Adriana Lima has been a Victoria’s Secret Angel since 2000, walking in their controversial fashion show a staggering 16 times — more than any other model. While some people consider the annual spectacle bad for girls’ self-esteem, since so few women are naturally possessed with the lingerie brand’s preferred body type, Adriana argues it’s a celebration of diversity.
She explained to People, “The girls are from all over the world and different ages, and they all show their different personalities.” She urges young women not to compare themselves to the models. “You have to be yourself. Each one of us has our own thing going on that we bring to the runway, and we show it. Just embrace yourself, because the minute you try to be something you’re not, you lose your identity.”
Adriana credits boxing for building her own self-esteem. She’s been training for over 10 years, and recently CNN International that it has really empowered her. ”It’s my passion really. I’m lucky enough to find something I love. Even if I wasn’t a model, I’d probably be a boxer.”
While Adriana has no plans to box professionally, she says, “If anything happens to the modeling career, I know what to do.” Beauty in strength: For Adriana, it’s a win-win, as evidenced by her most recent Instagram snaps: