How A Friend's Note Gave Adriana Lima A Body Image Awakening

Photo: Matthew Eisman/Getty Images.
Just last month, Adriana Lima was telling People that she would continue to walk the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show for at two years or more, depending on how her "body is going to turn out." But on Saturday, she seemed to be having a change of heart. In an Instagram post, she shared an epiphany she had about societal pressures on women's self-worth and pledged to do her part to change it.
"I had received a call for the possibility of filming a sexy video of me to be posted and shared in social media," Lima began her post. "Even though I have done many of this type, something had changed in me, when a friend approached me to share that she was unhappy with her body, then it made me think."
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While her job makes her think about her appearance every day, the Brazilian model wrote, her friend made her realize that all women feel this way.
"I thought, that’s not a way of living, and beyond that.... that’s not physically and mentally healthy, so I decided to make that change..... I will not take [off] my clothes anymore for [an] empty cause," Lima said.
We're not sure Lima modeling nude or with little clothing is the root of all societal body-image problems — dress however you like! — but her point about the unhealthy way we value superficial beauty makes sense, and it's affirming to hear it from someone who embodies those standards.
The post also includes the image of a letter from her that elaborates on her new outlook and says she is acting on behalf of her mother, grandmother, ancestors, and children. "We 'as woman' can't be continuing to live in a world with such superficial values," she wrote. "I will make that change. I will start with me."
Her awakening is a huge shift for the model who once told the London Telegraph that she consumes nothing but protein shakes for nine days before the VS show and then abstains from water for the last 12 hours before she walks the runway. If we're to take Lima at her word, she's acknowledging the impact her extreme dieting had on all who see her image, thinking that is how they too should look. Whether or not her next step includes still being a Victoria's Secret model remains to be seen.
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