Are Victoria's Secret Models “Athletes”?

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(Editor's Note: Is walking a runway in platforms the same athletic achievement as running 26.2 miles? Does an intense regimen of dieting and exercise make a model “athlete”? Are bodybuilders athletes? Does the fact that someone works out hard and diets with the singular focus of manipulating the way they look make them less of an athlete than one who does the same but with the emphasis on performance? Charlotte Hilton Anderson, author of the "Great Fitness Experiment: One Year of Trying Everything", tackles these questions and more in her recent blog post Is Model Adriana Lima an “Athlete”?  ~js)

Adriana Lima at Victoria Secret fashon show Nov. 9 2011. Image credit Zumapress.com

Groaning in a puddle of sweat while holding a pose that would be considered obscene in any environment outside of the gym (quite a few exercises fall in this category, to my constant amusement), I considered taking a rest but just then Turbo Jennie yelled, “Come on athletes! Don’t quit now!” That was exactly the first time in my life anyone has ever called me an “athlete.” And I liked it!

So what exactly makes someone an athlete then? If it’s not their sponsorships or salary or sex-crazed groupies then what is it? Talent? Achievement? Recognition in their sport? How about dedication and training hard? I could argue that I have those. And so do a lot of other people. Even… Victoria’s Secret underwear models? This issue of what constitutes an athlete came up when Victoria’s Secret supermodel Adriana Lima gave an amazingly honest interview about what she does to prepare for the annual Victoria’s Secret show.

Read more from Is Model Adriana Lima an “Athlete”? at The Great Fitness Experiement

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