It’s safe to say I unashamedly know far too much about the Victoria’s Secret models. When I was watching the show with my mum, I was telling her all their backstories. When we were scrolling through photos of all the outfits in the show at work, I was naming all the models. And if you’re my sister or my work wife Lu, you’re getting live text updates of the show, non-stop chatter about their lives and getting tagged in every single possible meme that relates to Victoria’s Secret.
Every week for the past few months, I’ve been screenshotting photos of the various models and showing them to my PT with the words “make me look like this”.
I think their bodies are ridiculous. I understand that a lot of it is genetics, but I also understand just how damn hard these women work for it—or as Elsa Hosk says, “It doesn’t come easy, it doesn’t come naturally—you’ve got to work for it.” They think of themselves as professional athletes, and I’m inclined to agree with them. But for full disclosure, they could tell me to jump off the Harbour Bridge and I’d agree, and then go do it.
In the last few years, there’s been a huge shift with how they prepare for the show, and there’s more of a focus on fitness (the hashtag TrainLikeAnAngel proves that). With 51 models walking in the most recent show, there would have been roughly 306 abs between them.
Ed Razek, the senior creative of Victoria’s Secret, says the Angels are rare athletes and rare models, who have long careers — like Adriana Lima, who just walked in her 16th show. He told Forbes in 2015 that he has turned down a girl who’d previously walked for the show, as all that was apparent on their Instagram was how often they went clubbing. “Every night while [she was] doing that, Adrianna was jumping rope for three hours.”
Some of these women work out for three hours a day (Bella Hadid), some of them increase it to seven days a week in the two months prior to the show (Elsa Hosk, who was previously a professional Swedish basketball player). A lot of them have sporting brand endorsements — Gigi Hadid for Reebok, Bella Hadid for Nike, Karlie Kloss for adidas by Stella McCartney (I know she didn’t walk the show this year, but she’s my favourite) and many of them endorse the Victoria’s Secret Sport line.
Following on from my obsession with literally anything Victoria’s Secret, I could name pretty much any of the workouts the Angels do. It’s not hard, as Google comes up with over 1 million hits when you type in Victoria’s Secret workout.
Lily Aldridge attends Ballet Beautiful, Adriana Lima boxes regularly, and Gigi Hadid goes to Gotham Gym (and gave a shout out to her trainer after she elbowed a male stranger in the face in an instance of self defence).
Romee Strijd and Taylor Hill attend ModelFit and work out with Justin Gelband, who equates the show to his Golden Globe or Super Bowl (and admits to crying when watching it). And Maria Borges, just to outdo everyone, works out in heels.
Josephine Skriver and Jasmine Tookes, who were chosen to wear the Swarovski outfit and the Fantasy Bra respectively, have a combined Instagram “joja”, where they post videos of their partnered workouts and advocate a healthy lifestyle.
Around 24 models regularly attend the Dogpound gym, which is one of the buzziest gyms in New York City.
It was founded by 3 personal trainers, all of whom understand the importance of fitness and having a healthy lifestyle. One of them, maybe a little more so. Kirk Myers used to weigh over 135 kilograms and was diagnosed with congestive heart failure at 21 before turning his life around.
If you stalk the any of these trainers or their gym accounts on Instagram, you’ll see videos upon videos of the models working out for months prior to the show, kicking ass. They brought Kirk Myers to Paris with them for the show, while Lily brought Ballet Beautiful Creator Mary Helen Bowers with her (and worked out in the pool area when the gym was overflowing with models working out). You can bet your ass that next time I’m in New York, I’ll be dragging MY ass to all these different classes to try them out, and appreciating just how hard all these women work.
And yes, I understand that these women have the time, money and resources to attend gyms like this, work out with personal trainers of that calibre, and consume the immense amount of superfood they must consume. But that doesn’t mean I’m going to stop pinning photos of them to my fitspo Pinterest board, and then telling my PT Leanne weekly that I want to look like them. Is it realistic? Nope, I’m 5”7 (“8 on a good day) and have the stumpiest legs. Will they continue to inspire me with their dedication and focus? Of course they will!
Our millennial mouthpiece and Social Media manager Kate Evans knows where her true passions lie: celebrities, her butt and vapid by-lines. Follow her on Instagram.