By Cassidy Campbell |

“THE VICTORIA SECRET FASHION SHOW IS TONIGHT!!!

This is the first text I woke up to the morning of the Victoria Secret Fashion Show. Today is one of the day’s I always dread the most.

While my friends have always raved over this show, I have always preferred to ignore it. Until this year, I did not understand why I had negative feelings toward the show.

During my freshman year of college, my friends hosted a viewing party. Due to my fear of missing out, I decided to head over to watch the show.

I realized shortly after my arrival why I hate the fashion show so much.

While flipping through the channels to make sure we caught the beginning of the show, we threw some popcorn in the microwave and began to snack.

As Harry Styles sang and the models flaunted around in their wings, the commentary started. Not only did I hear my girlfriends making comments such as, “Ugh why do I not look like that” and “Look how perfect she is,” I also heard comments from my guy friends. They felt like a punch in the stomach.

Supermodel Romee Strjid walking in the 2018 Victoria Secret Fashion Show. | Photo courtesy of @romeestrjid

“Girls should only model if they look like that,” one of them said. They began to watch plus-sized fashion shows on YouTube, making fun of the women.

I left the room feeling sick to my stomach because I realized how society puts such unrealistic expectations on women. I too have felt society’s pressure to be flawless.

Immediately after watching that show, I couldn’t help but feel disappointed in who I was. I began saying to myself: You need to work out more, eat less, be prettier and be skinnier.” I started to feel the pressure of making myself look like these models and achieve the look of “perfection.”

After a few weeks of discouraging thoughts, I finally came to the realization that these models are not perfect women because there is no such thing as the perfect woman. What we see in the media is not a reflection of reality. Images of these women, often photoshopped, create “perfect” standards that simply do not exist. Often times, women compare themselves something that is not real.

Finally, I realized I will not look like the women in the Victoria Secret Fashion Show, but that is ok. It has been a slow process to love the way I was created and love who I am.

It takes a certain type of confidence to be happy. When you have self-confidence, the world can see it.

I should not have to change everything about myself just so I can look like these models. Even though I do not look like the women walking down the runway, I must feel confident in who I am.

After I told myself this, I slowly began to feel a new happiness and confidence pour out of me. I knew self-confidence would be a process that would take time, but I knew I was on the track to loving who I am. I started to see this new confidence as a side of myself that I had never seen before. I have seen myself enjoy and love life so much more positively than I had before.