If you haven't yet DVRed the Victoria's Secret 2017 Fashion Show airing at 10/9C November 28 on CBS, we may have a reason you should. Yes, between nightmarish pre-holiday schedules and anxiety over post-Thanksgiving bods, sitting down to watch models don million dollar bras may not be a top priority—but one Victoria's Secret Angel claims her life as a single mother could be more relatable than you think.
Twenty-seven-year-old Brazil native, Lais Ribeiro is known for her supermodel status, but to her, her most important job is as mom to 9-year-old son Alexandre. A year after giving birth to her son, she embarked on her career, which eventually brought her and Alexandre to America, but not without a struggle. Now a household name, Ribeiro is balancing her career and being a single parent, just like a lot of us are—yet this mom has millions of eyes on her.
This year Ribeiro traveled to Shanghai, China to film her 7th Victoria's Secret Fashion Show where the veteran sported the $2 million Champagne Nights Fantasy Bra. Upon hearing this, our first reaction was to Google what a $2 million bra looks like, which is when I discovered not all the attention was on the bra. Fans on social media honed in on Ribeiro's stretch marks—and not for the reasons you think. Supporters applauded the model for putting them on display instead of keeping the "imperfections" hidden.
Although Ribeiro's profession is unconventional, there is no denying she has conquered her dreams, built a better life for her family, and is promoting body positivity. Who doesn't love a strong woman making waves? After chatting with Ribeiro first hand, this super-mom is clearly human—believe it or not, she still gets nervous before taking on the runway. Despite her killer body and fame, she isn't afraid to admit that her greatest accomplishment of all—motherhood—has never been and will never be a walk in the park, even now with all her success.
She isn't afraid to ask for help. "I think it’s a balance, you know. I try to be very professional but at the same time, I try to be there for my kid and sometimes it's hard because we travel a lot. With the help of my mom and sometimes my sister comes to help me, I just try to be there for Alexandre. Somehow I am doing it. I used to live with my mom, after she left I told her I had no idea this was so hard. Of course, I did a lot of stuff before, but with her here and me working a lot, she was doing most of the stuff and now everything is me. At 9 p.m., when I put him to sleep I fall asleep with him sometimes."
She is ready to clear up misconceptions about her job. "It's just like every other single mom. My job is just asking me to do different things, but I have the same responsibilities as a mom, which come before I do my glam or whatever it is. People sometimes don't realize it's so hard. The other day I had to miss his hip-hop presentation at school because I had to work. It hurts sometimes, not being there for them, but we are doing this for them."
She has her parenting fails. "We have so many [fails], we all do. Sometimes I catch myself on social media too much and I need to pay more attention to him. We all do it. I am trying to control myself because it's really hard these days. He is like, 'Mom, I want a Facebook,' and I am like, 'Excuse me?' He is only 9 so he is going to have to wait a bit. It's very risky and scary that's why when he does start using social media in a few years I want to be there to not control but to supervise."
But her parenting wins are her proudest moments. "I think my win was bringing Alexandre from Brazil to live in America because in the beginning of my career I would have to go back and forth and was really upset. I promised myself I am going to work hard and I am going to bring my son to live in New York. That was three years ago and I think that was a big win for me for sure."
Her advice to other single-moms? Find 'me time'. "We all wake up early, we all have to do whatever—breakfast and go straight to work etc., but you have to take care of yourself and be healthy and happy with yourself. The motivation is there already, it is our children. Alexandre is literally running everywhere, he loves to exercise. Sometimes I take him down to the gym with me and he just plays while I do 40 a minute workout. It's only 40 minutes of your day and you're entertaining yourself with your son, it's really fast and fun while working for you and your body."