* TRIGGER WARNING - This story contains discussions about eating disorders and dangerous diets. If any of these conversations are triggering please contact the Butterfly Foundation at 1800 33 4673 or head to their website butterfly.org.au *
- DEMI LYNCH -
Model Erin Heatherton has spoken out about the extreme measures she used to lose weight for Victoria's Secret.
During her time as a Victoria's Secret Angel, Erin was pressured by the brand to remain skinny.
"Where things started to go south for me was when I hit, I think it was 25 [years old]," she says, "there was this certain point where everything that I was doing just didn't yield the same results. I was just a little bit bigger. In retrospect, that's just biology and how the body works. You're not the same size when you're 18 to when you're 25."
In hopes to maintain her slim figure, Erin sought out a nutritionist.
He was claimed to be the "nutritionist to the stars;" yet instead of offering Erin nutritional advice he prescribed her with amphetamine-like appetite suppressants and hormone injections.
"[He] started me on this diet pill called phentermine, which my therapist later called bathwater meth," she says, "I don't know. I was just like let me Lance Armstrong this because I'm renovating my condo. I can't lose my job right now."
Throughout her years as a Victoria's Secret angel every morning Erin would inject herself with HCG (Human Chorionic Gonadropin).
Her nutritionist claimed many models used this hormone injection to stay skinny.
"I look back at it as like emotional cutting because I was so against everything that I was doing, but I was just reluctantly doing it almost to feel the pain or feel how wrong it was," she says, "I don't want anyone to have an eating disorder or hate their bodies - I know what that feels like."
Erin isn't the only one to speak out against the brand's obsession with toxic diet culture.
Model says she was so malnourished during her time working for Victoria's Secret it once took her 10 minutes to walk up a flight of stairs.
"The longest I managed to go without eating was three days and I had to quit because I kept passing out," she says, "my body was malnourished, my mind was malnourished, it was relentless; what that company represented for me and for so many other women was extremely exploitative at that time; to me it felt like controlling women."
The controversial brand is currently in the process of rebranding themselves.
The Angels have been swapped out with the VS Collective: a group of women "famous for their achievements and not their proportions (as perfectly put by the New York Times)."
But will this transition be enough?
Can we as consumers forgive and forget the toxic diet culture promoted by the lingerie brand?
Featured Image: The Independent