Why You Shouldn’t Compare Yourself to a Victoria’s Secret Model
Victoria’s Secret models are freaks of nature. Like really, really, really ridiculously good looking anomalies.
They’re not born everyday — hence the reason there are like twenty of them and seven billion of us regular folk.
There’s a reason they look they way they do and it has a lot less to do with the barre classes they do and kale shakes they drink than you would think. This is why when I see articles telling women they can get a model body if they just work out hard enough and eat a perfect diet, it makes me mad.
So today, on the morning following the 2015 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, as I sit here studying for my final in Macronutrients, I feel compelled to say a few words about body types.
We are not all meant to look the same. We were all born with different genes (alleles for my science nerds out there) that cause variations in our bodies. Height, weight, fat distribution, metabolism, and many other things are all highly pre-determined at birth.
For example, research shows that there are more than 127 genes that are associated with obesity and a defect in one of these can directly result in a person becoming overweight — meaning some people are just predisposed to gain weight more easily. Another factor is bone size. Some people really are just “big-boned” and will always have a physically larger frame than others, no matter how much they diet and exercise.
Basically, everyone has a set point — a happy, healthy place where your body likes to be at.
Take in more calories than you need and don’t exercise, and you’ll end up above that point. It’s easy to get there with our processed foods and sedentary lifestyles, as witnessed by the 70% of overweight Americans.
However, the opposite is also true. Take in too few calories and over-exercise (which is what some of these model-body diets would encourage you to do) and you may end up thinner, but you could also end up with hormonal imbalances, impaired reproductive functioning, hair loss, reduced bone mass, and possibly long-term psychological damage.
Studies also show that underweight individuals display lower levels of the hunger-suppressing hormone leptin and higher levels of the hunger-inducing hormone ghrelin. So basically, as you get thinner, you’ll get hungrier too — awesome, right?
It’s a a total myth that women can all look the same through a “healthy diet.”
Now, don’t get me wrong, I am not encouraging you to say “screw it,” and sit on your couch eating potato chips all day.
You totally can (and should) aim to the best you possible. But should you try to look like Adriana Lima? Not so much. Anyone who tells you differently is doing a disservice to women everywhere.
I fully support working out hard, eating clean, and pushing yourself to achieve your goals — I write a health and a fitness blog after all! What I don’t support is unrealistic ideals, starvation diets, and body shaming due to uniformed ideas about what is healthy.
And while you may be more genetically-inclined to gain weight, you can still achieve your ideal body without pushing yourself too far.
The point is Victoria’s Secrets models were just born that way — tall, thin, and genetically blessed. Don’t beat yourself up for not having the drive or “willpower” to break your body down in an attempt to look like them, or anyone else for that matter. It’s just not possible for most of us (at least not without consequences).
If you don’t believe me, just check out this video interview I did with Alessandra Ambrosio a few years ago.
She told me straight up — “I got it from my mama!”