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Victoria’s Secret Models: More Than the Sum of Their Angelic Parts

Miss America boasts ambitious young women with meaningful platforms and dreams of scholarships, while the Victoria’s Secret runway features hot bodes in platform shoes, fueling carnal fantasies.

The pageant has a talent factor (ballet, violin, opera singing…)

VS has a Hooters factor (the jiggling and wiggling of abundant cleavage and toned rears). Which event draws more fans? The panty parade of course.

The iconic beauty pageant is fizzling, while VS is sizzling. This seems discouraging for the next generation of young women in this country.¬†But a closer look at these models‚ÄĒbeyond titillating tight shots and giddy backstage footage‚ÄĒuncovers a new meaning of¬†secret angels.

The lingerie queens can’t pause mid-pivot to deliver a speech on how they plan to help people or save the planet, but many of them already are. It takes experience on the VS runway and a perfect-10 physique for a model to “earn her wings” (not to mention strength training and remarkable balance in 6-inch heels, as the extravagant bejeweled accessories can weigh up to 50 pounds). But so many of the sultry Angels work as another sort of angel in their down time that it appears the undergarment giant is factoring in role modeling as well when granting wings.

Read my article, Victoria’s Angels: More Than the Sum of Their Angelic Parts, on¬†lemondrop.com

Tonight, millions of viewers will tune into the most popular lingerie extravaganza of the year: the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. Last year, 8.3 million people watched the Angels strut their stuff in barely-there underwear — twice the number that saw Miss America crowned.While the Victoria’s Secret show may seem full-cupped and empty-headed, a closer look at these models might show you that there’s more to them than (admittedly, pleasantly) meets the eye.

See, for example: gorgeous Brazilian¬†Adriana Lima, who grew up playing with orphans in her poverty-stricken hometown. From early on in her career (she moved to New York to model at 15), Lima donated money and bought clothes for needy kids every time she went home to visit. In an interview at age 19, she noted the self-centered nature of the fashion world and said, “When I help someone, I lose .01 percent of my ego.”Despite frequently being ranked one of the sexiest women on Earth, in 2006 Lima told GQ that she planned to remain a virgin until married. (She and Serbian basketball player Marko Jaric wed in 2009 and had a baby — over nine months later.)Alessandra Ambrosio, another Brazilian and veteran Angel, is an ambassador for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and supports several organizations in her homeland. Ambrosio also threw an Open Your Heart benefit with fellow strutter Coco Rocha during New York Fashion Week last February and raised $20,000 for children in Haiti.
Chanel Iman¬†works with the HerShe Group, which helps girls in foster care. “I’m just grateful to be given the opportunity to do more than model, to be a voice as well,” she says, “and to help teens who didn’t get the chance in life that I did.” Iman also supports St. Jude Children’s Hospital and Arise Christian Center. She will turn 20 the day after her second Victoria’s Secret show, and her wish for wings will come true.

Miranda Kerr, who is sitting out this year’s show due to pregnancy, is so eager to set an example for teens that she put her advice into a book called “Treasure Yourself.” The spiritual supermodel from Australia is an advocate for Wildlife Warriors and Children International.
Dutch beauty¬†Doutzen Kroes¬†is expecting as well. She married D.J. Sunnery James, the father-to-be, on Nov. 9. The happy couple requested that guests make donations to dance4life or the World Wildlife Foundation in lieu of wedding gifts.On Doutzen’s Facebook page, she writes, “Over 7,400 people have joined the dance4life campaign. That is the same amount as people getting infected with HIV each day worldwide! Please join¬†dance4lifeand share this message with your friends to make even more people aware of HIV. Together we can do something about it!” As of this minute, 71,382 people “like” her page. That’s called supermodel pull.Marisa Miller, the famously voluptuous blonde who got her wings in 2007, will hang them up this year. She’s too busy following her passions, which include supporting the military. Miller, whose grandfather is a veteran, is the 1940s pin-up gal in a campaign for Harley Davidson’s Military Appreciation Month. She has also turned down numerous TV offers, instead choosing to do a reality TV show about the military and their families.

The grounded supermodel, who has graced troops with her presence during USO tours, says, “They get so excited for a signed photo. I thought,¬†I can do better than that.

Miller also is an ambassador for the American Cancer Society, helps raise awareness of breast cancer in women under 40 through the Young Survival Coalition, and recently participated in a telethon for autism. To round out her charitable causes, the California girl and avid surfer supports the Surfrider Foundation in its mission to protect the world’s oceans, waves and beaches.

Head Angel¬†Heidi Klum, who is calling it quits at 37 after 13 years of walking for Victoria’s Secret, is likely the most visible model of the bunch. People know her as the girl Page Six nicknamed “The Body” and as the stern host of “Project Runway,” but they may not know about her altruistic bent. Klum donates the dresses she wears on various red carpets to charity. She supports UNICEF, IMCG (which raises skin-cancer awareness), and the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation.
When 19-year-old newcomer¬†ErinHeatherton¬†expressed how excited she was to be chosen for the show in ’08, she said, “I grew up watching Victoria’s Secret.” That sounds like what her mom’s generation would say about Miss America. If the next generation is made aware of all the good being done when these lingerie goddesses put their
clothes on, maybe a little skin isn’t such a bad thing.
Jill Johnson is a former model working on a memoir. She provides insight and advice on her site: Modeling Mentor.

[All Images: Getty]