FIB’s TOP MODELS Volume 63 — Sexiest Girls: Adriana Lima

The world is full of beautiful people. But being sexy dwarfs beauty — it is more than just a pretty face or nice physique. When you look at the Sexiest Girls we have chosen, you see a common factor: they all own their sexuality. There will always be critics, but being sexy is about having the cheers of admiration drown the whispers of jealousy.

So each week, let FIB give you a glimpse into our upcoming book, TOP MODELS Volume 63 — Sexiest Girls. Be warned, though: some of these women can make Kate Moss jealous.

Why do we view Victoria’s Secret’s products as the pinnacle of lingerie? What separates this American brand from the other lingerie brands residing in the industry’s upper echelons? While there are many theories, there is one that rings loudest — most of the brand’s success can be attributed to its beautiful models, specifically Adriana Lima.

When people think of beauty, they think of VS. And when people think of VS, they associate it with Lima.

Lima at VS Fashion Show 2014
Lima at VS Fashion Show 2014


While Lima should be appreciated for her looks, we should also admire the veteran’s longevity in the industry. Most VS Angels make a handful of appearances in the annual show. Lima, on the other hand, has featured in every show since 2000, bar 2009 due to her impending pregnancy, making her the brand’s longest ever running Angel. In 2006, aged 24, Lima opened the VS Fashion Show for the first time. In 2008 and 2010, she attained the Holy Grail — that is, she wore VS’s coup de grâce: The Fantasy Bra. Placing the fate of a US $2 million bra with Lima is perhaps the greatest mark of her status.

Lima in The Fantasy Bra.
Lima in The Fantasy Bra.


Born June 21, 1981 in Salvador, Brazil, Lima’s story is an archetypal story of fate and opportunism. By all accounts, Lima showed little interest in modelling. It is scary to think that had she not been a faithful friend, perhaps she may have never reached the heights she has, destined for a life of mediocrity like so many of us. You see, Lima got her break by enrolling in a local modelling competition, doing so only because her friend did not want to apply by herself.

Lima in 2002. Image Credit: Cosmopolitan (France)
Lima in 2002. Image Credit: Cosmopolitan (France)


It is an unforgiving industry, particularly with lingerie models. Unlike regular clothing that can be tactfully adorned to hide a model’s blemishes, lingerie does not offer this safety net. Add to this the fact that the VS Fashion Show is viewed by more than 8 million people each year, and you can see why Lima is so respected. She is as beautiful as she is resilient, as inspiring as she is confident.

Lima came under scrutiny in 2012 after revealing her pre-Fashion Show diet to Britain’s The Daily Telegraph. “The Lima Diet,” as it became known, was criticised for its ostensibly radical discipline. Lima admitted to working out twice a day three weeks out from a show, drinking only protein shakes nine days before a show, reducing her water intake two days before a show, and consuming nothing 12 hours before walking the runway. To her credit, she likened her rituals as those similar to an athlete’s conditioning before a race. Regardless, the diet shows Lima’s dedication to her career, separating her from not only models but athletes, too.

Lima's two daughters - Valentina & Sienna. Image Credit: @adrianalima
Lima’s two daughters – Sienna (left) & Valentina (right). Image Credit: @adrianalima


That same year, she became the first ever model to feature in two Super Bowl commercials during the one game. These ads, which were for Teleflora and KIA, were viewed by a global audience of more than 200 million people, elevating her to a globally recognised figure. This is a remarkable feat, considering Lima’s profession is one that does not harvest the daily exposure granted to music and TV shows.

Fast forward to 2015 and the girl from one of Brazil’s lesser-known cities commands a social media following of more than 15 million. According to Forbes, she made more than US $9 million in the past year due to featuring in collections for H&M, Balmain, Marc Jacobs and Versace, to name a few. This grand portfolio Lima has accrued is testament to her versatility as a model — being able to convey the trendiness of H&M in one show and the sophisticatedly suaveness of Marc Jacobs in another is a rarity.

Lima on set for H&M. Image credit: E!online
Lima on set for H&M. Image credit: E!online


Another aspect that registers Lima on our list is her persona. She is the antithesis of your contemporary celebrity — where most end up on our front pages for drug use or alcohol-fuelled hooliganism, Lima flies under the radar. This sort of humility endears her with audiences because we can all see a bit of ourselves in Lima; she has remained grounded where others haven’t, making her all the more appealing.

October 2015 signalled more global recognition for Lima’s contribution to the global fashion industry, this time by the New York branch of Madame Tussauds. Lima is the first VS Angel to have her figure in the museum and only the second Brazilian — the other being Pelé.

Adriana Lima w Marko Jaric
Lima with former husband, Marko Jaric.


Lima also serves as a global role model for Roman Catholics. Prior to marrying former professional basketball player, Marko Jarić, Lima admitted to being a virgin, citing it as an expression of love restricted to the sanctity of marriage. During their 5-year marriage, Lima and Jarić had two daughters, Valentina and Sienna. The fact that Lima has been able to front VS Fashion Shows post-pregnancy are testament to her status as one of history’s finest models.

Keep an eye out for FIB’s upcoming book, TOP MODELS Volume 63 — Sexiest Girls.