Let’s Talk Victoria Secret Fashion Show and Bodies!
Posted Dec 03 2011 12:11am
Let’s talk some about the Victoria Secret Fashion Show. And let’s talk some about bodies. We talk about strong, fit bodies all the time around Vanilla Bean Lean. Let’s talk about all bodies today, and how people react to them.
I love the Victoria Secret fashion shows. It’s a guilty pleasure. I’m a chick, there are sparkly bras and undies, fun costumes, music, lights, and everyone up on stage always looks to be having a BLAST! They even have romance up there, one year it was VS model Heidi Klum & Seal, this year it was Maroon 5’s Adam Levine escorting his girlfriend VS model Anna Vyalitsina down the runway. Talk about fun and flirty and romantic and fairy-tail esque.
(Side note … I went to high school and graduated with the model above, Erin Heatherton. Way to go Erin!)
Ok. So enough about the fun of watching it. Let’s talk the bodies involved.
I have read a lot of negativity surrounding the models’ bodies, and a lot of judgment and scrutiny on their diets. No, top models are not necessarily known for their healthy eating habits. Neither are celebrities. It seems common in the modeling and entertainment to assume some type of “starvation diets” occur. This was perpetuated with an interview and articles about what Adriana Lima claims was an exaggeration the diet they utilize the week or two before the VS Fashion Show. The excerpt from the NY magazine states:
“Lima drinks a gallon of water a day. For nine days before the show, she will drink only protein shakes – “no solids”. The concoctions include powdered egg. Two days before the show, she will abstain from the daily gallon of water, and “just drink normally”. Then, 12 hours before the show, she will stop drinking entirely. “No liquids at all so you dry out, sometimes you can lose up to eight pounds just from that,” she says.”
In a later appearance, she stated that this was exaggerated and she was very insistent on showing her Starbucks drink (sugary) and post-show goodies back stage.
No, I do not endorse any of this as “healthy,” nor something I would ever recommend.
But do you know what I find interesting? It has an eerily similar context to the dehydration the majority of bikini, figure, fitness, physique, and bodybuilder competitors go through the week leading up to their shows as well. Each trainer and competitor has a different approach, but the majority end up with an “unhealthy” last week or two of contest prep as well, with caloric deprivation, extra cardio, a water loading and dehydration cycle, as well as cheat meals of junk to “fill out.”
Yes, healthier contest prep coaches and approaches are now becoming more common. But that doesn’t mean that physique competitors, who physically appear to be the healthiest people on the planet are at their healthiest when they appear on stage. The majority are some of the healthiest people year round, but on stage, they’re often dehydrated and many need a “refeed” meal, to fill their glycogen stores and lack of fats (especially in their brain) back up.
Kari Keenan, an NPC figure competitor, wrote a great blog post on her blog Figure Girl World, Looking Healthy vs. Being Healthy, on this concept of physique competitors being some of the healthiest people on the planet, but not always the day they’re on stage. It’s a great read if you’ve ever competed or are ever contemplating on competing, or even just want to understand a bit more of the behind the scenes in regards to the physique competitions!
Regardless of whether you’re into the “bodybuilding” lifestyle, eating clean and working your butt off in the gym, a Victoria Secret runway model, or a Celebrity; if you want a lean, healthy body, you have to work for it. You have to eat clean, you have to work out, and you have to pay attention to every choice you make. The end results and bodies may be different, based on their goals and choices, but that doesn’t mean each group of individuals isn’t working hard.
Often depending on what category a person falls into, a model or celebrity is often being paid to look a certain way. Whether this is healthy or not, it’s something to take into account.
A Victoria Secret model is going for thin and feminine, while a figure girl is going for a more muscular, lean, symmetrical look, while the celebrity is going for a “toned” body, with a “flat” stomach instead of the coveted six-pack for a physique athlete. Every group will have those that are healthy, and those that aren’t.
(Although both of the above ladies are at 15% body fat, they’re both going after a completely different look which has different means of getting there.)
Though I am not endorsing any of the diet and workout “craziness” floating around (remember I’m a proponent of a LIFESTYLE), accusations occurring, and fingers being pointed, I want to point out that unless we personally know these people, we don’t know whose expertise they’re working under or not working under, and we don’t know any more than the media tells us. And really, when can we completely trust the media?
The negativity surrounding the “body” and “diet” talks is what I wanted to address. Just as we wouldn’t go up to someone obese who is eating McDonalds and being sedentary all day long and insult them, tell them they’re fat and doing nothing to better themselves out of the blue, we don’t need to be looking at pictures of women who are probably living their dream (many a girl dreamt of walking that runway) and telling our friends and facebook and the world that they look emaciated and they starve themselves and they’re horribly unhealthy. It’s unfair and judgmental, and although I know some of these comments may be warranted, depending on the situation, we all have our own opinions on what is “beautiful” and “strong” and “desirable,” everyone has a right to their own choices and their own goals. We also are not aware of the full picture 99.9% of the time. That full picture is important if you’re going to make a definitive statement judging their choices and actions.
As long as no one is hurting anyone else or themselves, and they’re happy in their own skin, and hopefully healthy to boot, then the outcome is up to them; it’s their life to live.
What we can do is live OUR lives to the fullest, and I know to the majority of us here that means living it STRONG, with strong will power, clean eating that fuels our sweaty workouts, and with support. We can support each other and we can support others. If people worked more on education, the ability to take people from different groups who may be better suited to live a lifestyle with different goals through quote-on-quote “healthier” means, would become a more common occurrence. There is no need to put others down, or ourselves for that matter.
Remember, it’s not about being perfect. It never was. It never will be. It’s about being your best. Striving to reach your goals and to reach where you’re happy and confident. There is no perfect. There’s your best, and there’s exceptional. But perfect there is not.
Those gorgeous Victoria Secret models looked like they were having an absolute blast up there, and they appear to be confident and happy with their bodies. Just as Jessica Biel appears to be content with her body in a few movies where she CLEARLY had to work her butt off for that body. Just as physique competitors appear to be loving rocking those stages and pushing their bodies to the limit. And just as all of my wonderful readers and blogger friends appear to be loving their bodies, lifestyles, and being on the road to their goals on a daily basis portrayed through their corners of the world wide web universe.
We’re all here together, and instead of put others down and scrutinize their choices, decisions, and what the media tells us, let’s focus on research, gaining knowledge, finding what is important to us, and working each day to get one step closer to our goals and helping support everyone in the pursuit of their goals.
My goal is to live a clean eating, sweaty workout filled lifestyle of pushing myself to be a better person with a better physique day in and day out, while helping others better themselves in all aspects of their lives. Let’s rock it. Let’s remember how important positivity and compassion is. Let’s be here to help each other reach our goals. Let’s push ourselves. Let’s make positive, well thought out choices. Let’s be happy and confident because we’re living the life we feel passionate and compelled to live.
Two other great blog posts about the Victoria Secret Fashion show, reactions, and the diet/workout comments regarding the models: