Victoria’s Secret’s Erin Heatherton Shuns Pursuit Of Perfection

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This is for realz! Victoria’s Secret model and swimsuit goddess Erin Heatherton is Ocean Drive Magazine‘s July issue cover girl and she’s covering more than just a glossy page. She covers a number of topics, including body image and the fashion industry’s promotion of “perfection”.

The refreshing thing to hear from Erin is that she doesn’t consider herself perfect, and doesn’t feel the need to try and be that. This attitude probably has something to do with her tomboy upbringing and always feeling awkward in her lanky body during her teen years.

“I was always the tallest, so that contributed to me being a tomboy and playing sports,” she says.

Erin never saw modeling as the pinnacle achievement to life, although she pursued it and has made quite a name for herself. She was scouted on Miami beach while on a trip with a friend and her mom but was taken aback at first.

“I was horrified—I was like, “I don’t model,” and I was embarrassed that he didn’t ask my friend to be a model.”

Ocean Drive asked her how she views herself today, being the uber successful woman she is, and her answer was both insightful and grounded. And hey, it was also a relief for us ordinary gals to read about what she thinks of perfection!

“I’m not perfect. I never identified with the way I look; I was just born this way. I don’t feel rejection if I’m not the right person for a job, because that’s not where I find my self-worth. I’m a beautiful person, and that’s not because of my modeling career,” she said.

Being a model with quite a high profile, she gets asked the body image line of questioning every so often, and it’s awesome to read that she has a solid perspective and healthy outlook on balancing a fashion career with self worth.

Often without realizing it, we find or tie our self-worth to what other people think of us, our careers, our relationships or our possessions, instead of defining our value within ourselves.

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Back in 2012 Erin spoke to Fashionista.com about body image, photoshopping and the difference between fashion fantasy and reality.

Erin’s perspective on photoshop itself is that it is (sadly) an essential part of the job.

We’re not selling reality; we’re selling a story. It’s all about creating this fantasy. And I don’t think people should confuse fantasy and reality because no one is perfect–we all know that, and I think people should embrace themselves and not really focus on where people are depicted as perfect and where they’re not.

We get that fashion isn’t necessarily about reality, but the idea of trying to sell a fantasy to everyday people seems to be losing it’s charm a little. It seems there IS more of a demand for reality in fashion which is why so many brands are diversifying and going against the “essential” norms.

Nevertheless, when asked what kind of a message excessive photoshopping sends to consumers, Erin admits it is unfair, but that we all have the intelligence to know the difference between fantasy and reality. So what about the younger girls who haven’t yet developed the ability to differentiate?

I think that’s something that children should be taught by their parents, it should be taught in schools. Healthy body image is not something that you’re going to learn from fashion magazines. But at the same time, Photoshop makes things look beautiful just as you have special effects in movies,” she said.

“I think the main issue is people just knowing their own body, having strength in their own body image and their own confidence, which shouldn’t be affected by these kinds of things.”

While we may have a different perspective on the whole photoshop debate, especially with brands such as American Apparel, Target, and H&M being ousted for their horrible and grossly excessive altering of images, we are solidly in agreement about confidence, body image and self-worth not being found in a magazine.

Not just a supermodel, but a also a super role model. Brava Erin Heatherton for being real.

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