Victoria Secret model Erin Heatherton has opened up about the pressure she faced to be thin which ultimately led her to leave the modelling profession behind.
“My last two Victoria’s Secret shows, I was told I had to lose weight,” the US model said. “I look back like, ‘Really?'”
Heatherton walked in Victoria Secret fashion shows from 2008 to 2013. She followed a strict diet and exercised twice per day but it seemed like nothing she did was enough. She says in 2013 her body hit a wall and wouldn’t respond to her efforts to get slimmer.
“I was really depressed because I was working so hard and I felt like my body was resisting me,” she said. “And I got to a 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.”
Being pushed to the brink of an eating disorder was all Heatherton could take. She cut ties with the brand in 2014 to focus on her physical and emotional health.
“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.”
Two years later, she says that she has been able to make peace with her body image.
“The breakdown to breakthrough moment in my life has allowed me to become the truest version of myself. In my moment of “failure,” I stood in the face of adversity. I was struggling with my body image and the pressures to fulfill the demands of perfectionism upon me. I am not perfect. Through this struggle, however, I found the strength to love myself,” she said in an Instagram post.
Victoria Secret has not commented on Heatherton’s claims that they pressured her to lose weight.