More and more celebrities have been fighting against the beauty standards that come with being on the cover of magazines. What we hear the most these days is how damaging Photoshop and other retouching can be to the women and girls who think they should look like the mags they’re buying every day. Celebs like Meghan Trainor have been more open about their dislike of the practice, and with hashtags like #effyourbeautystandards gaining popularity on IG thanks to model Tess Holiday, we can see that change is coming to the way we look at women in the media.

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In an interview with Refinery29, a retouching expert they called “Sarah” spilled the beans on what exactly it takes for VS models to get their iconic bombshell look, and the answers are way more complicated than we might think. While we think of retouching as a digital process, Sarah admits that “body fixing” starts on set — and doesn’t only happen on a computer.

“The first thing they do,” Sarah admits, “is they put in [hair] extensions, followed by “chicken cutlets” and other shaping pads.” And those perfectly filled-out bathing suits? SUPER padded. Weirdest and most surprising of all is that, according to Sarah, VS always puts their models in pushup bras under swimsuits and strapless stuff to give the appearance of high, perky breasts.

Sarah goes on to say that VS stands by their look, claiming that curvier models just don’t sell the same way… and that we can’t only blame VS when this work happens industry wide. And while we’ve always known that fashion photography wasn’t totally true to life, finding out exactly what happens behind the scenes is fascinating, no? We don’t see VS changing their entire look any time soon, but with this knowledge, it’s easier for us to understand how the models look so flawless in each catalog… and why it’s not exactly an attainable standard IRL.

What do you think about “Sarah” and her VS experiences? Tell us @BritandCo!

(h/t Photo via Dimitrious Kambouris/Getty)