22 things that happened at the 2002 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show that would never happen today

Gisele wishes she could forget that time she ate pizza and drank Coke.

By Helin Jung
Victoria's Secret fashion show

1. People’s delicate sensibilities were offended by the show. Just in its second year being televised nationally, the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show was too much naked for some audiences. "When beautiful women were mixed with minimal clothing in a Victoria’s Secret fashion show aired during the family hour on national television last week, it set off a barrage of protests from pro-family groups ... decrying the promotion of scantily-clad models and the degradation of women," wrote the Concerned Women for America Committee. There were apparently so many complaints sent to the FCC that their email system crashed. God, peeps used to be such prudes.

The show was still enough of a novelty in 2002 that multiple thinkpieces were written about it. "The lanky, long-haired girls came on so fast and furious, and looked so similar, that the lasting impression the show created was one of an army of skins approaching angrily and then retreating in haste," wrote Virginia Heffernan on Slate.

2. The models were forced to eat pizza. Models: Pretending to freely eat lots of crappy food since the dawn of time. It’s a bit like torture, no? Mind you, this was during the era of skinny-skinny models, which is more the result of restriction than it is genetics, so making them shove cheese pizza down their throats is just cruel. Tyra’s face says it all.

Not to mention, Gisele Bundchen has adopted an almost entirely plant-based diet in recent years, so she would definitely not be caught dead eating cheese (or carbs, for that matter) these days.

3. Billy Bush delivered the pizza. Oh. Figures. In a 2002 profile of Bush, the New York Times wrote that, "In just eight months at Access Hollywood, he has distinguished himself as a cocksure but affable on-air presence, someone capable of conjuring instant bonhomie and a few seconds of usable tape with reluctant celebrities as they blow by on the red carpet at movie premieres." Three years later, Bush would board a bus with Donald Trump, leading to a few seconds of a different kind of tape, and the rest is history.

4. Donald Trump attended the show, along with his future wife Melania Knauss. The presidential nominee probably isn’t on this year’s guest list for Paris, but who knows? Back then, he was just The Donald. The hair was still very combed over, but not as blonde. He had been dating Melania for four years by this point, but the couple was not yet engaged. Shockingly, Melania looked exactly the same then as she does now — well, minus the extensions-free hair.

5. Ivana Trump was also there. Awkward! The first Mrs. Trump brought her new younger boyfriend and the two Trumps had a red carpet battle of the exes. Ivana and her beau coordinated in their all-black outfits (That scrunchy shirt though!), but Melania had the floor-length white fur, so...

6. PETA protesters stormed the stage. They were specifically targeting Gisele: "By getting into bed with the fur-pushers Gisele has become Peta enemy number one," a PETA spokesman said at the time. "Every time that Gisele or anyone else wears furs they are sentencing countless animals to a violent and cruel death." The protesters were eventually dragged off by security guards and arrested.

7. Indoor smoking was still a thing. Ana Beatriz Barros didn’t even have to step outside and 20 feet away from the building in order to get a smoke break in New York City. She could chill out in her folding chair while someone painted her toenails. #TBT.

8. Gisele willingly drank Coca-Cola. Not Diet Coke. Not all-natural organic sugar cane soda. Fucking regular Coke. That is, like, pure empty calories! Gisele doesn’t waste calories anymore. But again, it was another time.

9. There were some gnarly French tip pedicures. Sparkly, bedazzled tips that matched with their bedazzled thong heels. 😷

10. Destiny’s Child performed. Can you even imagine Beyoncé, Kelly Rowland, or Michelle Williams performing at a Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show these days?

11. Caitriona Balfe modelled. Before she starred as Claire Beauchamp Fraser on Outlander, she stripped down to her lingerie as a Victoria’s Secret model. Cait’s way too highbrow for the runway now.

12. People were making phone calls. On flip phones. Actually, I don’t really understand what Alessandra Ambrosio is holding — it looks like a pack of cigarettes that she’s pretending to talk on. Well, there’s none of that anymore. Now it’s all touchscreen devices that require internet access. If you didn’t Snap from backstage, were you even in the show?

13. The robes were red. The quality of the fabric, the embroidery, the colour — everything about the old robes now feels dated and maybe even a bit cheap. These days, the robes look like the V.S. bags: pale pink stripes on a more luxurious-looking silk. Adriana Lima remains a constant at Victoria’s Secret. Lifer!

14. They had to wear "model" nametags. Handwritten cards on chains!

15. Tan lines were somehow acceptable. Ana Beatriz wore a high-cut bikini with an obvious bikini line underneath, which would never fly in today’s shows. You’d better believe that Victoria’s Secret has figured out how to make sure all models have even colouration. There’s a dedicated spray tan artist who handles that.

16. Heidi Klum had to curl her own lashes. I’m not sure if this is a #spon moment for Hello Kitty, but there’s other evidence of models touching up their own faces backstage in 2002. The setup was a lot scrappier back then.

17. Zoë Kravitz attended with her dad. She was almost 14 and still going through her awkward phase. Zoë’s way too cool for V.S. now and was frankly probably too cool then.

18. Tyra danced flamenco.

19. The production looked a bit like a high-school drama production. Victoria’s Secret has upgraded its set design a million times over since sending these floating sheets down from the ceiling.

20. The wings looked like craft projects. Compared to the wings of today, 2002 wings look like a hobbyist’s Halloween project. The wing makers are now doing techno-crazy things with lights and moving pieces.

21. Mark McGrath made an appearance. Remember Sugar Ray?

22. This. Fur crotch: Never again.

Source: Cosmo US