The Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show walks in a couple months, which means the various Angels involved have to ramp up their press appearances–which means, further, they’ll be talking about their pre-show diets and their workout routines. Depending on which Angel is offering the soundbite, they’re either grueling or filled with BBQ and McDonald’s.
Doutzen Kroes was the first to file this season, with a quickie update about her fitness routine and healthy lifestyle tips in British Vogue.
Kroes’ fellow Angel (non-Leonardo DiCaprio Girlfriend division) Lindsay Ellingson is the latest–and she’s decided to go the Cara Delevingne route and talk about how she’s doing the opposite of cutting out solids for weeks pre-show. No, no, Ellingson insists, she’s actually gaining weight as part of her routine.
Fashionista caught up with Ellingson during NYFW:
“I like to add curves, I think it’s sexier and more feminine to be more full. So I add like almond butter, peanut butter, protein shakes to my diet, just to feel a little sexier and curvier.”
Lest you think she’s eating her way to Angel perfection, Ellingson added, “I also step up my workouts. But I try not to stress about it because that’s never good.”
To that we say:
On a very related note, earlier this week our own Jamie Peck wrote about the trickier aspects of Delevingne’s apparent London Fashion Week #diet under the provocative headline, When Will Cara Delevingne Stop Rubbing Her Metabolism In Our Faces?, saying, “In a perfect world, body types and food preferences would be value-neutral things, and Cara Delevingne could talk about hers all she wanted,” but they’re not, and thus models discussing weight gain for runway shows can come across as (at best) tacky and (at worst) insensitive insofar as it fosters the very harmful myth that all famous women don’t have to work hard to look a certain way. Yes, we absolutely realize some famous people are naturally thin and no, we absolutely do not buy it when 95% of them insist they are.
Of course, the Victoria’s Secret models are damned if they do, damned if they don’t. Reporters are going to ask them about their diets, pre-show and otherwise, because people want to know (another symptom of the greater problem). If they answer like Ellingson–“I’m so thin that I have to bulk up for public lingerie wearing!” (also: the separate problem of her conflating “sexier and more feminine” with one body type over another), people get angry.
…If they answer like Adriana Lima, who boldly revealed the insane lengths she goes to pre-show (including eliminating water), it inspires scolding segments on talk shows. As if, at 32 and after two children, it’s somehow her fault she has to go to extremes to meet industry standards. It’s not.
So, the real problem here is the fact that Victoria’s Secret (etc) really only lionizes one body type, with a few pounds on either side–and if we’re ever going to get to a point where answering an inevitable question about one’s diet and fitness routine isn’t a terrible morass of shaming other women and so forth, we might have to start by addressing that.
(Main photo via Getty)