Victoria’s Secret stacks its stage with model moms

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NEW YORK (AP) - It’s not just the push-up bras or feathered wings that give some top Victoria's Secret models their sexy swagger: It’s their off-the-catwalk lives as mothers that give them their confidence and signature curves, they say.

Miranda Kerr, Doutzen Kroes and Alessandra Ambrosio have all been crowned VS Angels, so they are among the half-dozen models to get the best outfits and most face time during the lingerie giant’s televised annual fashion show, which was scheduled to air Tuesday night on CBS. Backstage, wearing their short, hot-pink satin robes, they’re also the ones attracting the most attention.

What were they talking about with all those photographers, makeup artists and other models? Nutrition, exercise and juggling their jet-setting careers with their little ones.

Kroes and Kerr have bona fide babies, both giving birth to sons last January. Ambrosio’s daughter was born in 2008.

Motherhood hasn’t slowed them down at all: Kerr even got to wear the coveted diamond-covered bra. “I was asked to do it after I gave birth,” said Kerr. “That was awesome. It’s such an honor.”

Ed Razek, chief marketing officer for Victoria's Secret parent Limited Brands, has long taken the position that the company wants feminine, womanly models, because that’s who looks best in the lingerie. “It’s true, a number of our models have come back from having a baby more beautiful than ever. I know that some of them have used the show date as a goal to get back in shape and, I think, having a baby has given them a sense of confidence, an `I can do anything’ attitude that is reflected on the runway.”

One thing model moms can do is make money. Forbes ranks Gisele Bundchen, Heidi Klum, Kate Moss, Adriana Lima and Ambrosio _ all often photographed with their children _ as the top earners of the industry this year.

Some tidbits on mixing modeling and motherhood:

_Kroes

It was empowering to mold her new figure into shape, said Kroes, 27, who did “abs, abs, lots of ab exercises all the time.” Her body isn’t quite the same now as it was pre-baby, and she hopes it never goes back. “I wish every woman can feel so sexy after birth. It’s your body but it’s also a feeling.”

Her two worlds might not seem on the surface a perfect match, but they are, she said. “You get your hair and makeup done!”

She also has a lot of control over her schedule. Even if she needs to be on location for a few days, it’ll never be longer, and then she’ll have many days off, Kroes explained. “It’s not a 9 to 5 job.”

She often can bring Phyllon on set, although she only does that when working locally. “I don’t want him to become a `traveler’ when he is still so young.”

_Ambrosio

Her catwalk costumes are a little less risque now, but she’s not ready to hang up the Brazilian-cup bras and short shorts. “I’m definitely more proud of my body now,” she said. “Our bodies are changed as we get older, and I’m more conscious of it now. Now, I’m a woman doing the show, not a girl.”

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