It’s that time of the year again. Christmas is approaching, winter is almost there and we can finally let our jeans feel a bit tighter than normal and start eating all the cheese and candy and chocolate that we have been avoiding like the plague during Summer.
Until it hits you. It’s that time of the month. Not that one, the one where you are almost comfortable about gearing into your holiday mode, until you realize that, HOLY CRAP THE VICTORIA’S SECRET SHOW IS OUT this month.
I love a good Victoria’s Secret show, I won’t deny it. I follow the Angels on their Instagram because seriously, who doesn’t like to look at some beauty once in a while?
But I have noticed a behavioral pattern that tends to fall around this time of the month.
After the excitement of looking at hot people doing absolutely nothing, we get to watch the show and that it happens.
What am I talking about? The post-traumatic sadness that happens after watching the Victoria’s Secret show.
I have seen it unfolding like the scene from Scarface where Al Pacino knows he fucked up and he doesn’t know what to do anymore, so he just goes for it and you can see the moment where he is literally going to tear the whole place down.
I sat next to a person watching the show and I witnessed the moment where her eyes sparkled at the sight of all those incredibly happy and gorgeous people, being rich and famous and freaking hot; I saw her envy clouding her eyes and her muscles tense, when comparison started to happen in her brain.
I knew the right moment when the words “I am going on a diet tomorrow” made her neurons spark and travel to her voice. When she made a conscious decision that her body actually sucked after watching something that is definitely not as real as it looks, and that now her whole day was ruined.
How do I know this? Because I used to obsess over the Victoria’s Secret show.
For an anorexic, a show like that is like a drug addict finding tons of morphine for free.
I remember that I stumbled on a picture of young Adriana Lima on a thinspo blog on MySpace (FYI thinspo were blogs that posted pictures that could motivate people with eating disorders to keep falling under their holes).
I used to spend hours on thinspo blogs, because back in the day, everyone strived for the skinny white girl with a coke addiction type of body. There were no fitspo, or girls who lift, so Victoria’s Secret opened a whole world to the young Italian girl I was.
I used to watch the show and feel so crap about myself that I used to watch it on my iPod while running on the treadmill. I think that tells enough about why a show like that isn’t always about glitter and angels.
But I watched the show a couple of years ago with different eyes and a much better mind. I watched it when I was feeling more confident with my body and I had worked hard not to put it in comparison with other bodies.
And that’s when I witnessed my friend’s reaction and the rest of the world. (Mostly female).
Just a couple of seconds after the show ended, social media was breaking with “Gonna go on a diet tomorrow”, or “FML Candice’s body”, or “I hate my life”.
I felt a lot of sadness and grief for the women around me. I know how hard it is to feel uncomfortable in your bodies, especially when you are constantly reminded of how inadequate your body is compared to these unattainable beauty standards.
I have always wanted to write on this topic, because I remember googling on my old Windows ’99 “i feel sad after the vs show” and (obviously) nothing came up.
So here’s my
HOW TO RECOVER FROM THE VICTORIA’S SECRET SHOW
Don’t be fooled.
Don’t let the Lucifer wings and the glittery kissing lips fool you. The show is like any other fashion shows. It’s made of hours of make up, crazy costumes, long-limbed humans who gracefully walk down a runway and hundreds of expensive cameras that are built to portray the highest quality image possible to your eyes.
It’s not real. And the fact that they book the most popular models of the year – mainly Caucasian – and throw a little bit of other ethnicities just to fool you a little bit that their standard of beauty is inclusive and accepting of other races; it should be enough to teach you that you are literally comparing yourself to something that is pretty much unattainable.
I am sure that you don’t want to be seen as a fool, right?
Alright, well let me tell you about what you are comparing yourself against to.
Victoria’s Secret has built a brand around the idea that women will always buy products that are not really the best quality or the best style, if an insanely attractive woman pushes it to them.
And I am not really here to talk to you about the quality side of their products, though you should know that the company had been found to use cotton produced by child labor, but we ain’t really complaining when we buy their 10$ panties right?
No, but you’re not a fool. You know that you support good companies; companies that value you as a consumer and as a person, right?
Don’t worry, because Victoria’s Secret already figured out a couple of years ago, when social media had opened conversations about body images and fat shaming, and the company freaked out. They were like, how are we going to push those 10$ panties if these girls have finally stopped starving themselves and looking at Candice’s body?
But see, the amazing thing about big companies who want the big paychecks is that they always have the big lawyers watching their backs, and the big advertising guys to narrate the story that they want to push on us.
So while young girls were embracing the word “fat” and people were opening up to discussions about body image issues and eating disorders, Victoria’s Secret came up with what they thought was going to be the ground breaking campaign “Love my Body”.
I mean, when I looked at the campaign I bursted out laughing because it showed that the company really didn’t know where to ride anymore. Oh, you’re happy to love your body, girl? Let me just do a campaign of 10 perfectly toned gals with the face of an angel and the paycheck of Robert Murdoch and we’ll see how happy you will be. You might need those panties and our overpriced perfume afterall.
Are you seeing through the crap? Perfect, you’re ready.
Either watch it, or ditch it.
So you’re awake. You have seen through it and you’re angry. Or maybe you just don’t care, because you are only watching because it’s like falling asleep to the Kardashians; you know how stupid it is to waste your time with it but it makes you chill and it’s alright.
But this is for those of you who are angry. Angry at the fact that you were fine with eating those Maccaroni and Cheese an hour ago, and now that you have watched the show and you have seen through the crap, and they have ruined your appetite, you want to do something about it.
Well then ditch it. Don’t watch it, because especially if you have problems with eating and body image, it won’t help you.
I know it’s fun and cute to watch it and it’s something that you can talk about tomorrow on your lunch break, but if you feel like shit about yourself, it’s time to ditch it and take care of those wounds of yours.
I personally think that you should ditch it as a company that thrives off this kind of message and unsustainable business structure, but I know that it’s hard to quit the brands we are most loyal to cold turkey, even when we know that they harm the environment, not to mention they sell us crap.
But the point is, that if you are able to watch it and disengage with the whole self-hatred that comes with it and the mindfuck fest that you will cook for days; then do it.
Watch it, have a laugh at how ridiculous our society is, tweet about your favorite models, appreciate their bodies and their effort into looking that good and then just go to bed.
If you feel like shit the moment that annoying intro with the security talking in the background as if Candice was the President walking down that freaking aisle, then just ditch it. Just because everybody is watching and self-loathing together, it doesn’t meant that you have to do it as well.
Ditch it and watch things that actually make you feel adequate. Like Spongebob Squarepants.
Don’t talk to your negative friends.
I feel like most of us already know that our bodies are pretty awesome and not bad, but when something like the VS show comes up, everyone loses a bit of their sanity and then they throw negativity around like a boomerang. You might be trying to fight against the urge of falling down with the self-hate, but there’s people sharing pictures on Facebook, maybe your partner comments on the models.
But you know this. People are always willing to talk about stuff that is useless and not supportive of others.
So if you are highly sensitive after the show, or you don’t want to ride with their “fuck my life” fest, then stand by your position.
Don’t dismiss your ideas or feelings about it, only because it’s a show. It’s more than just show, because it is watched, shared by millions of people, of which mostly are women who feel like complete and utter crap about themselves.
Opening a discussion and listening to what other people are feeling will lead to a great road. You will find out how many people feel the same about it like you, how many other girls have struggled with body image and feeling comfortable with themselves after the show.
Talking about something that happens to be one of the richest brand in the world means that we are actually challenging the way they sell their products and think that we are just a group of insecure fools who can’t wait to watch a show that only makes us feel like crap about ourselves.
Don’t go on a diet.
No matter how badly you feel about yourself and think that you need to go on a diet after watching that hour of soft porn with glitter and wings, don’t do it.
Going on a diet is not going to fix your problems, or make you look like Candice Swanepoel. Especially starting a diet only because you have been motivated by some kind of fitspo or six-pack parade.
I mean, of course it would be nice to look that fit, but at what cost?
You know that those models don’t get to look like that even after having a baby, or a long hiatus, simply by “working out”. It’s not something that happens overnight. This is their job; they get paid millions to look like that, you’d be running around with your ankle weights and ditching the burrito, if you were paid that much.
A diet is not going to help you find the peace you need to look as happy and confident as a VS model, because they are just genetically lucky people, who worked hard for their bodies and work, and they are part of a brand that glamourizes that kind of body.
You need to change your diet and your exercising habits because of your health. Because you want to feel stronger, healthier and fitter. You want to be able to run, jump and bend, without feeling like your body is failing you. You want to nourish your body with delicious food, but you also want to give your soul a treat.
It’s not just about being hot, rich and sexy. If it was like that, how is it that people who don’t look like VS models are happy with themselves and live fullfilling lives? Yeah, right, because all of this doesn’t really matter, if you truly love yourself.
Ditch whoever tells you that you have to look like that.
I am not even going to explain this because I believe it’s pretty straightforward. But if anyone ever tells you that you have to look like that, or asks you to become like that, please open your local bin and throw them down where it belongs: the trash.
If you can’t, then listen to this and keep it in your mind. Everybody – especially those who tell you you have to look like that – everybody is a tiny bit insecure about themselves. Some are better at hiding it than others.
So when you hear somebody says that to you, always remember that osmebody who is happy with themselves and has things going in their lives, wouldn’t spend a mintue of their time to make you feel bad about yourself.
Some quick feel-good things you can do.
- Drink a lot of water – Feeling mopey and unhealthy leaves you dehydrated.
- Eat some fruit – Fruit is like nature’s candy and it will fill you up with the vitamins you need to make the right decision on not go on a diet after watching a dumb show.
- Watch a feel-good movie or a Ted Talk – Alright, you have watched some trashy tv, now fuel that brain with something uplifting, or inspirational. It will distract you from all the glitz and glamour and bring you back to the fact that the majority of the world lives under poverty mostly because of companies with the same strategies and greed as VS.
- Talk to a friend – Call a friend and talk to someone you know won’t make you feel even more depressed about yourself. Again, talking about it makes it more real and safer for you feel.
- Dance in your underwear – Hey, I know it’s the last thing you want to do, but I promise that dancing naked is what you need to get your body out and stop subconsciously shaming it because it doesn’t look like a brand tells you it should look. Put some Beyonce on and Feel yourself!
- Go for a walk, or meditate – Don’t go to the cardio class today, because it’s not going to help you. Go for a walk and think about your emotions, really meditate while walking. Be self-aware of what’s going on inside your brain.
And my last bit od advice is. Don’t take it too seriously.
Don’t think it in black and white. Don’t think that everybody wants to look like that and that if not, you will never find anyone who will understand you. Because it’s stupid.
You will find people who will not like you for who you are, and that’s fine.
You will find people who will support the VS show like a One Direction fan.
You will find people who will hate themselves after watching the show.
All you need to focus on is how YOU feel about it and what YOU can do about those feelings.
The rest is just glitter and wings.