Though the highly anticipated annual Victoria’s Secret Fashion show airs Tuesday, Nov. 28 on CBS, the models have already graced the catwalk with their wings in Shanghai. This year, the highlights of the show obviously include sparkly bras that are worth more than my monthly rent, as well as Karlie Kloss's return to the runway after a two-year hiatus. But a photo of Lias Ribeiro’s stretch marks has recently earned the social media spotlight, snagging some attention and proving these angels really are actual humans — just like us.
I know, I know — it’s sometimes hard to believe these bombshell women could be anything but superhuman. There’s no denying the Victoria's Secret angels are absolutely gorgeous, but don’t forget, that’s technically part of their job. One quick internet search will bring you to long lists of angel-inspired workouts that prove our favorite ladies in lingerie work hard for their success around the clock.
But as I'm sure you know, not everyone can spare eight hours to spend at the gym — and there's literally no reason why you have to. Every body is beautiful, but it’s understandable why, when models like Victoria's Secret angel Lias Ribeiro grace the catwalk in nothing but a pair of panties and a bedazzled bra, some people may unnecessarily compare their own bodies to hers, and even criticize the way their own bodies look. Having said that, it's so, so important to keep in mind that stretch marks simply happen, even to those whose job it is to look picture-perfect at all times.
At the end of the day, these women really are human beings just like the rest of us, and despite their trainer-assigned workouts and strict meal plans, their bodies grow and change, too.
A Victoria’s Secret fan account reminded us of that very fact by uploading a photo of Lias Ribeiro's stretch marks on Instagram.
Allow me to first and foremost applaud these fan sites on their ability to hone in on such minute details, because I know myself, and if I had come across the original photo on my feed, I wouldn't have even noticed Ribeiro’s marks. This may or may not be because I’m oblivious to these kind of things, but I digress.
Yahoo reports that a VS fan page took to Instagram to remind women that these angelic humans are just that — human — with a photo of the model backstage, being silly and flaunting her cheeks, stretch marks and all. “Stretch marks are beautiful,” Instagram user @victoriassecret_passion captioned the photo. “Love your body!”
Whether we like it or not, Victoria's Secret models have more or less become many people's linear definition of what the "perfect" woman should look like. To see Ribeiro — a 27-year-old mother and supermodel who has worked for powerhouses like Christian Dior, Marc Jacobs, Tom Ford, and Ralph Lauren — proudly baring her marks, is a much-needed dose of reality for that closed-minded, linear definition of beauty.
Stretch marks are 100 percent natural, and are more than likely to appear on anyone's bodies at some point.
Personal trainer and developer of the fitness system Take 12 Michael Blauner tells Elite Daily that stretch marks are "long streaks on the skin" that are caused by skin stretching "past its normal point of comfort and elasticity." Stretch marks can be a direct result of "pregnancy, rapid weight gain, yo-yo dieting, growth spurts," and "fast muscle growth from intense strength training." So, really, it doesn't matter what shape or size your body may be; none of us, not even angels, are immune to them.
Furthermore, even if you wanted to "get rid" of your stretch marks, there's no legitimate treatment or method to do so. Because stretch marks form as a result of dramatic changes in the body where your skin expands too far, this leads to "the tear-like marks that basically are permanent," says Blauner. But their permanence, at least in my opinion, is what makes them so beautiful; they are literally a part of you, and they remind you that beauty doesn't subscribe to just one definition in this life.
Katie Dunlop of Love Sweat Fitness tells Elite Daily that "all women are likely to develop stretch marks to some degree in their lifetime," and that "it is 100 percent a natural part of being a woman." Our bodies are beautiful, and the stretch marks they form over time symbolize a part of what makes you exactly who you are. Ribeiro's photo serves as an amazing testament to that very fact.
Love the skin you're in ladies, and don't be afraid to flaunt it.