Former Victoria’s Secret angel Erin Heatherton has spoken out about her decision to part ways with the underwear brand in 2013.
‘My last two Victoria’s Secret shows, I was told I had to lose weight,’ she told Time magazine. ‘I look back like, “Really?”’
The 27-year-old was one of the brand’s best-known models, walking in the annual Victoria’s Secret catwalk shows between 2008 and 2013, and earning the coveted ‘Angel’ wings from 2010. She has now revealed that the pressure to maintain an unrealistic body shape seriously impacted her self-image and mental health, ultimately causing her to quit.
Despite eating healthily and exercising twice a day, Heatherton reveals that while preparing for her last show in 2013, her body ‘just wouldn’t do it.’
‘I was really depressed because I was working so hard and I felt like my body was resisting me. And I got to a point where one night I got home from a workout and I remember staring at my food and thinking maybe I should just not eat.’
The model also revealed that she felt unable to continue to pretend that looking like an ‘angel’ comes easily and effortlessly. ‘I realized I couldn’t go out into the world – parading my body and myself in front of all these women who look up to me – and tell them that this is easy and simple and everyone can do this,’ she said.
‘I’m willing to sacrifice my pride, in a sense, and my privacy because I know that if I don’t speak about it, I could be withholding information that would really help women. It hurts too much to keep it in, and that’s why I’m not keeping it in now.’
Erin took to Instagram last month to openly discuss her previous struggles with her body image. Wearing a t-shirt with the slogan 'Empowered by Failure,' she wrote 'The breakdown to breakthrough moment in my life has allowed me to become the truest version of myself. [...] I was struggling with my body image and the pressures to fulfill the demands of perfectionism upon me. I am not perfect. Through this struggle, however, I found the strength to love myself.'