I'm not watching the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show.

Tonight, I'm not watching the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show. And here's why: it's not for a moral reason. It's not because I don't like the brand's products (because, let's face it, they are the best out there. Confession: I once spent one hundred freaking dollars on a fabulous bra from Victoria's Secret and don't regret a penny of it spent. It was that comfortable and looked great.) It is because the beautiful women who model and strut down that runway are lying to us. And I'm not buying the lies.

This morning, I searched "Victoria's Secret Fashion Show" on Twitter, and my jaw dropped. Some of the real-time tweets were young women excitedly planning pajama parties with their friends this evening to watch the show. Half the tweets were immature high school boys all excited to see the hot women on TV tonight. And the rest of the tweets? Teenage girls expressing thoughts like this:

"The Victoria's Secret Fashion Show is on tonight. The most depressing night of the year." 

"Can't wait for my self-esteem to hit rock bottom tonight while I watch the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show."

"Better eat now because after I watch the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show I won't eat for like a week."

Listen up, friends: the women who will strut down the runway tonight in their bra and underwear are not real. They are real women with real souls and hearts whose bodies have been transformed in a dramatic way. They have breast implants and butt implants. They have liposuction and plastic surgery on their bodies and faces. Their voluminous head of hair isn't real - it's full of extensions and expensive product. They are airbrushed with tanning spray and it neatly covers up their real skin, making them look like tan Barbie dolls (believe me, I've had it done and it really does cover up every freckle or imperfection.) Every inch of their bodies has been waxed, coiffed, airbrushed and covered with cosmetics. 

I read that "angel" Adriana Lima does not eat any solid food for nine days before tonight's show. She also works out twice per day. And she drinks a gallon of water a day. These women are abusing their health and bodies. There is NOTHING healthy about this kind of diet or lifestyle. 

Oh how it makes me want to scream on the rooftop, this is wrong. This isn't real. This is killing our girls. And warping the minds of our men. STOP lying to women. Stop making a woman's worth all about her looks.

I will not watch The Victoria's Secret Fashion show tonight because it hits too close to home. I've spent years talking to young women and I have seen the ugly, horrifying result of feeding our girls fake images that they have to measure up to. 

Too many precious friends of mine are struggling with eating disorders.

Too many women I know throw up or feel panicked after they eat a meal. 

Too many high school girls email me and desperately ask me for help because they feel ugly, worthless, and like they're not good enough.

Too many women feel ugly, worthless and unloved because they struggle with their weight or acne.

Too many beautiful women I know think they're ugly because they don't measure up to the images presented in porn, in advertising, and in the Victoria's Secret catalog. 

I'm not saying that wearing make-up, working out, loving fashion and style, and just making yourself look and feel beautiful is wrong. Women have such a unique and profound beauty, and this is a GIFT. But it's not where worth is found. The Victoria's Secret Fashion Show cheapens women's beauty and diminishes self confidence by presenting unreal examples. Cheapening even the intimacy and sacredness of sex - they are being paid to bop around in lingerie for the whole world to see on order to sell a product. Instead of staying classy by wearing lingerie and showing that sexy, intimate side of yourself to your husband alone. 

Ladies, please don't believe the lies. You are real and you are beautiful. Not for how you look but for who you are. And oh precious men, please don't believe the lies either. Because, real girls aren't plastic and no real woman can measure up to the fake Barbie doll wanna-be's. Instead of watching the show tonight, my dear friends - do something good for you. Go for a run or paint your nails red. Make a fabulous meal and enjoy every bite. Do yoga or wear high heels and invite your girls out to dinner. Play the guitar and sing your heart out. Be you. Be your beautiful, loved self. 

Darling sister, you are loved. 
You are precious. You are valuable. 
For more than the color of your skin, the shape of your face,
 the size of your waist or the number on a scale. 
You are smart and talented. 
You shine like a diamond. 
You are never too much.
You are always enough.
And you are LOVED. 

XO!

Erin