from old age and raising her kids, and when her husband returned, his love faded and he then married another younger girl, leaving La Lorna by herself, and finally when walking by the river with her twins, she saw her ex-husband and became so furious with the sight of him that she threw her kids in the water, and immediately out of guilt and realization of what she had done, she had jumped in the river to go and save them,and to this day she is still trying to find her kids. This story shows evident that even in early Mexican culture they already had adopted this perception of women into their everyday lives and women were forced into this society without any say. The story also shows the psychological pain women go through when constantly judged and seen by their beauty, not themselves. And so going back to the question whether a women should wake up as themselves, or a supermodel, the safe and logical answer should be themselves because only then can they truly be appreciated for who they are.

  70. In regards to either being myself or a victoria’s secret model, I would want to be myself. I remember watching the interviews and how women had struggled prepping for the actual show and everything for it. The diet, the workout regimen and how they expect the body types to be all the same is actually insane. Not everyone is built that skinny or pretty or anything like that. The actual way of being stared at seen as someone as a sex object and not as a person makes me uncomfortable. I would actually be so scared and ashamed of myself if something went south. The idea that I know I get judged already but also the idea that its not just silent, its made for everyone to see and hear on social media makes it worse. The type of hate and strength it takes to be seen for that is something I do applaud because it takes a certain type of person to go through multiple levels of humility for it.

  71. I agree with Dunham, in that at my age, I wouldn’t want to wake up with an Angel’s body. Back in the day (25ish years), I did and it had its struggles. I was in the restaurant business and not in the cush front of house, in the back, cooking. It was definetly harder to be taken serious, to have people think you were trainable or smart. I felt I had to work harder, take less breaks, work more hours/days and basically outdo everyone to advance. It worked, but I always heard snide comments. It isn’t that way for women where I work now. It has to do with management and how well they support their people. Back to the story, it would also be a challenge if you were going for a job interview and you intimidated or made your interviewer insecure. I’ve seen people get passed up because the interviewer thought the young woman wouldn’t work hard because she was so good looking. As Dunham also stated, it probably takes an insane amount of discipline to eat super healthy and diet all the time, as well as exercise all the time. I would not be living my best life possible if I was essentially starving myself. I do love exercising, when I have time, but lately, time is limited. I also think that when you have a fulfilling career, hobbies, interests and healthy/happy relationships with the people around you, looks aren’t as important.

  72. I have been told many times that I should be a model because I have a slim figure and long legs. I have seen the models that walk the runway for Victoria’s Secret and in the moment their bodies do look good because of the clothes or rather fabrics that they are wearing compliments their body type. For me, I do not like wearing tight clothes or shorts because it shows how slim my legs are and that has always been one of my biggest insecurities. My insecurity has caused me to get a gym membership for the sole purpose of working out my legs and hopefully making them “bigger” with muscle so I can finally wear skinny jeans and feel comfortable in them and not feel insecure about what people may be thinking about the way I look. Having an “angel” body does come with downfalls as mentioned, men seek women out for their body and not for who they are and many times could care less about who the “angel” really is as a person but instead are more focused on what they look like.

  73. Personally, I also wouldn’t want to be a Victoria’s Secret Angel but for different reasons. I think no matter how I look, I would still be unsatisfied since no matter what body I have. There will always be someone criticizing it, or I’ll find some flaw to focus on and try to change. Rather than waking up in a “beautiful body”, waking up with a clear mindset that isn’t poisoned by beauty standards and just loves your body for existing. Maybe even waking up to a world that views beauty as something that everyone can have or a world that doesn’t base worth on beauty. It’s honestly a two sided sword for appearances, if you’re ugly or average, you should feel lucky that you aren’t catcalled or objectified, but they should still strived towards beauty. If you’re beautiful, amazing, you get many benefits but also you can be catcalled and people feel entitled to harass you.

  74. Eli Harrison Pritchard

    I find the reaction to Dunham’s answer strange because even if she said yes that’s weird answer. Saying that I would love to wake up in model’s body reads more like a public admission low self-esteem. Dunham is also making a good point as to why she doesn’t want to, it just presents another complication in day to day life. One thing I find strange about the question is that it presents a hypothetical that kind of already happens in real life. There are plenty of people who spend a large amount of time chasing the societal ideal and will structure a portion of their live after it. If Dunham wanted to chase that ideal and try to look like a model wouldn’t she already be doing that. To me the question itself is very awkward because most will openly say no since the other option appears very self-loathing. Then we have the element of that looking like a model simply places a burden of unwanted attention, or another threat for a woman. There is a greater more depressing notion at play here that being attractive as a woman is akin to being in a prison.

    • I saw a documentary on supermodels and was surprised to learn that they are among the most self-loathing. Their bodies are constantly being picked apart because they aren’t completely perfect. And then there’s the risk that the body focus can make us one dimensional

  75. This has always been a topic that interests me due to how touchy of a topic it oddly can be. It’s difficult as a woman to talk and debate about the benefits/detriments attractiveness plays in one’s life without the accompaniment of quite a few eye rolls.
    There’s, of course, a trade off for each. If you choose to play into society’s expectations of how a woman should look, you may be rewarded with preferential treatment from society and in the workplace, but you may also be subjecting yourself susceptible to the harassment that all too often accompanies it (not to excuse harassment in any way, just stating from observation that there’s a definite correlation between the two). However, if someone wishes to put in the extra hours of primping and taking care of their health and subsequent figure, I believe they shouldn’t be judged for doing so.
    In my opinion, one would be much better off putting the amount of time expended into perfecting one’s looks into furthering one’s education, but of course, that is just my opinion and we are all subject to our own opinions.

    • Good points. But we put so much pressure on women to be beautiful — to the point that women can end up being one dimensional — that a lot of us don’t consider the downside.

  76. As someone who considers herself to be average looking and has had to deal with quite a few uncomfortable scenarios while out regarding being approached by men, I can only imagine how often uncomfortable scenarios like that must happen for women who are as beautiful as Victoria’s Secret models. I can only imagine that they have to be more aware of their surroundings even more so. Also, I think it would be difficult to break away from the pretty girl image and be noticed and recognized for something you are truly good at and passionate about when you are physically attractive on that sort of level. I think girls often assume that the prettier one is, the easier you have it and while this may be true in some sense, there are also a number of negatives that come along with it.

  77. I have a weird reaction to this post as a whole. I think that question is borderline insulting? Also, I personally find Lena Dunham way more attractive than most Victoria’s secret models. This whole thing is predicated on the idea that conventional attraction the best kind there is. I think this problematic thinking and I’m really happy Lena responded the way she did.

    I was saddened by “You think you’d be happier if you were better-looking, but would you feel the same way if you were in prison? You don’t associate being attractive with any sort of threat, but for women it can be.” What a sad tightrope to have to walk. Wanting to be beautiful because society says that is all you’re worth, but not too beautiful because society will also say you were asking for it if you’re so beautiful you get attacked. I had never actually considered that being attractive could be considered a physical threat by women. As I read it it made perfect sense, but I am saddened by the reality of it.

    • Yeah, Women are in a difficult double-blind, and on a different different angles:

      Be beautiful. But don’t be vain (or appear to be)
      Be beautiful. But not too beautiful — very beautiful women are slut-shamed more than other women
      Don’t be too beautiful, but don’t be to homely either

      Where is the perfect fit that society accepts?

      The only positive that it can teach us to stop worrying about what other people think. But that is difficult since humans are hardwired to need other people.

  78. Victoria’s Secret apparently isn’t doing very well and is likely to be closing stores. That should tell you something.

  79. We are all given gifts, some given strength, some wisdom, some beauty, etc. The point isn’t the gift that one has been given; but, how they use that gift. Since this topic is beauty, I will use Brigitte Bardot as an example. Arguably the most beautiful person on the planet. She used that beauty by meeting with world leaders on behalf of animal rights. Had she just been ordinary looking, I doubt so many world leaders would have made time to talk to her about animal rights. It is never the gift, but how the gift is used.

    • Bridgette Bardot used her beauty well. But some make an idol of it and get distracted from more important things.

    • I…I think this is incredibly reductive of Brigitte Bardot. This post accredits her success to her beauty. It may or may not have been a factor, but to say “I doubt so many world leaders would have made time to talk to her about animal rights.” discredits the passion this women must have felt to even get in a room and talk to world leaders. This argument is never made about men. No one is like, Martin Luther King Jr. only made a big impact because he was good looking. Obama is seen as an incredibly attractive man, but no one says he likely would have lost were he not. I’m not saying that beauty didn’t play a factor in these things, but I do think it’s also telling that we are so quick to diminish the hard work and passion behind a woman’s success, and give credit to how beautiful she is. What does that say to all of the “ordinary” women? You could have done more if you were beautiful? That seems frighteningly close to the narrative that led to the reporter even asking Dunham if she’d want to have the body of a Victoria’s secret model in the first place.

      At it’s heart, I get what you’re saying. Beauty is a resource, to be used for good or bad. I do think that it’s often only seen as a resource when we are talking about women though. When a good looking man is successful he is charming, a trait that takes a level or social grace and intelligence. Women are beautiful, something that takes no intelligence..they just have to sit and look pretty. I think this is a dangerous line of thought.

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