Adriana Lima Opens Up About Struggling with Fashion’s Body-Image Pressures

Adriana Lima
Photo: Getty Images

When Adriana Lima gave birth to her second daughter, Siennain 2011, and walked in the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show five weeks later, people were amazed. She was praised for her determined work ethic and killer body. At the same time, numerous articles were published detailing Lima’s exact workouts, so readers could achieve the same results at home.

But the truth behind post-baby bodies is much harder than it looks—especially for models who make a living off looking a certain way. The constant body pressure hasn’t left Lima’s mind for a second, though. Yesterday, amid celebrations for her 37th birthday, Lima posted a video of her post-pregnancy workout from nine years ago because it still makes her emotional.

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The Instagram video shows Lima, who just left physical therapy for a fractured knee, struggling to do jumping jacks with two knee braces only four weeks after giving birth. Lima wrote, “Seeing this video, makes me emotional. It makes me think that sometimes people look at you from the outside and think, ‘her job it’s so easy’ (remember I am not complaining), when they don’t know what you go through.”

The nitty-gritty of it was that Lima had to prepare for a fast-approaching fashion show while being 60 pounds heavier. Looking back now, the stressors of getting to the needed weight have made her appreciate the beautiful journey and hard work, but that doesn’t mean she’s condoning the industry’s weight pressures.

Last year she spoke out about the issue in an Instagram post saying, “My job puts me in such big pressure to look a certain way.” She continued to say women can’t be forced to live in this superficial world where the ideals are unattainable and unhealthy. And her recent Instagram post backs this up. It reminds us that models face grueling workouts and put their bodies through unhealthy challenges just to please a false ideal.

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Hopefully with the body-positivity movement and an increase in “plus-size” models, this issue will be a thing of the past.