In this world a woman’s worth seems to be determined by her beauty, sadly. Too many women and girls fall prey to the illusion that if they have a VS model’s body, everything will be perfect. I myself have spent too much time on this pretty lie… without noticing what I do have. I know opinions are torn about ‘normal’ catwalk models (who of course are all naturally almost emaciated…) but VS Angels are seen as ‘healthily’ gorgeous… and more of an ‘ideal’ for your everyday woman because, let’s face it, Candice Swanepoel and Alessandra Ambrosio have a lot more sex-appeal than most of the Eastern European beauties dominating Fashion Weeks.
I actually do somehow admire the Victoria’s Secret Angels, simply because how well they portray this image of perfection. They smile. And they don’t seem to come out of some Soviet model factory. (insert reference: vsallaccess.victoriassecret.com)We’ve got American girls, South-African ‘bokkies’, Brazilian bombshells, an Aussie sheila, a Dutchwoman and an English Lady. And yes, I know we still miss an Indian princess and a Chinese girl for example, but my point is that they’re from all over. And those of which I know the countries well enough to judge: we’re talking rural-ish (as in, still have an actual town) South-Africa or Frisian (-what? Yes, my point exactly) beauties strutting right next to someone from LA.
So, in terms of attaining this perfection: They’re 5’9 – 5’10 tall, aged 25 -give or take a few… some are 31…. Their BMI’s end up around 18, roughly, give or take a point. (based on not so trustworthy internet search, but it sounds about plausible). They wear a UK size 6 in clothing… roughly a northern European 34, or southern european 36, US 2 I think. They have boobs. They have curves. Most will have an ‘hourglass’ figure… same shape as Marilyn Monroe but then a bit narrower.
Here’s the deal. You don’t get to ‘make’ your body perfect like that. Most girls with a BMI of 18 don’t have much boobs. Most girls who are 5’10 don’t wear a size XS clothing. Actually, the hourglass figure is pretty rare nowadays. And that’s OK. Because beauty isn’t measured in your so called ‘vital statistics’, bra size or the like. And beauty is pretty much an extra in terms of women’s worth. Besides, if we all looked like VS models, the world would be dull and who knows, your ‘imperfect’ body might become the new ideal.
BESIDES. So-called physical perfection doesn’t make you happier, or beautiful in fact. Nothing as ugly as emptiness in a person. And the so-called perfection actually has it’s drawbacks.
I am 5’10 and pretty much fit the ‘vital stats’ profile I mentioned above; especially if I exercise. Which I need to do, in order to keep myself sane. I have a slight build, and my BMI of 18-and a bit isn’t as unhealthy as it would be on about 95% of women. I mean, yeah, I’m thin, but not unhealthily thin. I wear a 30E bra. I’ve seen uglier faces than mine, as long as you don’t look at me at 7AM after a night shift. My complexion is just a tad different than MOST, it’s almost like I can’t decide wether I’m a blonde or a brunette, and my eyes are dark blue.
Ok, all pretty much ‘ideal’ you’d say… but I’d actually like to have a chat with the VS models to see how they deal with the following minor annoyances.
-Do they have the same difficulty trying to find a bra? Oh, wait, they don’t, they work for VS and make a buttload of cash.
-Where do they shop jeans? Last time I tried on 20 pairs to find one that had a good fit. According to jeans making people skinny girls can’t be curvy, and skinny girls can’t be tall. And no, don’t refer me to Levi’s: while the salespeople were swooning (I think they do that with every customer, they’re professional swooners) I asked my brutally honest friend for the verdict: those butt pockets make you look like a model whose butt implants were placed in the wrong place.
– Honestly. Where do they shop?? I don’t have a massive budget for this. ‘Tall’ departments start at a size larger than mine. Clothing is made for average women. Average Woman with my clothing size apparently is 15cm shorter than I am and has no curves. That gorgeous LBD will have a bum-bubble sitting right above my bum. Some dresses end up being tops on me, and it’s pretty hard to find a dress with a decent enough length. Or a skirt for that matter. You know, a suitable-for-work length. And trust me, if I do decide to wear something short people DO stare… do shorter girls have that problem?
-I’m a bra sales lady’s worst nightmare. Mostly because I think bra manufacturers don’t grasp the concept of small and curvy. Look, they’re big enough to need support, but the same model as a 36G is a bit over the top. They don’t need to be strapped down! Also, I’m curvy enough, thanks, I’ll skip on the super push up. Well, nevermind, actually, almost nobody sells 28F’s or 30E’s.
– Bikinis? Help? Ok, I know, I’m very high maintanance when it comes to bikinis. I need them to fit and to stay put. Impossible. (But, maybe, one day they’ll start selling VS over here???? American friends keep telling me to shop VS.
– Rings and bracelets…. I’ve started making them myself because of my child-sized wrists and fingers
– Occasionally I run into someone who can’t imagine anything can be less than perfect in my life because I’m thin. Eh, I have a frazzled brain. ADHD, dyspraxia, sensory whadyacallit, depression, an eating disorder I can’t recover from but I am so proud that I’m stable at a fair enough weight health-wise, several traumatic experiences and a lot of other stuff resulting from that frazzled brain. Thin doesn’t solve anything, really, apart from in my case literally feeling uncomfortable in my own skin at a weight which would solve all of the minor problems mentioned above, because it would be NORMAL. I have a sort of sensory hypersensitivity: can’t stand ill-fitting clothes, can’t stand it when my hair is uncomfortable, never got used to wearing glasses as a child, and I feel really uncomfortable when my body gets past a certain point size-wise, or fat-muscle ratio-wise… or I don’t really know. I think it’s the latter, I actually was fairly OK at a higher weight with more muscle than I have time to maintain right now. And I don’t get used to it. Right now I feel like I need more excercise, if I want to keep myself stable.
– Which makes the incessant stream of comments on my weight touchy. Seriously. Somehow it’s OK to discuss my body? I don’t witness people of more standard proportions go through that as often. I’m jealous of them. Either worrisome questions about my health status, or skinny jokes, or ‘I want your body’. (If yours is comfortable, I’d gladly swap, no matter the size). I’ve decided to joke along, get a laugh out of it. The best skinny joke actually came from one of the docs who worked at a hospital where I did clinicals. He was skinny as well, and we were standing in a very slow lift. ‘Hey, we can just jump through the crack between lift and floor, we’d be downstairs faster, I’m sure we’ll fit’.
Anyway. I’m tired of complaining, I think this post may sort of miss the bite I intended but oh well.