16 comments on “The Dark Side of Victoria’s Secret

  1. This is what I have to say:

    1. It is unfair for an organization to be accused of transgression committed by its member. A part of the organization does not necessarily represent the entire organization. Accusation must be thrown towards the specific transgressor. Accusation towards the organization is unfair to other girls who feel empowered and comfortable working for the organization. VS in fact, jumpstarted the modeling careers of many successful women like Heide Klum, Tyra Banks, and Giselle Bundchen

    2. Everyone is unique with different emotional thresholds. Some have no qualms sashaying on stage or posing in front of the camera wearing revealing outfits, others have. If you feel you are not comfortable doing it, then do not do it. Modeling lingerie is not for you.

    3. There must be a minimum age requirement for a lingerie model. 21 year old should be the minimum age. This is the best age when one can assume full control over her actions and decisions. Agents could help models book them modeling assignments but models should not allow these agents to have full control over their decisions. Models should learn to raise red flags if they feel they are violated.

    4. Companies selling lingerie brands, like VS, should have in house psychologists to address the mental health issues of their models. In-house psychologists should actively checking on the models from time to time.

    5. Models, agents, and people behind the companies selling lingerie items should bear in their minds that being sexy is not having a 23-inch waistline. It is having a proportional body. Models do not have to starve to death to achieve sexy bodies.

    6. VS rebranding is a welcome move to promote diversity and inclusivity. One does not have to be thin to be sexy. Every woman should feel sexy and be comfortable with her own skin.

  2. I just saw this documentary yesterday.

    Which brings me to the question, should pageants be opened to women of all shapes and types of beauty?

    When will we see a plus size girl in a major beauty pageant?

    Embracing a healthy mind and body should be a part of women empowerment campaign in beauty pageants.

    See what Pia went through after she won in Binibini and before she competed in MU?

    “The thinner the better.”

    We have a similar saying in Filipino.

    “Tiis ganda”

    • When will see a plus size girl in a major beauty pageant? Miss Canada 2016 Siera Bearchell, finished Top 9 in that year’s Miss Universe pageant held in Manila.

  3. When kaya may mag-expose sa Phil entertainment industry? This practice needs to stop kahit saan. Buti hindi nabring-up sa Senate hearing, kung nabring-up, it would be the nail in the coffin of the defunct network.

      • And most of the stories would involve male celebrities either when they were starting out in the industry, moving up or transferring stations. 🤦🏼🤦🏼‍♀️🤦🏻‍♂️

  4. Now I am thinking if Kelsey Merritt is also strutting through hell. But, watching how her journey in VS went through, it seems she is enjoying the hell. Lol.

    Anyway, bigla rin akong napaisip, bakit hindi na lang i-appoint si Kelsey na rep natin sa MU no? Aay! Ayaw ng mga obsessed sa matatangkad na faney dito. Hahaha! But Kelsey is the perfect example of a not-so-tall-but-looks-so-tall-girl. Kaya Corrine Abalos, go dear! Pa-slim down pa ng konti. Keri mo na ‘yan. Ako lang ito, ang empleyado ng Mandaluyong City Hall. Kaloka. Haha!

    That’s all.

  5. This, indeed Tito, feels like Janina San Miguel’s own alleged story under BPCI’s wings. Parallelism.

    The greater tragedy is that things like these much more often than not happen to the girls relatively lower down in the pecking order. It’s not ‘like Giselle’; the high-end, you never hear them complain. It makes an outsider wonder what it takes to be ‘untouchable’, literally and figuratively.

    That it happens to you, is as if you’re considered ‘economy class’. Ergo, Ms. Malcolm, sorry. You, apparently, weren’t ‘super’ enough in their eyes. Talk about adding insult to injury!

  6. Just the other day, I was watching the true to life story of Waris Darie, a Somalian supermodel!

    The movie was entitled Desert Flower and was played by Ethiopian model Liya Kebede,

    It was very inspiring! Waris has her genitals mutilated in Somalia then she work as a housekeeper for his Uncle for the Somalia Embassy in London until she was discovered by a photographer while mopping the floor in McDonalds!

    I’ve also watched the TV Movie “Gia” played by Angelia Jolie!

    Two stories of supermodel with different ending,

    As a model, you are given a spotlight! It’s up to you on how you are going to use that spotlight to inspire other people or thwart other people!

  7. I chanced upon this video late last night on youtube. I am a sucker for 60 Minutes Australia features!



    Kylie Bisutti, 23, saw her dream come true when she beat 10,000 other girls in the 2009 Victoria’s Secret Angel Search competition. In her forthcoming book, “I’m No Angel,” she reveals why she gave up a multimillion-dollar career for the quiet life in Montana. She tells The Post’s Kate Storey her tale:

    I’m lying on a bed wearing a tight, little T-shirt and boy-cut panty bottoms while camera flashes keep popping away. I’m giving the camera that seductive, bombshell look I’d become famous for.

    “Pull the top further up,” the FHM photographer encouraged me. “Hold up the covers like you don’t have any panties on.”

    I didn’t feel comfortable but he kept urging me on.

    This is what Victoria’s Secret models do,” he said. “This is why they hired you. If you want to be like Gisele, this is what you have to do.”

    That’s when it hit me. I was being paid to strip down and pose provocatively to titillate men. It wasn’t about modeling clothes anymore; I felt like a piece of meat.

    The next day, I broke down and started sobbing. I was in my bedroom and dropped to my knees and started to pray.

    Over the next two years, New York really opened my eyes to the dark side of the modeling industry. One of my roommates was so bulimic she would involuntarily throw up when she ate. She would go to sleep crying every night and just look at herself in the mirror thinking that she was so fat. And she was so thin.

    I had photographers and male models hitting on me constantly. Once, a photographer actually pushed me up against the wall and tried to kiss me.

    And while I was still going to church and consulting my Bible, I was so desperate to succeed in the business that I complied when my agent told me, “All models have a topless shot.” I was only 16 when I posed for mine.

    I pretty much restricted my diet to oatmeal, fruits and vegetables to meet runway expectations. I’m 5-foot-10, and I got down to 115 pounds with measurements of 34-24-34. In February 2007, New York Fashion Week was approaching, and while everyone I knew was being sent out to auditions, I wasn’t.

    “Why am I still going on test shoots?” I asked my agent.

    “It’s because you look like a fat cow right now, Kylie. You need to lose 2 inches off of your hips,” the agent said.

    After cutting my diet even further to just pineapples, watermelon and liters of water while exercising two hours a day, six days a week, I finally dropped down to 108 pounds, which satisfied my agent, and the gigs started rolling in.

    I didn’t recognize the names of most of the designers I walked for, except for the American Eagle show. All I knew of fashion was what I’d seen in the mall, like Hollister and Express.

    A couple of months later, Mike and I were visiting his dad and stepmom, Susan, when Susan brought home a flier from the mall advertising a Victoria’s Secret Angel search.

    Mike said, “You should go for it, sweetie.” And all of those old, competitive feelings of needing attention returned. I wanted to be an Angel.

    Mike’s sister drove me to the LA auditions, where we saw thousands of girls waiting in line. Once it was my turn, I did my runway walk for Victoria’s Secret, and top exec Ed Razek told me it was one of the best walks he had ever seen.

    A few days later, Victoria’s Secret called and said I had made it into the Top 10, and they would be flying me out to New York to compete. I was so excited, it took everything not to scream into the phone.

    I was a hit at the competition. The curves that made me “too fat” by runway standards were perfect for Victoria’s Secret. And even though I was only 19, a newlywed and growing in my relationship to God, I didn’t think twice about strutting my stuff in skimpy bikinis and underwear in the TV contest.

    Then came the moment that would change my life forever: Heidi Klum announced that I had won. I gave the runway my best sexy walk that I’d been practicing since I was a kid — blowing kisses, rocking my hips and winking at the camera — and the crowd went wild. And my husband was right there, cheering me on. I was on top of the world.

    But my euphoria didn’t last long.

    The day after I won, one of the Victoria’s Secret execs e-mailed to tell me that I’d caught the eye of one of the celebrities at the after-party.

    “You should get together with him,” he said.

    “But I’m married! And completely in love with my husband,” I replied, refusing to meet.

    During the Angel competition, I was encouraged to play down my marriage to Mike, because I was supposed to be flirting with everyone all the time. A lot of models don’t talk about their relationships unless they’re married to a celebrity, like Miranda Kerr and Orlando Bloom, which is more of a draw to the brand. [Kerr recently decided to hang up her Angel wings.]

    After winning the competition, I signed with the top modeling agency in the world, IMG. Mike and I got an apartment in California, because that’s where a lot of the photo shoots are, but I was also flying to New York every other week for shoots there, too.

    One of the first shoots I was sent on was at a photographer’s studio in Brooklyn to help build my portfolio. They raved about his artistic work.

    Mike stood outside while the photographer convinced me to slip on a nearly-sheer bikini.

    “Don’t worry, we’ll Photoshop it if it’s too sheer,” he assured me.

    I tried not to think too much about it, but a couple of weeks later, I was Googling myself and saw that the photos had been uploaded onto a porn site.

    It was heartbreaking for me, but even more heartbreaking for Mike. He was furious at the photographer and called our lawyer.

    IMG said they would handle it, and they encouraged us not to take action. They sent a cease-and-desist letter to the photographer.

    A week after showing up on the porn site, my agency booked me with Maxim, and then FHM shortly after that. They were men’s magazines, not pornography, but they were still selling sex.

    The day after that FHM shoot, I knew my life had to change. I told my agent that I wouldn’t model lingerie anymore. So, they sent me to bathing-suit shoots. Then, I got a call to do the famous Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue. But looking through the magazine, those bikinis are sometimes skimpier than lingerie. So I turned that down, too.

    Two years after I won the Angel Search, I realized I didn’t want to model anything that sold sex. At the time, a Victoria’s Secret lingerie show was airing on TV, and I was looking at Twitter and saw loads of tweets from women comparing themselves to the impossible image of the models.

    It made me think back to earlier in my modeling career, when my 8-year-old cousin was watching me put on makeup and said to me, “I’m going to throw up my food so I look like you.” I realized my career was sending a bad message to women about confidence and body image.

    I was traveling with my husband on a business trip and, from the hotel room, I sent out my own tweet.

    “I quit being a VS model to be a Proverbs 31 wife.”

    (Proverbs 31 talks about being a virtuous and capable wife that a husband can trust. It says, “Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised.”)

    I hadn’t modeled lingerie in months, but it was the first time I’d gone public with my reason. Surprisingly, my agent, who I hadn’t warned about the tweet, was supportive of my decision. The only backlash I got was from some models I know who felt judged by my decision who commented on my tweets.

    Quitting modeling has probably cost me millions of dollars. Victoria’s Secret Angels have the longest careers in the business. Even after they stop modeling lingerie, they can go on to host TV shows, like Heidi Klum, or design clothes, like Gisele.

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