The 10 Victoria's Secret Angels Have Surprising Backgrounds

Victoria's Secret swim collection

Photo: Valerie Macon/Getty Images

This week, Victoria’s Secret debuted Karlie Kloss as a new Angel. That means that at age 20, Kloss has already achieved the ultimate goal in the modelling business.  

Half of Forbes’ highest paid models last year were Angels for the lingerie giant. And the annual Fashion Show drew more than 10 million viewers last year.

Angels don’t just make millions of dollars and gain worldwide fame. Becoming an Angel is key to launching a career in fashion, business or television (just look at former Angel Heidi Klum).  

We decided to dig beyond the gorgeous surface and find out who these models really are. 

One model aspires to be a doctor, while another was a high school basketball star. 

Source: Vogue

Adriana Lima always dreamed of being a doctor. Lima said she got into modelling by mistake and was too young to know what she really wanted.

Source: GQ

Alessandra Ambrosio had cosmetic surgery at age 11. She was self-conscious about her large ears and had surgery to pin them back. In 2006, she told Tyra Banks she had suffered from complications.


Miranda Kerr used to be a competitive gymnast. She competed in her native country of Australia as a child, but had to quit because she became too tall.

Source: Vogue UK

Doutzen Kroes once worked as a magazine columnist. She wrote a monthly column about her life for the Dutch edition of Marie Claire from 2009-10 but stopped to focus on her fashion career.

Candice Swanepoel spent her childhood birthing cows...her family owned a dairy and beef farm in South Africa.

Source: British GQ

Erin Heatherton almost turned down a modelling agency to go to basketball camp. She was a starter on her Chicago high school's team and didn't want to blunder her athletic career.

Source: Chicago Tribune

Lily Aldridge's partner is Kings of Leon frontman Caleb Followill. They met at Coachella in 2007 and have a daughter together, Dixie Pearl.

Source: Us Magazine

Behati Prinsloo is a minister's daughter. Her father was the head of a church in Namibia, where Prinsloo was raised.


Lindsay Ellingson was studying biology at UC San Diego when she was discovered by a modelling scout.

Source: Shape

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