Models and the rigorous — sometimes inhuman — diet they need to undergo, have long been part of the conversation. Recently, a former Victoria’s Secret model Erin Heatherton shared her painful experience. Speaking on a podcast named Fallen Angel, aimed at unpacking the many secrets of Victoria Secret, she told Justine Harman and Vanessa Grigoriadis about the same.
A report in The People quoted her saying: “Where things started to go south for me was when I hit, I think it was 25 [years old]…There was this certain point where everything that I was doing just didn’t yield the same results. I was just a little bit bigger. In retrospect, that’s just biology and how the body works. You’re not the same size when you’re 18 to when you’re 25.”
She started taking a diet pill called phentermine on the recommendation of a nutritionist. “I don’t know. I was just like, ‘Let me Lance Armstrong this because I’m renovating my condo. I can’t lose my job right now.’ I started injecting myself with HCG [a hormone produced during pregnancy called human chorionic gonadotropin]….I was just like, ‘Help me lose weight. What do people do?’ He suggested something this other model did that worked for her. This is this nutritionist to the stars, whatever. I don’t know. I started like a diabetic injecting my stomach every morning,” the report further quoted her saying.
The lingerie company has long been under the scanner for holding up unreasonable beauty standards. It is as late as in June 2021 when they decided to get rid of the angels and remodel their campaign.
In the same report, the model stressed that she is no longer in touch with the company. “I look back at it as like emotional cutting because I was so against everything that I was doing, but I was just reluctantly doing it almost to feel the pain or feel how wrong it was”. With her story, she hopes to inspire others. “I share my story again because I don’t want anyone to have an eating disorder or hate their bodies…I know what that feels like. I speak out only for people that might hear me and think, ‘Hey, that makes sense,’ or maybe that might change their attitude towards how they treat themselves.”
“I think that aspirational [body] goals can exist without illness and eating disorders. When you have an eating disorder, you lose your freedom. When you are confined to this shape it consumes your life.”