Breaking Beauty Stereotypes: 5 Victoria's Secret Models Who Defied the Mold

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The unconventional Angels: five models who proved that beauty comes in all forms.

Tyra Banks

In the late 1990s, Tyra Banks became the first African-American model to be featured on the cover of a Victoria's Secret catalog. While this may not sound like a big deal today, having a dark-skinned woman model for the catalog was a revolutionary move for the conservative fashion brand.

Banks was criticized for her unruly hair and body that's far from the stereotypical "perfect" proportions, but she has nevertheless made her name as one of the sexiest Victoria's Secret Angels.

Barbara Palvin

The Hungarian model was also attacked for her looks: Barbara Palvin was considered too plump to be a lingerie model, but the woman has defended her right to be what she is.

Even after becoming a Victoria's Secret Angel, Palvin received nasty comments with people claiming she was actually a plus-size model. In fact, the brand doesn't recognize her as "plus-size," and Palvin's body represents what a healthy female should really look like.

Winnie Harlow

A star of the TV show America's Top Model, Winnie Harlow has a rare chronic condition called vitiligo, where pale patches develop on the darker skin.

Fortunately, her unique appearance did not prevent Harlow from fulfilling her dream and participating in a Victoria's Secret show in 2018. After that, Harlow's career really took off, and now the woman is a successful model, activist, and beauty entrepreneur.

Cara Delevingne

In the early days of lingerie shows, models were expected to meet strict requirements for their body weight and height. But times have changed, and Cara Delevingne was able to participate in two Victoria's Secret shows in a row, despite being only 170 centimeters tall (175 cm used to be the minimum height).

The English model has had a brilliant career in fashion, becoming one of Karl Lagerfeld's muses and repeatedly appearing in the highest-profile shows at Fashion Weeks.

Ashley Graham

With Ashley Graham's body shape diverging radically from the "Angel" standard, her appearance in a Victoria's Secret show was a turning point for the brand. Graham was the one model who showed that a woman of any size can be sexy and attractive — and she continues to prove it with her runway walks and photoshoots.