We've heard all about how models prepping for a Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show have been known to eat no carbs, do months' worth of planking, and consume tons of steamed kale. But what does that level of pressure and spray tanning do to a woman’s psyche? Does it work its way into your subconscious?
Backstage before the show earlier today in London, the Cut attempted to get to the bottom of this by asking ten models a question: Do you ever have anxiety dreams? Read their detailed, and occasionally harrowing, responses below.
“About a month before the show, I start having weird anxiety dreams. Usually it’s that desperate dream when you don’t make it in time. Like, I’m dressing and the show is going on, and I miss my spot because I’m still getting dressed. But the last one, Alessandra [Ambrosio] was in it. I don’t remember exactly what happened, but I feel like she stole my wings.” —Candice Swanepoel
“Last night, I had kind of a nightmare. I fell asleep for, like, 20 minutes, and I dreamt that the two friends I invited to the show didn’t show up, and I was freaking out because I wanted them there.” —Elsa Hosk
“I had the same one twice, I think — exactly the same thing. I’m in a place that looks like a square, but with nothing inside. And I’m trying to find something. I’m going around and around and around the inside of the square but I can’t find it. [Mimes panic.] I’m like, ‘Where is it?!’” —Ming Xi
“Honestly, I don’t really have anxiety dreams. If I ever have nightmares, they’re about zombies. Nothing happens — I’m just running, and it’s pretty intense. But I love zombie movies.” —Lily Aldridge
“Last night, no, but sometimes when I get very excited. Last week, I dreamt I was playing volleyball with Gisele — that was fun. I was just thinking about the whole Victoria’s Secret thing, and I get excited and crazy dreams come. I didn’t have a chance to finish the game, so I don’t know who won.” —Lais Ribeiro
“I’m running and it never ends — I’m constantly running away from something. I just feel really stressed out, and then I wake up and I feel even more tired.” Did you have any dreams in the run-up to this show? “It didn’t even hit me until yesterday when we were doing the rehearsal — the whole time I was just like, ‘This is fun!’ and then I saw the stage and I was like, ‘Oh my God, it’s real.’ I think it’s more scary during the day. Going to sleep is like an escape.” —Taylor Hill
“Anxiety dreams … totally. You know, I wish I understood more about dreams. I have friends who are really well-read about it, just because they’re interested, and I love hearing about the psychology behind why our brains have dreams. I always dream about travel — I get really anxious about missing flights. I think it’s because I have a tendency to cut it too short in real life. Knock on wood, I have only missed three planes in my whole life — not bad. But in my dreams, I miss them all the time. Now that I’m an angel, I should just spread my wings and fly. I’ve got my own transport.” —Karlie Kloss
“I haven’t had any anxiety dreams leading up to the show, but I once had a really random dream where my brother was sentenced to something, and then he had to murder me in order to free himself. So we had lunch and talked about how we should do this, because I didn’t know if we could get away with it. It was so weird — what is that? And I woke up before I knew the ending. I love my brother — I told him and he was laughing hysterically.” —Grace Mahary
“Not recently, but I have two anxiety dreams. You know when you’re dreaming that you’re walking, and you’re going downstairs, and you slip? And you wake up from the slip? That’s the one that gets me. Or being trapped in a room, and not having an escape route. That’s the anxiety dream I have the most.” —Joan Smalls
“It’s so funny that you ask me, because this morning I was talking about it with one of the girls. I’ve been dreaming this same dream for a long time now, on and off, and it happens exactly the same from beginning to end. There’s a lady trying to escape from a guy, and it takes her so long but then she’s able to make it. I told my friend and she said to me, ‘Oh, so that means you’re in a cage,’ and I was like, ‘No, it has nothing to do with me! It’s just a weird dream!’” —Izabel Goulart
Most Viewed Stories
Jesse Williams and Aryn Drake-Lee Divorcing After Five Years of Marriage
Zeke Thomas Speaks Out for the First Time About Being Assaulted
Former Bachelor Chris Soules Reportedly Arrested After Fatal Crash
I Was the Queen Bee: 3 High-School Bullies Describe Their Reigns of Terror
The Most Depressing Ways The Bachelor Couple Have Described Their Relationship
Serena Williams Responds to Male Tennis Player’s Racist Remark About Her Pregnancy
Will We Abandon Women’s Rights in the Name of Progressive Politics?
What It’s Like to Have Tina Fey As a Mentor
All the Cool Girls Had One: 16 Women on Teen Status Symbols
Ask a Boss: How Do I Ask to Work From Home?
The Cut’s Latest Fashion FeaturesCiara's Wedding Dress Was Too Big for the Chapel
To be fair, it was a 13 foot-long dress.You and Rihanna Will Both Want to Invest in Dior’s New Bag
It's got something for everyone.Polo Shirts Have Turned Their Back on Ryan Lochte
Along with his other major sponsors.Ryan Lochte Will No Longer Be Paid to Wear Tiny Bathing Suits
Speedo remains committed to transparency.Laura Brown Is the New Editor-in-Chief of InStyle
After 11 years at Harper’s Bazaar.Tyra Banks Is Going to Teach a Class on Smizing at Stanford
"If I see somebody not paying attention, I’m gonna call on them."This Floating Pier Is the Most Zen Installation Ever
Walking on water in Italy.Nation Is Appalled by Matt Lauer’s Nude Ankles During Ryan Lochte Interview
What’s the opposite of “Jeah”?8 People at the Life of Pablo Pop-up Explain Why Kanye West Is a God
"I mean, Kanye West is just Kanye West. There's not more or less you can say about Kanye West. He's just Mr. West!"A T-shirt Is Enough
Simplicity, versatility, and cool. What more could you want?
She took a perfect pencil dive off a 30-foot yacht.American Apparel Is Being Sued by Former Workers
As the company considers putting itself up for sale.A Gendered History of the Tailored Suit
From Marlon Brando to Coco Chanel.How Zendaya Developed Such Great Style at the Young Age of 19
The star's best looks from Disney to now.Proof That If You’re Chic Enough, a Little Federal Investigation Doesn’t Matter
Is this the best they could do?5,300-Year-Old Mummified Iceman Probably Would’ve Been a Street-Style Star
He had several different looks and was “pretty picky.”J.Crew Has Identified 226 Shades of Pink
Even more than there are shades of gray.Gigi and Bella Hadid Merch Is Now Somehow a Thing That Is Happening
Today in Hadidiana.Gird Your Loins for the Return of Yeezy to New York Fashion Week
The season approaches.This Indie Brand Had a Great Response to Ivanka Trump
When she bought one of their cuffs, they donated the proceeds to the Clinton campaign.