What Life Is Really Like For A Victoria's Secret Model

What's it like to be a Victoria's Secret model? It's hard to imagine – after all, Victoria's Secret is basically the NFL of the modeling world. They are the big leagues. Their billboards, storefronts, and advertisements can be found all over the world. And thanks to their glitzy, televised fashion shows, many of their models – dubbed "Angels" – are instantly recognizable to even the most casual of shoppers.

Stories from Victoria's Secret Angels reveal just how much hard work goes into those struts down the catwalk. You may assume they were born with the perfect genes, but the daily life of a Victoria's Secret model actually involves rigorous exercise and carefully monitored diets. Those over-the-top runway shows aren't quite as glamorous as they look, either. Models' jobs often require them to be taped into their outfits, and they're coated in makeup from head to toe.

While everyone no doubt has their preconceived notions of what it means to be a Victoria's Secret model, the truth may surprise you. The life of an Angel isn't always so heavenly.

  • They Have To Commit 50 Days A Year Or More To The Brand

    They Have To Commit 50 Days A Year Or More To The Brand
    Photo: 3V0M / flickr / CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0

    In order to be a Victoria's Secret Angel, a model must agree to being a brand ambassador. That means committing 50 days a year or more to the company. Victoria's Secret also holds to right to call a model up any time, meaning she would have to drop other employment opportunities.

    Former Angel Miranda Kerr reportedly split from Victoria's Secret in 2013 when she couldn't commit to the demanding schedule.

  • They're Taped Into Every Outfit

    They're Taped Into Every Outfit
    Photo: cattias.photos / flickr / CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0

    Those extravagant outfits the Angels are known for don't happen by accident. It takes a lot of work to put them together, and just as much to keep them on. If you ever wondered how everything stayed in place for their shows, the answer if simple: tape. In order to keep everything PG-13, stylists liberally employ double-sided tape.

  • They Are Encouraged To Date Celebrities For Exposure

    They Are Encouraged To Date Celebrities For Exposure
    Photo: Tyndale House Publishers / Amazon

    Dating for publicity isn't anything new, but for these models, it's apparently often expected. Former model Kylie Bisutti won a competition to work for Victoria’s Secret. In her book I’m No Angel, she said her bosses encouraged her to “get together” with a celebrity to give the firm some extra attention – regardless of her existing ties:

    "Apparently one of the celebrities at the after-party thought I was his type. And this exec wanted to know if it was OK for him to pass along my phone number so we could ‘get together.' I had heard that the owners encouraged the Angels to date celebrities because of the extra publicity it provided. But since I was happily married, I assumed they realized I was off the market.”

  • They're Sometimes Sewn Into Lingerie

    Lingerie is often quiet delicate. With the models moving around so much during Victoria's Secret runway shows, accidents happen, so seamstresses stand by if they need to fix anything that rips. That means Angels may end up sewn into their ensembles.

  • They Have Whole Teams Dedicated To Dressing Them Backstage

    They Have Whole Teams Dedicated To Dressing Them Backstage
    Photo: Maestro25 / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

    With the makeup, hair, outfits, and wings, one could wonder just how in the world a model has the time to get herself ready for a show. Well, she doesn't. It takes an entire team to put together the look of Victoria's Secret model. Her main job before hitting the catwalk is to stand still as the team puts together each look.

  • Their Bodies Are Covered In Makeup, Too

    Their Bodies Are Covered In Makeup, Too
    Photo: Porter Hovey / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0

    How do models get such flawless skin? Makeup definitely helps, and it's applied all over the women's bodies to emphasize and flatter their figures.

    As Victoria’s Secret model Selita Ebanks explains, “It’s all about creating the illusion of this amazing body on the runway. People don’t realize that there are about 20 layers of makeup on my butt alone.”