Who is Bridget Malcolm? Ex Victoria's Secret model reveals lingerie giant's dark side
The model said she was rejected from a Victoria's Secret fashion show as her 'body did not look good enough'
A former Victoria's Secret model has shared some dark truths about the lingerie company that has recently rebranded itself for more inclusivity. Taking to TikTok on June 26, Bridget Malcolm said that in 2016, she walked the ramp for one of the brand’s fashion shows. At the time, she was underweight and had to wear a size 30A bra.
The 29-year-old wrote in the TikTok video, “I was rejected from the show in 2017 by Ed Razek, who was then chief marketing officer of Victoria’s Secret parent company L Brands. He said ‘my body did not look good enough.’” She also shared her ramp pictures and said, “Look how big [the 30A bra] was on me. The sadness behind my eyes from the 2016 show breaks my heart.”
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Malcolm also criticized Victoria Secret’s move to replace its angels with the Victoria's Secret Collective, which will include soccer star and gender equity campaigner Megan Rapinoe; Eileen Gu, 17-year-old Chinese American freestyle skier and soon-to-be Olympian; Paloma Elsesser, a biracial model and inclusivity advocate; and Priyanka Chopra Jonas, an Indian actor and tech investor. About the switch, Victoria's Secret CEO Martin Waters told The New York Times, "We needed to stop being about what men want and to be about what women want.”
But Malcolm called the move “performative allyship” and a “joke.”
Who is Bridget Malcolm?
Malcolm used to work as a model for Victoria's Secret. In a 2018 essay for Harper’s Bazaar, she explained how rigorous dieting took a toll on her physical and emotional health. She wrote, “For two years, I lived off mostly steamed vegetables and protein shakes. I was so underweight that it would take me 10 minutes to climb a flight of stairs. I was tired, often going to sleep at 8 pm because I had no energy. My hair was falling out. I felt completely alone and isolated, but I was scared to leave my house.”
She continued, “Unknowingly, I was battling an eating disorder and chronic anxiety that would soon lead to a ruined digestive system, all because I thought I was doing what I had to do to succeed in the industry that I love. I was eating so little that when I started eating a balanced, healthy diet again, my digestive system couldn’t handle it.”
Malcolm eventually had to take the help of a therapist, who made her understand she was leading an unhealthy lifestyle - both physically and emotionally.
“From there, I slowly made changes in my life, and luckily, my friends and my now-husband stuck in there, supporting me with patience and love, helping me to see that my anxieties and need to diminish myself were due to the dysmorphic image that I had of myself in my head. It’s only now that I see how these sorts of situations thrive in silence, and once I started to step outside of that, I began to talk about it with more honesty. And finally, I began to heal. Now I’m opening the dialog for people who are struggling with what I struggled with. I'm trying to do it in a way that sheds light on my experience,” she added.
Malcolm, who has 357k followers on Instagram, still works as a model, but reportedly only for people and brands who prioritize well-being.