Victoria’s Secret models are one of the most popular groups of women in America. Idolized by girls of all ages, these models have a huge impact on the definition of what the “perfect body” should look like. Essentially, they are the definition. Girls, especially teenagers, look at Victoria’s Secret models as the ultimate goal. They think that if they can just look like one of them, then the perfect body goal will be achieved. The video below displays and proves this perfectly.
This idolization of Victoria’s Secret models was all too real for now 18 year old Christie Swadling. Swadling’s obsession with the Victoria’s Secret models started at just 12 years old and continued up until her 17th birthday when she wound up in the hospital. Her desire to look just like the Victoria’s Secret models was so strong that she took one of the most extreme measures possible: developing an eating disorder. In a video on how and why she became that way, Swadling says,
I always wanted to be one of the Victoria’s Secret models, and I would watch their shows, I would read their books. I would read the magazines and what they would eat. Their diet plans, I was just so obsessed with it and it got to a point where like I was obsessed that I didn’t look like them. I really wanted to look like Miranda Kerr. Her tiny, tiny waist and her legs. How she had the thigh gap.
Everyone continues to put these models on a pedestal and idolize them which is causing girls to have issues with their body image. The way that Victoria’s Secret models make girls feel about themselves is saddening. Girls should be confident in themselves and love who they are. Instead, they are bringing themselves down. All they have to do is look at these models and their self esteem will automatically lower.
The sad thing is that these kind of tweets are normal. No one thinks twice when they see girls saying that they hate themselves and never want to eat again because they want to look like the Victoria’s Secret models. This is because of how overpraised these models are; but why are they so glorified? Victoria’s Secret models send out a very unrealistic message of what the perfect body should be. Not everyone can look like them; in fact, very few actually can. In Issues in Society, Volume 372: Positive Body Image, Justin Healey says “Unfortunately, girls are striving towards an unrealistic and often unobtainable body ideal, leading them to feel dissatisfied with their actual, realistic bodies” (32). The concept of having one ideal body type is ridiculous because every person is made differently. Clearly, Victoria’s Secret doesn’t seem to think so.
The only real way to eliminate all of the self hatred is to quit giving Victoria’s Secret models so much attention. If they weren’t looked at as all around perfect in every way, then girls wouldn’t feel the need to go to extreme measures to look like them. Girls need more realistic and diverse image of the “perfect body.” If America can achieve this, then there might be hope in fixing the very serious body image issue that is occurring in girls of all ages.