The newest Victoria's Secret Angel is photoshopped but not in the way you'd expect.

Karlie Kloss on the Victoria’s Secret runway in 2012


Karlie Kloss is the latest (super)model to join the ranks of the Victoria’s Secret Angels.

Don’t care we hear you say? Well, like you, we usually reserve a certain kind of feigned interest for celebrity ‘news’ of this nature but our negative body image ears pricked up on this one. And we’re calling it out.

Some Mamamia readers may remember the post we ran earlier this year about Karlie Kloss’ skeletal frame being reverse retouched to appear fatter.

If you missed it, Kloss’ thin frame has been discussed in media and fashion circles for years for its perception of being anorexic and serving as ‘thinspiration’ for pro-anorexia websites. Images of the model are now routinely retouched to hide the unattractive and unhealthy side of being extremely thin.

So the question we’re asking is: How can a model who is considered too skeletal for fashion editorials make it to the commercial ranks of the Victoria’s Secret juggernaut?

The original photo (right) shows the then 19-year-old Kloss with her arms out stretched and ribcage jutting out. On the left is how the magazine ran it, ribs airbrushed to be less skeletal.


We no longer look to fashion magazines or product endorsement contracts to make or break a model’s career – those jobs are increasingly being awarded to actresses or pop stars. The ultimate achievement in modeling has become prancing around in a very expensive and very sparkly set of bra and undies, with wings attached to your back.

I fact, five of the highest-earning models of 2012 are current Victoria’s Secret Angels.

Karlie Kloss (middle) with fellow VS Angels Candice Swanepoel (left) and Alessandra Ambrosio (right).

The original VS angels included supermodels Helena Christensen, Stephanie Seymour and Tyra Banks – all slim women to be sure, but with large breasts and at least a little bit of booty.


Even now, Victoria’s Secret models do tend to sport slightly curvier figures and longer hair – that’s the standard ‘look’. But Kloss conforms to neither of these aesthetics; she famously cut her long hair off just two days before the December catwalk show.

Going by the Victoria’s Secret Facebook page (it’s not a nice place, I don’t recommend spending any length of time there) the decision to make Kloss an official angel has not been a popular one.

From the VS Facebook page: “What I love(D) about Victoria’s Secret was that they had models with real curves. Now they are becoming every other company who hires tiny little girls with no real figure. I am VERY disappointed in Victoria’s Secret!” says Beth York.

While some fashion labels are finally starting to embrace curvier models and injecting some diversity into the women they hire to wear their clothes – this feels like a backwards step. Victoria Secret, whatever their other drawbacks, have generally used models who, despite being very slim, at least appear fit and healthy.

Perhaps the predictions of the imminent demise of the ‘thin ideal’ are misplaced. Certainly, the awarding of the world’s most sought-after modelling contract to a young woman who appears dangerously and unhealthily skinny suggests that might be the case.

We hope not.

Victoria’s Secret are known for a litany of photoshop fails, take a look through some of them in the gallery below:

NOTE: This is not about demonising thin women. Please keep your comments respectful.