The lingerie line has long been known for its voluptuous beauties, who, unlike most high fashion models, boast breasts, butts and everything in between.
Now, Victoria's Secret is coming under fire after a shoot in St. Barts revealed a strikingly skinny Alessandra Ambrosio modeling the label's newest swimwear.
Body fat seems all but absent on the Brazilian-born Ambrosio. Her pelvic bones and ribs protrude. Even though she had her first child, Anja, a year and a half ago, in these photos she bears closer resemblance to a pre-pubescent teenager than a 29-year-old mother. A photo of Ambrosio next to two plus-size models emphasizes her slight frame.
Like just about every model in the industry, Ambrosio exercises. Her career -- which, according to Forbes, earned her $6 million last year -- depends on it. She reportedly gets her cardio from dance routines and tones with the trainer who created the Brazilian Butt Lift. And while her pictures tell another story, according to the Daily Mail of the United Kingdom, Ambrosio still sees herself as a curvy girl.
"I'm very lucky to work for a brand that wants women to be healthy," the Daily Mail quoted Ambrosio as saying. "You need to be able to fill out the bra and the panties, so yes, I'm a curvier girl."
Once again, the issue of weight has taken center stage in the modeling world, and it appears there's no perfect weight. While Ambrosio might seem too skinny, fellow model Coco Rocha claims she's no longer slim enough for the industry.
"I'm not in demand for the shows anymore," the Candian model said on her blog Oh So Coco last month. Rocha claims she wears a U.K. size six, equivalent to a U.S. size two.
"I've been told to lose weight when I was really skinny," she added. "Everybody knows that, in general, a basketball player needs to be tall and a fashion model needs to be skinny, but how skinny is too skinny?"
French model Isabelle Caro can comment on that. Caro has been battling anorexia for years. At 62 pounds, bones protruding and teeth decaying, she posed nude for an anti-anorexia ad campaign.
Jessica Simpson interviewed Caro for an episode of her new VH1 show, "The Price of Beauty." In the interview, Caro said that a designer told her she needed to lose 10 kilos (22 pounds) if she wanted to model. Caro stopped eating and eventually ended up in a coma. Now, she's trying to pass a law in French Parliament that would ban too-thin models from the runway.
Last month, Ambrosio herself took strides in that direction. She and fellow Victoria's Secret Angels Miranda Kerr, Doutzen Kroes and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley were swapped into Prada's 2010 Milan runway show at the last minute to replace the traditional runway models who were slated to walk.