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Bridget Malcolm says Victoria’s Secret was ‘exploitative’ in quest to be super skinny

247 News Around The World
247 News Around The World

Bridget Malcolm has once again slammed the toxic culture she claims to have experienced while working for Victoria’s Secret.

The Australian model, who walked the runway for the lingerie giant in 2015 and 2016, said the message from Victoria’s Secret management to be super skinny was ‘pretty clear’ in an explosive interview with 60 Minutes on Sunday.

Describing the pressure she felt to lose weight, the 29-year-old recalled a time when she was so malnourished it took her ’10 minutes to climb a flight of stairs’.

'Exploitative': Model Bridget Malcolm told 60 Minutes she was so malnourished during her time working for Victoria's Secret it once took her 10 minutes to walk up a flight of stairs

'Exploitative': Model Bridget Malcolm told 60 Minutes she was so malnourished during her time working for Victoria's Secret it once took her 10 minutes to walk up a flight of stairs

‘Exploitative’: Model Bridget Malcolm told 60 Minutes she was so malnourished during her time working for Victoria’s Secret it once took her 10 minutes to walk up a flight of stairs

When asked how clear the message was from Victoria’s Secret that you needed to be super skinny, Bridget was blunt in her response: ‘Pretty clear.’

‘I had an eating disorder, I was relying on anti-anxiety medication, I was having panic attacks constantly, I was exhausted,’ she added.

‘My body was malnourished, my mind was malnourished, it was relentless. What that company represented for me and for so many other women was extremely exploitative at that time. To me it felt like controlling women.’

Bridget, who is now a mental health advocate, was scouted on the streets of Perth at the age of 14, and by 15 was told by her agent she needed to lose weight.

Pressure: When asked how clear the message was from Victoria's Secret that you needed to be super skinny, Bridget said: 'Pretty clear.' She added, 'I had an eating disorder... My body was malnourished, my mind was malnourished, it was relentless'

Pressure: When asked how clear the message was from Victoria's Secret that you needed to be super skinny, Bridget said: 'Pretty clear.' She added, 'I had an eating disorder... My body was malnourished, my mind was malnourished, it was relentless'

Pressure: When asked how clear the message was from Victoria’s Secret that you needed to be super skinny, Bridget said: ‘Pretty clear.’ She added, ‘I had an eating disorder… My body was malnourished, my mind was malnourished, it was relentless’

What resulted was a decade-long battle with eating disorders. She once even stopped eating altogether and only drank water for three days.

‘The longest I managed to go without eating was three days. And I had to quit because I kept passing out. And I was annoyed with myself because I was determined to make it to five days. I couldn’t function, I couldn’t move,’ she said.

Bridget walked the VS runway in 2015 and 2016, and got a ‘very interior glimpse’ at the impossible beauty standards running rampant behind the scenes.

Looking back: Viewing footage of herself walking the runway for the lingerie giant in 2015 and 2016, the Perth-born model said that while she was smiling she was 'dead' in the eyes

Looking back: Viewing footage of herself walking the runway for the lingerie giant in 2015 and 2016, the Perth-born model said that while she was smiling she was 'dead' in the eyes

Looking back: Viewing footage of herself walking the runway for the lingerie giant in 2015 and 2016, the Perth-born model said that while she was smiling she was ‘dead’ in the eyes

Battle: The beginning of 2017 saw her at her worst, becoming so malnourished she didn't have the energy to walk up a flight of stairs. 'I just reached the top and I just had that awful hollow feeling of like this is how the rest of my life is going to look like,' she said

Battle: The beginning of 2017 saw her at her worst, becoming so malnourished she didn't have the energy to walk up a flight of stairs. 'I just reached the top and I just had that awful hollow feeling of like this is how the rest of my life is going to look like,' she said

Battle: The beginning of 2017 saw her at her worst, becoming so malnourished she didn’t have the energy to walk up a flight of stairs. ‘I just reached the top and I just had that awful hollow feeling of like this is how the rest of my life is going to look like,’ she said

Looking back at footage of herself on the catwalk for the lingerie giant, Bridget said that while she was smiling she was ‘dead’ in the eyes.

The beginning of 2017 saw her at her worst, becoming so malnourished she didn’t have the energy to walk up a flight of stairs.

‘I just reached the top and I just had that awful hollow feeling of like this is how the rest of my life is going to look like, unless I do something about it now,’ she said.

A Victoria’s Secret spokesperson told Daily Mail Australia: 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.’

This isn’t the first time Bridget has slammed the culture at Victoria’s Secret.

She shared a series of TikTok videos in June in which she detailed the pressure to lose weight while working for the brand.

Behind the scenes: This isn't the first time Bridget has slammed the culture at Victoria's Secret. She shared a series of TikTok videos in June in which she detailed the pressure to lose weight while working for the brand

Behind the scenes: This isn't the first time Bridget has slammed the culture at Victoria's Secret. She shared a series of TikTok videos in June in which she detailed the pressure to lose weight while working for the brand

Behind the scenes: This isn’t the first time Bridget has slammed the culture at Victoria’s Secret. She shared a series of TikTok videos in June in which she detailed the pressure to lose weight while working for the brand

‘There was this culture that was created that was like, if you just stay, if you get a bit skinnier, if you keep doing what we want you to do, you’re going to be an Angel and you’re going to be world famous and it’s going to be amazing,’ she said.

‘And I was a kid, I was young and I hadn’t developed a full sense of identity at that point, and so I believed it, and I was like, I want this. I would be stupid if I didn’t make the most of this opportunity.

‘So I stayed. I once had one of the top photographers from Victoria’s Secret say if you got skinnier you would become an Angel.

Claims: 'There was this culture that was created that was like, if you just stay, if you get a bit skinnier, if you keep doing what we want you to do, you're going to be an Angel and you're going to be world famous and it's going to be amazing,' she said

Claims: 'There was this culture that was created that was like, if you just stay, if you get a bit skinnier, if you keep doing what we want you to do, you're going to be an Angel and you're going to be world famous and it's going to be amazing,' she said

Claims: ‘There was this culture that was created that was like, if you just stay, if you get a bit skinnier, if you keep doing what we want you to do, you’re going to be an Angel and you’re going to be world famous and it’s going to be amazing,’ she said

‘And I thought great I am so close. But the reality was nothing was ever enough because it’s the patriarchy, sorry.

‘Eventually I had given up so much of my life, I was so sick that I thought if I don’t make it at this point, I would have wasted the last 10 years of my life. Which I struggle with to this day a little bit.’

Bridget, who has walked for Ralph Lauren and Stella McCartney, now works with brands that make her feel good about herself.

Slim: 'I once had one of the top photographers from Victoria's Secret say if you got skinnier you would become an Angel. And I thought great I am so close. But the reality was nothing was ever enough because it's the patriarchy, sorry,' she said. Pictured on the VS runway in 2016

Slim: 'I once had one of the top photographers from Victoria's Secret say if you got skinnier you would become an Angel. And I thought great I am so close. But the reality was nothing was ever enough because it's the patriarchy, sorry,' she said. Pictured on the VS runway in 2016

Slim: ‘I once had one of the top photographers from Victoria’s Secret say if you got skinnier you would become an Angel. And I thought great I am so close. But the reality was nothing was ever enough because it’s the patriarchy, sorry,’ she said. Pictured on the VS runway in 2016

Changes: 'Eventually I had given up so much of my life, I was so sick that I thought if I don't make it at this point, I would have wasted the last 10 years of my life. Which I struggle with to this day a little bit,' Bridget admitted. Pictured modelling for VS in 2016

Changes: 'Eventually I had given up so much of my life, I was so sick that I thought if I don't make it at this point, I would have wasted the last 10 years of my life. Which I struggle with to this day a little bit,' Bridget admitted. Pictured modelling for VS in 2016

Changes: ‘Eventually I had given up so much of my life, I was so sick that I thought if I don’t make it at this point, I would have wasted the last 10 years of my life. Which I struggle with to this day a little bit,’ Bridget admitted. Pictured modelling for VS in 2016

‘I don’t feel like I am being objectified anymore. I work with brands who are lovely, who treat women like women, who don’t sexualise me and treat me with respect on set. I’m happy,’ she concluded.

Earlier in June, Victoria’s Secret unveiled its plans for a major rebrand, including a line-up of ‘diverse spokeswomen’ instead of scantily clad models.

The Victoria’s Secret Angels have been axed, replaced with a ‘culturally relevant’ group of seven women who will form the ‘VS Collective’.

New world: Earlier in June, Victoria's Secret unveiled its plans for a major rebrand, including a line-up of 'diverse spokeswomen' instead of scantily clad models. Bridget and fellow models are pictured on the Victoria's Secret runway in 2015

New world: Earlier in June, Victoria's Secret unveiled its plans for a major rebrand, including a line-up of 'diverse spokeswomen' instead of scantily clad models. Bridget and fellow models are pictured on the Victoria's Secret runway in 2015

New world: Earlier in June, Victoria’s Secret unveiled its plans for a major rebrand, including a line-up of ‘diverse spokeswomen’ instead of scantily clad models. Bridget and fellow models are pictured on the Victoria’s Secret runway in 2015

Victoria’s Secret’s new spokeswomen include the likes of actress Priyanka Chopra Jonas, 38, and soccer star Megan Rapinoe, 35.

The new generation of spokeswomen will not pose in lingerie, but will ‘instead appear on a podcast’ to discuss their stories.

The revamp has been described as ‘completely cause-driven’ with a focus on ‘inclusivity’.

  • For eating disorder support in Australia, please reach out to the Butterfly Foundation on 1800 33 4673
  • For support in the UK, please contact Beat on 0808 801 0677
  • For support in the U.S., please contact NEDA on (800) 931-2237
Update: Bridget, who has walked for Ralph Lauren and Stella McCartney, now works with brands that make her feel good about herself

Update: Bridget, who has walked for Ralph Lauren and Stella McCartney, now works with brands that make her feel good about herself

Update: Bridget, who has walked for Ralph Lauren and Stella McCartney, now works with brands that make her feel good about herself

The post Bridget Malcolm says Victoria’s Secret was ‘exploitative’ in quest to be super skinny appeared first on 247 News Around The World.

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