Victoria's Secret Buffalo Wing-Eating Stunt Sums Up Our Perverse Fixation on Models Eating

Victoria's Secret Buffalo Wing-Eating Stunt Sums Up Our Perverse Fixation on Models Eating
Source: YouTube
Source: YouTube

The Victoria's Secret Fashion Show airs on Tuesday night on CBS, meaning we're getting reacquainted with the models, checking out their wings and hearing about their fitness routines. 

We're also gawking at their eating habits.

Source: Mic/YouTube

On Monday, Stephen Colbert hosted three Victoria's Secret Angels on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. The brief segment focused on one thing: watching them eat. 

Yeah, that was about it. Watch these models eat buffalo wings.

Source: Mic/YouTube
Source: Mic/YouTube

The desire to simply watch Victoria's Secret models eat isn't actually unusual. We have long been fixated on what the models eat, how much and how often. "What Victoria's Secret models actually eat" is a typical headline

In a preview article for the show, CBS News noted, apropos of pretty much nothing: "[Martha] Hunt's last meal before hitting the makeup chair was eggs. She promised her first after the show would be: 'Pizza. ... Pizza is one of my favorite foods. Pizza and pasta.'" 

There's a curiosity-driven focus on the models' healthy diets and how they self-discipline their way to those fit bodies, in a process the Daily Mail called a "four-month hell." Confessional-type articles in which models "reveal" their dietary secrets are quite common. We click to see how many cheat days these models have, if they allow themselves carbs, or if it really does require "green juice" to get those abs. 

The healthy eating talk often is tinged with admiration and aspiration, as if we are taking notes for our own routines. Sometimes, we are: One Elle editor followed a Victoria's Secret diet for eight days, noting, "This detox diet was not fun."

Source: Mic/YouTube

On the flip side, there is also a perverse obsession with how unhealthily the models can and do sometimes eat. Backstage at the filming of the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show this year, TMZ interviewed the models about their post-show meals for a video entitled, "Backstage With Hot Models Who Crave Fatty Foods."

That fixation can feel wrong — including to the models themselves. Model Magdalena Frackowiak gave TMZ a healthy dose of side-eye when the website asked her about her post-show eating plans, pointing out that asking her that made it seem like she was starving herself for the show. 

Which, of course, is the underlying assumption about these models. Our awe for their healthy diets is  joined by judgment of the lengths these models will go to to stay fit. At the same time, we're skeptical if they somehow eat a ton of crappy food and don't gain any weight, if the popularity of the viral "You Didn't Eat That" Instagram is any indication.

Source: Mic/TMZ

Our fetishization and judgment of the models' eating habits, both "good" and "bad," reflects a societal fixation on food as well as women's bodies — theirs and our own.

Which is why it's no surprise that tweets from viewers during the annual runway extravaganza are rife with comments about food. It seems that viewers are made to feel bad about their own eating habits while passing judgment on the eating habits of others. 

We can't predict exactly how the show will go tonight, once edited and aired between commercials for an hour on primetime TV. 

But we can cross our fingers that this year, we'll take it easy on the models who are walking as well as ourselves. Life is hard enough without judging each other and ourselves for the food choices we make — which, for the record, are ours alone.

How likely are you to make Mic your go-to news source?

Ellie Krupnick

Ellie is Mic's editorial director of lifestyle. A former style and fashion editor for The Huffington Post, her writing has also appeared in Women's Wear Daily, HarpersBazaar.com and the Twitter feeds of British royal fans everywhere.

MORE FROM

Conservative columnist Bret Stephens joins MSNBC

Stephens will remain a columnist at The New York Times.

Department of Homeland Security announces new airline security rules

The new measures could help end the electronics ban.

Democrats on Neil Gorsuch's first Supreme Court term: "We've got another Scalia"

Some say Gorsuch's even-handed performance during his confirmation hearings "might be more an act than it was a real persona."

Fox News just hired US Rep. Jason Chaffetz as a correspondent

Chaffetz is headed to Fox.

Here are the key rulings from the Supreme Court's busy June term

The court's term ended with rulings on immigration, the First Amendment, LGBTQ rights and more.

These 3 Republican governors could pose the biggest threat to the Senate health care bill

Why some Republican governors oppose their own party's health care bill

Conservative columnist Bret Stephens joins MSNBC

Stephens will remain a columnist at The New York Times.

Department of Homeland Security announces new airline security rules

The new measures could help end the electronics ban.

Democrats on Neil Gorsuch's first Supreme Court term: "We've got another Scalia"

Some say Gorsuch's even-handed performance during his confirmation hearings "might be more an act than it was a real persona."

Fox News just hired US Rep. Jason Chaffetz as a correspondent

Chaffetz is headed to Fox.

Here are the key rulings from the Supreme Court's busy June term

The court's term ended with rulings on immigration, the First Amendment, LGBTQ rights and more.

These 3 Republican governors could pose the biggest threat to the Senate health care bill

Why some Republican governors oppose their own party's health care bill