Former Victoria's Secret model Erin Heatherton has spoken out about how the lingerie brand pressured her to lose weight, triggering her battle with depression.
The 27-year-old, who is also actor Leonardo DiCaprio's ex girlfriend, left Victoria's Secret in 2013 after 5 years of strutting the catwalk for the brand's elaborate lingerie shows.
"My last two Victoria's Secret shows, I was told I had to lose weight," she told news and popular culture site Motto. "I look back like, 'Really?'"
The model says she began a strict regime of working out twice a day and watching what she ate, but in preparing for the 2013 show, her body "just wouldn't do it."
"I was really depressed because I was working so hard and I felt like my body was resisting me," she says. "And I got to a point where one night I got home from a workout and I remember staring at my food and thinking maybe I should just not eat."
"I realised I couldn't go out into the world - parading my body and myself in front of all these women who look up to me - and tell them that this is easy and simple and everyone can do this."
Heatherton, who has featured in campaigns for the likes of Valentino, Karl Lagerfeld, Versace and Dolce & Gabbana, says she fell into depression following her association with Victoria's Secret.
The model, who has shared candid posts on Instagram about her body image struggles, says she decided to tell her story in the hope that it will help other women.
"I'm willing to sacrifice my pride, in a sense, and my privacy because I know that if I don't speak about it, I could be withholding information that would really help women," she says. "It hurts too much to keep it in, and that's why I'm not keeping it in now."
She dated Leonardo DiCaprio from 2011 to 2012, and is now in a relationship with Australian musician Felix Boxsom.