Former Victoria’s Secret model says working with brand was ‘traumatic’

‘I’ve never experienced anything like it before’

Clémence Michallon
New York City
Tuesday 14 September 2021 07:29
Former Victoria’s Secret model speaks out against ‘exploitative’ brand

A former Victoria’s Secret model says working with the brand was “traumatic”.

Bridget Malcolm opened up about her experience in an interview with 60 Minutes Australia, which aired on Sunday (12 September).

Prior to discussing Victoria’s Secret specifically, Malcolm shared insight into her modeling career in general. She was scouted at the age of 14 in Perth in her native Australia. As she made her foray into the modeling world, Malcolm developed an eating disorder, becoming a “shell” of her former self.

Still, she kept booking modeling jobs, including at Victoria’s Secret. She walked for the lingerie brand in 2015 and 2016.

“What that company represented for me and for so many other women was extremely exploitative at that time,” she said. “To me, it felt like controlling women. Getting women as small as possible and then even not being small enough. I’m still trying to wrap my head around it.”

Malcolm alleges that she was deemed too big by Victoria’s Secret after she gained half an inch on her hips.

Asked by the interviewer: “How clear was the message from Victoria’s Secret that you needed to be super skinny?”, Malcolm replied: “Pretty clear.”

Bridget Malcolm walks the runway during the 2015 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show on 10 November 2015 in New York City

She added later in the interview: “I’ve never experienced anything like it before and I hope to never again. It was truly quite a traumatic experience.”

The Independent has contacted Victoria’s Secret for comment.

A spokesperson for the company told the Daily Mail Australia in a statement: “There is a new leadership team at Victoria’s Secret who is fully committed to the continued transformation of the brand with a focus on creating an inclusive environment for our associates, customers and partners to celebrate, uplift and champion all women.”

For anyone struggling with the issues raised in this piece, eating disorder charity Beat’s helpline is available 365 days a year on 0808 801 0677.

NCFED offers information, resources and counselling for those suffering from eating disorders, as well as their support networks. Visit eating-disorders.org.uk or call 0845 838 2040.

In the US, you can contact the National Eating Disorders Association for support, by chatting online, by calling (800) 931-2237, or by texting (800) 931-2237.

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