In a very old article about Selita Ebanks and the [then, upcoming] Victoria’s Secret Runway Show, there were a few gems worth sharing:
When the Victoria’s Secret Angels strut the runway Tuesday in $3 million bras, larger-than-life wings and barely there lingerie, what viewers won’t see are the countless hours of work that goes into making the most beautiful women in the world look so ethereally sexy.
The show, airing on CBS at 10, was shot at the Lexington Armory.
“It’s all about creating the illusion of this amazing body on the runway,” says Selita Ebanks, who walked her first Armory show five years ago. “People don’t realize that there are about 20 layers of makeup on my butt alone.”
In addition to body makeup, which Ebanks estimates takes well over an hour to apply, the Angels prep in hair and makeup for three to five hours before hitting the runway, with an average of five people – hair stylists, makeup artists and manicurists, working on each of the 38 models.
And if the hours of makeup, laboriously applied hair extensions and 100 pounds of body glitter (worn collectively) weren’t enough, the models are then squeezed into some of the most intricate garments imaginable.
Ebanks’ first look on the 140-foot-long runway is a gold lightning bolt strapped lengthwise across her middle. Think supersized Christmas tinsel weighing 30 pounds and with dangerously sharp points.
“They added a 15-pound sandbag to my hip so the points wouldn’t scrape my thighs when I walked and there was a metal rod in it,” says Ebanks. “When I first came out and cut that corner, my whole body tilted to the side and I thought, ‘Oh my God, if I fall in this thing, forget my ego, my body is going to be jacked up.’”
But Ebanks made it work, repeating the mantra “I’m fierce” over and over in her head.
“I called it my stark-kichu” after the Japanese cartoon, says Ebanks. “It was part of the Star Trooper segment of the show and I felt like I was the cosmic star leading the girls to a sexy galaxy.”
Other out-of-this-world items featured Tuesday include Marisa Miller’s $3 million bra dripping in diamonds and Candice Swanepoel’s wings made out of oversized pocket watches.
Ebanks, daughter of a New York City corrections officer and alum of Curtis High School on Staten Island, was glad to have the show back in her hometown.
“New Yorkers really appreciate a good production and amazing people came out to support the show,” says Ebanks.
Supermodel Heidi Klum, who makes a surprise trip down the runway and gave birth to her daughter Lou just weeks before the taping of the show, agrees.
“New Yorkers scream loud when you come out,” says Klum, who also hosts the show. “In other places, people tend to be a little more quiet, so it’s fun to have the New York crowd.”
Please think about that before you whine about your stretch marks. Butt paint. Say it in your head a few times. Those. Models. Need. Booty paint.
One more time? I think so.
Okay, I’m done.