• What is Sexy

What is Sexy: Adriana Lima

After nearly 20 years of making men's hearts skip a beat, Victoria's Secret supermodel Adriana Lima has retired.

The exotic mix of Portuguese, Swiss, Native Brazilian, Japanese, and West Indian ancestry was born on 12 June 1981 in Salvador, Brazil. She was raised by her single mother after her father abandoned the family. Her beauty was apparent from an early age as she won several beauty pageants in elementary school, and after encouragement from a friend entered and won Ford's "Supermodel of Brazil" model search at age 15. Just a few years later she walked her first Victoria's Secret runway in 1999 at the age of 18. Her career would be catapulted as she became one of the biggest faces for the Victoria's Secret brand, and a spokeswoman for many high end fashion brands. One of the highest paid supermodels of her generation, she accumulated a net worth of over $65 million in her career.

The model was known to bring a Bible with her backstage and stated that she had wanted to become a nun before becoming a Victoria's Secret Angel. Steadfast in her beliefs, the devout Roman Catholic attends Mass every Sunday and said that she agrees with any teaching of the church - even denouncing abortion as a crime. In April 2006, she even told GQ magazine that she was a virgin, stating "Sex is for after marriage ... [men] have to respect that this is my choice. If there's no respect, that means they don't want me."

The 37 year old model announced her retirement in a farewell video she posted to Instagram with the caption "Dear Victoria, Thank you for showing me the world, sharing your secrets, and most importantly not just giving me wings but teaching me to fly. And to the best fans in the world! Love, Adriana." As for her plans for retirement, the now divorced mom of two says she will focus on projects centered on empowering women “I’m looking forward to supporting women and being connected to different projects which support women around the world." Follow Adriana Lima on Instagram and Twitter. Check out her official Facebook fan page here.

Check out the entire What is Sexy Series by clicking here.


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