Behind the feathery wings and bejeweled bras at the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, it wasn’t all that fun for Erin Heatherton. The model recently opened up to Motto by Time magazine about how hard it is to live up to the unrealistic expectations of being an Angel.
Heatherton, 27, made her VS debut in 2008 and parted ways with the lingerie retailer in 2013 after a rough few years when she struggled with body image. “My last two Victoria’s Secret shows, I was told I had to lose weight,” she claimed to Motto. “I look back like, ‘Really?’” (Victoria’s Secret did not respond to requests for comment by Motto or Us Weekly.)
The model said at first she tried so hard to drop a few pounds by eating healthy and working out twice a day, but her body “just wouldn’t do it,” she said. “I was really depressed because I was working so hard and I felt like my body was resisting me. And I got to the 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.”
After her final show for the lingerie company in 2013, she took time to focus on herself and loving her body. “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.
She decided to use her platform to help other women going through similar struggles. “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,” she told Motto. “It hurts too much to keep it in, and that’s why I’m not keeping it in now.”
The Northwest Company brand ambassador even recently posted about her “breakdown-to-breakthrough moment” on Instagram. “Through this struggle, however, I found the strength to love myself,” she wrote.
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