A TMZ reporter recently floated around backstage at the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show like a kid in a candy store, asking the models what they were most excited to eat after the show.
It might seem like a harmless question, until you read the title of TMZ‘s video: Backstage with hot models who crave fatty foods. Many of the models were perfectly willing to answer, until he got to VS Angel Magdalena Frackowiak, who, thank goodness, wasn’t going to settle.
“No, guys, not with these kinds of questions. This is stupid,” she replied. “Ask more smart questions, not eating after the show. You make me feel like… you make me look like an idiot.” He tried to backtrack, but she wasn’t having it. “Yeah, but it seems like I’m starving myself and I can’t wait for the show to end to eat.”
She proceeded to shoo him in a moment that will make you want to cheer.
These are women who come from all over the world, who have struggled and worked hard and may actually be living out their dream in that very moment, being downgraded to hot chicks who just want to eat. There are so many questions that should come to mind besides, “Please tell me what you’re going to eat, because you must have starved yourself to look like this.”
Can’t we represent the beauty and the brains?
It should make us all think twice about how we perpetuate the stereotypes that plague us. Not every skinny woman is starving, and not every curvy woman just left McDonald’s, but every woman has something else to offer besides her weight, so maybe we should start telling a different story.
The reality is, many models probably do feel an immense amount of pressure to look a certain way, and without question, some suffer serious consequences, like disordered eating and body dysmorphia. That’s a conversation that shouldn’t be silenced. However, it also doesn’t mean they are all a bunch of walking eating disorders who have nothing else to talk about besides what they are going to eat that day.
Yes, Victoria’s Secret models are thin. Yes, they probably have diets and fitness routines, ones that women inevitably always want to know more about, because somewhere in the back of our heads we think that’s what we’re supposed to look like in lingerie. Like fitting into a bikini, we have to work to fit into lingerie. Victoria’s Secret is one of the biggest offenders of perpetuating this idea, but reporters who ask questions like this don’t help, and two wrongs don’t make one right. As writers and journalists, we have an opportunity to tell a different story no matter what the setting implies. We should be telling the story you might not expect to hear.
Why not ask this woman about her life, her story, what got her here, what she’s going to do next? For the sake of using a trendy term, ask her more. Ask her about more than her looks. Just because she’s a model does not mean there isn’t more to the picture, and we would be narrow-minded to think so.
Victoria’s Secret would do well to kick out scummy reporters like this. They should want to support these women as more than bait for the male gaze, and definitely more than something to mock.