Victoria's Secret Model Candice Swanepoel: 'I Am Healthy and Happy'

Candice Swanepoel came under scrutiny for being more skinny than curvy.

April 1, 2011— -- In response to criticism that she looked alarmingly thin at a recent photo shoot, Victoria's Secret model Candice Swanepoel says she is not unhealthy.

"I am healthy and happy," Swanepoel told the New York Daily News through her representative. "I'm heartened to know how much everyone cares about me, but in this case everything is normal and good."

Swanepoel, a 22-year-old South African, revealed her skinny frame while modeling the lingerie line's new swimwear at Los Angeles' Mondrian Hotel. With stick-thin legs and a hollowed stomach, the once-curvy model stood out among her fellow Victoria's Secret angels.

Swanepoel looked significantly skinnier than in photos just two months ago, when she was the face of the company's Valentine's Day campaign. Her most recent modeling card from the agency IMG said she wore a size-8 dress, but she appears much smaller than that.

Swanepoel, who recently landed the cover of Victoria's Secret 2011 swim catalogue, has become one of the label's most popular models.

Perhaps her busy schedule can be blamed for her dramatic weight loss. In November, during New York fashion week, Swanepoel told that she was having trouble keeping weight on.

"Actually, this year my problem has been more putting the weight on and getting muscle on because it's been really busy," she said. "I've been traveling around like crazy. I get skinnier if I'm very busy. I've been eating steak and everything, so I'm actually looking forward to eating some lighter food after this."

Swanepoel may reflect what appears to be a shift by the fashion line away from its traditional curvy models, such as Tyra Banks, Claudia Schiffer, Gisele Bundchen and Heidi Klum, toward super-slim girls like Brazilian model Alessandra Ambrosio.

Victoria's Secret Model: Too Thin?

Victoria's Secret came under fire last year after Ambrosio appeared alarmingly thin, with ribs and pelvic bones protruding, during a swimwear shoot in St. Barts.

Even though she had her first child, Anja, a year and a half before, a photo of Ambrosio next to two plus-size models showed her slight frame.

At the time, Ambrosio said she saw 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."

Standing next to Swanepoel at the recent Mondrian Hotel shoot, Ambrosio did appear curvier.

Last year, during a pre-Valentine's Day event, Swanepoel said food was the way to her heart.

"Usually, my boyfriend cooks for me, which I really love," Swanepoel said, adding that pasta always wins points in her book. "It's really sexy."