This Victoria's Secret Model Says She Was Rejected After Her Bra Size Went Up
"The sadness behind my eyes from the 2016 show breaks my heart."
A former Victoria's Secret model isn't keeping any secrets now. In a series of videos on her TikTok account, which she titled "times when modeling sucked," ex-Victoria's Secret model Bridget Malcolm is sharing her work experiences that contributed to mental health issues, physical health issues, and a nervous breakdown when she was 26 years old. Now 29, Malcolm feels that she is strong enough to share her modeling history with the world in the hopes of changing the fashion industry.
In particular, Malcolm has called out Victoria's Secret, which is currently undergoing a rebranding and has a new leadership team. The Australian model is making headlines for one video in which she shows the size 30A bra that she wore during the 2016 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show. Malcolm says that she was rejected by the show the following year, when she was a size 30B. Read on to find out what else she shared about the toxic elements of modeling.
Her bra video has gone viral.
While Malcolm has modeled for various designer and magazines, she has a bone to pick with Victoria's Secret in particular. "I found my bra from the 2016 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show," reads the caption on one of Malcolm's recent TikTok videos. "It is a size 30A. I am now a size 34B, which is healthy for me." She goes on to explain that she was rejected from the 2017 show and told her body "did not look good enough."
"I wore a size 30B at that point," the post continues." The video then cuts to photos of her from the 2016 show. "Look how big it was on me," the text reads. "The sadness behind my eyes from the 2016 show breaks my heart." She adds of the new direction the company is taking, which includes using ambassadors of different body types instead of Victoria's Secret Angels, "Victoria's Secret your performative allyship is a joke."
Other videos include more harrowing stories.
In other videos, Malcolm opens up about other experiences she had as a young model. In one video, Malcolm says that a photographer once told her, "If you got skinnier you would become a [Victoria's Secret] Angel." Because of comments like this, she always felt her body was one step away from where it needed to be. But, "The reality was nothing was ever enough, because it's the patriarchy," Malcolm adds.
In another video Malcolm talks about seeing a "celebrity nutritionist," who told her, "Bridget, even for a normal girl, you are fat." She says she then went on a cleanse for three days and ate only protein shakes and steamed vegetables for a couple of years. "And now my digestive system is destroyed, so that was fun," she says.
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Modeling took her to a dark place.
In another TikTok, Malcolm explains why she's speaking out now, and it's because she wasn't emotionally ready to before. She explains that by the time she was 18, she had lived in three countries alone, "been groomed by a much older man," sexually assaulted multiple times, told to do drugs or have sex in order to lose weight, been "struggling with gender identity," and experienced depression, anxiety, and disordered eating, among other issues. She added, "And then eight years later on my 26th birthday, I had a nervous breakdown and couldn't leave my house for a year without panic attacks and severe anxiety." She also had thoughts of ending her life.
Now, Malcolm feels comfortable enough to open up—for herself and others.
"The reality is, I couldn't talk about my experiences before I reached this place," Malcolm explained, because she would experience PTSD and panic attacks. "But I am okay now, and that's why I'm speaking out … The only reason why I'm doing this is because I'm a strong believer that the fashion industry needs to change." She added that she's lucky she has had a lengthy career, but that her "job should not include abuse."
She also said that she's happier now and only works for brands that treat her with respect, make her feel comfortable on set, and "treat women like women." Malcolm is also an intern at the United Nations.
Victoria's Secret issued a statement in response.
In response to Malcolm's videos, a rep for Victoria's Secret tells Best Life, "There is a new leadership team at Victoria's Secret who is fully committed to the continued transformation of the brand with a focus on creating an inclusive environment for our associates, customers and partners to celebrate, uplift and champion all women."