Who doesn't dream of walking down a runway sporting a hot pink leopard bra, a knitted cap, fingerless gloves, and wings made out of clown balloons? Lest you go apply for the job of Victoria's Secret angel, the company's chief marketing officer wants you to know that women of angel caliber are "rarer by far than superstar athletes."
In a piece about how lingerie angels get their wings, the New York Times goes behind the scene at a casting call. While the brand promises to make every woman feel sexy, its typical model fits a narrow mold. She's often born in Brazil or some Eastern European country and always has a flat stomach, satisfactory cleavage, and a well-toned butt that all look flawless even in the unflattering casting light. Hundreds of women try out at open auditions, but only 30 models make the cut.
While genetics help, it's often not enough. Model Angela Lindvall, who lost her baby weight eating only spinach, chard, and kale, likened the job to that of a boxer: "You have to make weight."