Victoria’s Secret has recently experienced a long-overdue reckoning for the years of strife they put their models through, ultimately affecting the body image of women and girls across the globe. The company has since shifted into a new era, trying to atone for its past transgressions by removing the concept of the Victoria’s Secret Angel. A handful of former models for the brand have come out and revealed how horrible it was working for the corporation. Recently, Erin Heatherton shared just how far she went to try to lose weight and keep her job.
During an upcoming appearance on the Fallen Angel podcast Heatherton, who modeled for the brand between 2010 and 2013, shared her experiences of being pushed “over the edge a little bit.”
In a preview of the episode obtained by People, Heatherton explained that when she was about 25-years-old “things started to go south” as she realized what she had been doing to stay thin wasn’t yielding 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,” Heatherton reflected.
She turned to a “nutritionist to the stars,” who prescribed her an amphetamine-like appetite suppressant. “[He] started me on this diet pill called phentermine, which my therapist later called ‘bathwater meth,’” said Heatherton. She added that she also began injecting herself with HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin).
Heatherton noted that she was “so against” these tactics but reluctantly played along. Looking back, she feels that no one had her best interest at heart. “I don’t have any faith that these people really cared about me. You know what I’m saying? It’s just about business,” Heatherton said.
Luckily, Heatherton has since made peace with the past and is in a healthy place. She hopes that she can help prevent other people from having similar experiences. “I speak out only for people that might hear me and…change their attitude towards how they treat themselves,” Heatherton said.
“When you have an eating disorder, you lose your freedom. When you are confined to this shape, it consumes your life,” explained Heatherton. She holds promise “that aspirational [body] goals can exist without illness and eating disorders” through using healthy means to achieve the body you want.
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