• Mon, Nov 5 2012

Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show Is Coming; Models Are Tweeting About Calories. Here’s Why It’s Not All Bad.

joan smalls

The Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show is coming, which means we’re about to get slammed with headlines about the models’s diets and workouts. Today’s big news is that Joan Smalls tweeted her workout’s calorie burn, in friendly competition with fellow Victoria’s Secret model Andreea Diaconu, earning eyerolls over on Buzzfeed…but in her defense, I’m not sure it’s really so bad.

I’m as weary of the annual VS model diet obsession as anyone else, but I’m also inclined to say it’s a good thing that they’re sharing what it takes to get ready for the show. When their divulgences serve as thinspo for people with eating disorders or serious body image problems, obviously: bad. But when they remind us that these models aren’t just gifted with genetics, but the time and money to throw so much effort into manipulating their bodies? Good.

Smalls shared a photo of her heart rate monitor:

joan smalls workout

And Diaconu shared a photo of her treadmill monitor:

andreea diaconu workout

Both boasted burns of close to 1,000 calories, which is a LOT. But using a heart rate monitor, treadmill, and HIIT (high intensity interval training) are all pretty smart, safe ways to work out…and realistically, they’re also a requirement for getting the kind of bodies the “firm/thin/buff look” that Buzzfeed says has become the main attraction of the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show.

Now, models aren’t always reliable narrators, and things get tricky when models boast about crash dieting in interviews. Twitter hosts its fair share of mixed messaging, no less when it comes to the diet and workout routines of Victoria’s Secret models. But I think it’s more dangerous for fitness and fashion magazines to sell readers on the promise that a basic workout or yoga routine will make them look like the women on the runway.

I don’t mean to confuse honesty about the modeling industry with body positivity, but knowing how extreme models’ workouts and diets really are is one step closer to breaking down the illusion that if we all just bought the right products and did what the magazines tell us to, we would look the same way.

Photos: Facebook, Twitter

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  • Fabel

    Yeah, I have to agree this is a good thing– much better than the “all I eat are cheeseburgers & chocolate cake!” nonsense that so many models were purporting not too long ago.

  • Alexandra

    How long were they exercising for! O.o

    I’m approximately same weight/height as them (5’9.5 / 120lbs) and I burn so little calories when I exercise xD

    I should probably invest in a heart rate monitor instead of using online calculators…

    • Hannah

      I was curious about that too… Looks like the treadmill monitor says 3 hrs 45 mins… I don’t know if I have quite that much time to set aside. Maybe I’ll try it for a week and see what happens.

    • http://fitorama.wordpress.com/ Lauren Lever

      63:45 minutes, only a bit more than an hour!

    • Hannah

      Ohh, guess the glare got me!