Earlier this week, Candice Swanepoel caused a bit of a controversy showing off her boney hips in an Instagram picture a few days before the Victoria’s Secret 2012 Fashion Show. In the past, anorexia rumors have been rumored but she has denied claims.

Fans instantly defended the 6-year veteran Angel against critics who said she was promoting “starving” herself before the big show. I think she looks like a girl who is about to strut her stuff in front of the entire world in her undies. Having just shot a fitness video, the pressure to look good in front of the camera does suppress your appetite but with the training these models have to do for the runway wearing heavy wings, they need to eat. And they do. They just eat CLEAN!

The Angels have to train like fitness models and eat very clean leading up to the shoot and like us all, they splurge after the event. Here is a photo from Lily Aldridge’s Instagram account with “Come to Mama :)” as the caption:

Here is Lily from the show. She actually had a baby just 8 months ago! She credits her quick slim down to organic fruits and vegetables as well as a ton of salmon. She told Us Weekly, “I ate so much salmon for the last two months – you wouldn’t believe it. Literally, I cannot see salmon for like eight months, I ate so much of it. I tried to eat really clean foods before the show, and I just had a baby, so I was eating overtime to keep with breast feeding.”

Leading up to show, I’ve written about the girls’ diets and workouts in the past. In fact, Adrianna Lima took some heat for a few unhealthy diet tips on her end last year leading up to the show. In February, she reportedly went out to a well known restaurant in Miami with a few Angels and brought along her own spinach salad with bell peppers, chicken, and oil-free dressing because she did not want to deviate from her strict diet. I find her the most extreme.

However, I’ve always been a fan of the Angels. I do think their bodies are the healthiest when it comes to the modeling industry.

Erin Heatherton might be my new favorite Angel to be honest! Erin works out with a trainer 4 times a week and enjoys interval training with strength mixed in. Her go to healthy snack is fruit and she said her diet incorporates nuts, protein, granola and veggies. Love to see that she isn’t afraid of some good old fashioned granola! She does follow a gluten free diet however and believes it’s more about your diet than your fitness routine when it comes to your weight! I agree! I agree!  Her cheat meals include bacon and cheese. Here is a behind the scenes look at Erin shooting the fitness VSX workout wear line.

What do you think about the Angels as role models?

I’m pretty sure we all agree that genetics have blessed these ladies. One thing they do not get enough credit for though is the fact that they do workout and they do have to eat a healthy balanced diet. They are not anorexic because they have to be strong for the VS shows.

Victoria’s Secret Models Eat a Clean Diet!

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  • Jennifer

    I can appreciate the fact that you are trying to defend thin women from always being viewed as having an ED. However, don’t you think it’s just a tad bit presumptuous of you to outright say that, “They are not anorexic because they have to be strong for the VS shows.”? Unless you personally know these women, I find it hard for you to make such a definitive assessment one way or the other.

    • Sarah

      Good point. While I cannot say for a fact if they are or are not anorexic, knowing people people who have struggled with the disease, I do not believe that these women would be able to pull off terrible nutrition and perform in this show. You would see it in their faces. Maybe they do, but I think it’s easier to say models are anorexic, they are naturally thin (which many are) but the Victoria’s Secret model typically has to work hard for their muscle definition. As a trainer, if you are not eating properly, the fitness will not show unless the diet is appropriate. Candice and Adrianna may have eating issues, and I don’t think I stated that they did not but I’m not going to go around accusing people of something as personal until they are ready to talk about it publicly. It’s not my place. It’s their choice. Their decision.

      • Ashley

        Having struggled from anorexia as a teenager, I agree with Sarah. When you starve yourself, you have NO energy.

        From what I know about the VS models and the VS shows -- it requires an amazing amount of strength and edurance to complete a full show in 6 inch heels, while carrying the wings on your back.

  • NYC Fit GIrl

    I think the Victoria Secret Models are a bit thing but most some of them look fit! FOr me I would rather see someone who looks toned, fit, and strong than boney skinny. My role models are the models they are the girls that compete in the crossfit games, katrina and kerana from Tone It Up and other strong fitness girls!

    • Sarah

      I agree with you. I prefer my figure role models to be non models mainly because I know I will never look like a VS Angel. It’s physically impossible. Women that compete in bikini competitions and are in Oxygen are good ones too!

  • Jezz Dallas

    Every year, the same thing. I guess it´s part of the promotion. Remeber last year Adriana Lima and her regimen for getting ready? I don´t know. So there are some seriously skinny, like dangerously skinny girls on that runway, I agree. Then again, some of the girls look almost like a Bikini-Fitness Competitioner with muscles and strong definiton, which I love! So do I think their anorexic, no. Are some of them crazy in what they have to do to look like that, yes! looking forward to see the show!

  • Belle @ Rebelle Fitness

    I wouldn’t say that the Angels are “role models”, but I do feel like I can relate to Heather’s fitness regime more than the others. I read somewhere that she played basketball in high school and it seems as though she’s trying to maintain a healthy, athletic body without starving herself. It’s all about that clean eating!

  • Nyla

    Finally, someone who doesn’t blame them for looking good! Thanks Sarah! I wouldn’t say they should be role models for younger girls, cause it’s just not right to think that you should look like these ladys. And let’s don’t forget about the fact, that they make their living from that! I also think they look better than the models in any other show. They have a figure!!! They don’t look like skinny boys. ..

  • Beks

    Before I understood what it takes to have a toned body, I probably would’ve said I thought they had EDs. Having since done research on health and wellness, I realize that you can’t be that toned without working out. And makeup can do a lot of things, but it won’t hide the look of being haggard from poor nutrition.

    I do think people place too much pressure on anyone. If someone has an ED, that is THEIR battle to fight. Don’t accuse and don’t assume. That’s my two cents, anyway.

  • Donna Marie Cox

    Recently I read some pretty nasty things about Christina Aguilera’s weight gain and then Ive read criticsims of Victoria Secret models. You just cant win! We are told to celebrate women of all shapes and sizes! The VS models are just that “models”. They are paid a lot of money to have bodies like that. Its their jobs to model clothes, not be be role models and any girl who beleives that she has to look like that and becomes ill clearly has bigger issues. Im fed up of the mentality brought on by the press that anorexia is a disease that you can “catch” by looking at photos of skinny celebs

    • Sarah

      Seriously, you’re 5 lbs over your “ideal” weight and the press calls you fat. Your 5 lbs under weight and you have an eating disorder. The tabloids are a bitch.

  • Lizey

    I do agree with you that these ladies do work out a great deal and also eat very clean. However, my problem with pictures like these are that teenage girls and young women do not always realize that for normal people, leading a normal balanced life, this body is hard to attain and unrealistic for many. It is these ladies job to look fit and slender and they work hard to look this way just like it is my job to be a teacher and I do what I need to do to be a good one at that (on top of my job I workout and eat clean to be healthy and happy). What many women don’t realize is that being this skinny is not what makes you beautiful but rather healthy and happy are what define beauty. These women do not represent the average healthy women and this is what needs to be made clear about these models.

  • AK

    I actually went to high school with Erin. She looks better now in comparison to then. She was an athlete and way too skinny. I feel like she looks more toned now. Keep repping our home town girl! =)

  • GiGi Eats Celebrities

    Personally I think the VS models are very healthy (for the most part). They all seem to promote healthy eating and exercise. They obviously need to be a bit more extreme than others since they’re PAID TO be in skimpy outfits all the time, but I don’t think any of them are battling any eating disorders. VS as a company wouldn’t allow it’s models to promote unhealthy lifestyles like that and would most likely fire their models before a controversy like that broke out. I actually eat just like these ladies and if I were 5 inches taller… My body could be strutting down the run way too! Ha Ha Ha!

  • Moni

    This was a good post Sarah. Thank you,
    Personally as a model myself and a trainer/athlete myself, I have to say that you can absolutley look like a VS Model AND be super healthy and be top of your diet and fitness game.
    I train many models and actresses here in LA and I know if they are not healthy and I know if they are. I feel many of the VS Models are naturally thin (like myself) but also put in a lot of effort to eat well and stay fit. Many look toned which as we all know does not happen if you have anorexia.
    We have to keep in mind that all of us come in different shapes and sizes! I eat like a horse, (usually much more than most women) yet I have been my size my whole life and am SUPER HEALTHY.
    Plus, many models prep for this show just like a body builder would so it is the same level of ‘extremeness’ if you ask me.
    All I wanted to say was…There should be no judging- That is what drives me mad is when I hear…skinny=Eating Disorder.
    Plus, I agree-the tabloids are very unfair… you are damned if you gain 5 lbs or then you are “now struggling in life” if you lose 5 lbs. No thanks! Who really knows anyways.

  • Jeanette Marie

    Great post, Sarah! And I completely agree with what Lizey said! I think it’s important for women to focus on attainable fitness/nutrition goals and being confident in their own skin, rather than aspiring to look like someone else. We all have our “flaws” and, in my opinion, that’s what makes us beautiful! 🙂

  • Carli

    I agree! I was reading about their diet and fitness regimine this morning before eork and the first thing I thought is that they eat/train like they are going to compete for a fitness competition. Nothing is wrong with that. Especially if you are balanced and allow your body some “down” time. I also feel like the pick Candace posted is at a weird angel and makes her look a little distorted. A different angle might have been more flattering.

  • Donna Marie Cox

    Id also like to point out that because these girls are very slim, if they lose even a few pounds it will show quite a bit. Whereas if I out weight on it shows lol.

  • Miranda @ Biting Life

    I love this post! I’m a huge fan of the Angels as well, and it’s great to see somebody defending them. I think people in general are very quick to declare that a model is anorexic, when really they are probably saying that because they are a little jealous. You made a very good point that it would be virtually impossible for an Angel to be anorexic because of the strength it takes to perform for their job. It’s awesome to see stuff like the sliders photo from these girls, because it shows that they really do eat like “real” women and aren’t afraid to show it!

  • Devonshire

    I dunno if i would go as far to say that they’re role models but, i do give them major props for the work that they do. i can appreciate them and i do love the products, do i strive to look like them? no. It would be unrealistic for me, i’m a normal person and get to enjoy the normal things in life (cheeseburgers, fries, guac, etc) a little bit more than they do because i don’t have to strut my stuff pretty much naked in front of millions of people. But yea, I do feel bad for the young girls in this country that think they need to look like that, or think they need to personify sex to get attention or have self acceptance. I feel like the media (not just VS) is taking away the childhood of these girls by throwing sex in their face at such a young age. So no they’re not role models, just lingerie models. But i do admire the fact that they can at least say they eat clean and exercise rather than promote unhealthy habits and eating disorders like models in the past.

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  • Jayme

    Hello Sarah
    I have been attempting your workouts, but failed due to an injury. I am having surgery to remove an extra bone in my foot in a couple weeks, and am wondering how I can still try to get in shape when I will be non weight barring for 2-3 weeks and its a 3-6 months recovery, Do you have any suggestions? THanks

  • Heather

    I personally beleive that the Victoria’s Secret models are not anorexic in anyway. They have boobs. I mean… HELLO!.. I’m pretty sure that’s a requirement for their job. :p Most of the time (at least from what I’ve seen) anorexics lose their boobs. I would say they eat clean and work for what they got! 😀

  • Roni

    Hi Sarah!! I’ve been giving this one some thought and I keep coming back to the same conclusion. For me personally, the best role models are people we can actually relate to. Those that have been there, done that. Meaning people like you, Karena and Katrina from Tone It Up, and even my boss Jane at L.A. Fitness. People that we see or hear from daily and can see firsthand that they truly are walking the walk, and not just talking the talk. It’s a lot easier to relate to someone we can actually see or even touch and hear about their struggles, their successes, etc. Also for some of us?? We don’t have the luxury like the models of personal trainers, nutrionists, etc. and I can relate to someone who’s been able to devise their own method of training, losing weight, getting fit, etc. on their own. We also can glean what we want from you, Karena and Katrina to aid us and encourage us along the way. So for me peronally? The best role models are regular gals who make fitness fun and have much to be proud of their accomplishments and thus we know we can do it, too. It’s not about being too skinny, but being fit and healthy and having fun and at times being able to eat!!! I’m sorry but Victoria’s Secret models no matter how fit they are, don’t represent most of us as we come in all shapes and sizes. So thank you Sarah for being you and showing us we can do it and to me, for being a great role model!!!

  • Lyn

    I think women automatically say negative things about the VS models as they feel insuecure about their own bodies. I can watch the VS show is awe as I have a good relationship with my body.
    The VS models are toned and it’s obvious they eat a very clean diet, however I think in the past few years they are getting much skinnier. They use to be slim but not this slim.
    I dont’ judge though. I think they are genetically blessed and naturally slim but just eat super clean so they can easily get too skinny.
    I think they are beautiful and am obsessed witht their angel wings! I think the show is spectacular adn I look foward to it each year!

  • Arielle Clark

    Some women really are naturally skinny, whether they workout to keep their bodies toned or in shape. In high-school I stayed 90 pounds and underweight regardless of what I ate, so YES I do know and realize some women are naturally SKINNY and people should realize that instead always claiming “eating disorders” every time they see a petite woman. BECAUSE women comes in ALL shapes and sizes. Never-less I wouldn’t say that none of the VS models don’t have eating disorders, because I’m sure some do! Their bodies are their careers SO that’s a ton of pressure to always looks right to damn near perfect. I feel as though the modeling industry should use HEALTHY females, not underweight females because it doesn’t look good.

  • Noelle

    I don’t think it’s really appropriate to say these models have to be strong because of those “heavy” wings. Those wings weigh less than a high school student’s backpack. They aren’t a hundred pound wings they’re lugging around. I’m fairly certain I can walk around with them on my back and I’m not a body builder.

  • Jessica

    I’m not sure why Candice is getting so much flack. Those are very clearly not her hip bones, they are her lower ab muscles that go down into a “V”. No ones hip bones start that high up or are that close together. Good for her for having some muscle on her though!

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