In celebration of Mother’s Day, Victoria’s Secret continues a tradition that began in 2021 by celebrating iconic figures, along with their mothers and children. Among this year’s highlighted icons are supermodels Paloma Elsesser, who was captured alongside her mother and grandmother, and Chanel Iman, who posed with her two daughters. For the annual holiday created to honor mothers around the world, Victoria’s Secret asked each featured mother to reflect on the reality of real love as a mother – the blissful and the painful – and the overall gift of motherhood.
Iman, who is newly single, is raising her two daughters, Cali and Cassie, who appear in the campaign. Within the campaign’s video, Iman says, “Mama was always there for me. No matter what, she was always there.” And now, Iman is taking on motherhood herself, while balancing her career.
She tells ESSENCE, “I think motherhood is one of the most fulfilling gifts because it is based on real love. On that note, I would advise new moms to lead with love and do the best they can – no one is perfect. Giving yourself a little grace goes a long way, and I think Victoria’s Secret captures this idea beautifully through this campaign.”
Although motherhood is certainly one of life’s greatest gifts, it also comes with challenges and moments of discomfort. Spending your days investing into the future of your little one, then watching them grow up to leave the nest can be tough, and being perfect in every moment is not realistic, so grounding oneself in grace is vital as Iman said.
Finding time for self-care is also very important to Iman these days when she has a moment to herself – not just for her own well-being, but for the sake of her children too. “I think it is so necessary to take care of yourself, so that you can be the best version of yourself for your little ones,” she said. “A good night’s sleep, my go-to skincare routine and of course, my cozy set of Victoria’s Secret PJ’s or loungewear are all key aspects of my self-care. I instantly feel refreshed and ready to take on the world as long as I have these little moments for myself.”
Along the way, mothers may not have every answer for every situation – even if they have already raised a kid or two before. A child’s life journey tends to teach a mother just as much as a mother tries to teach their child – it’s an equal exchange of love and growth, and you can only learn by going through it.
“I’ve definitely learned how patient I can be, and that stems from unconditional love as a mother,” Iman shared. “No narrative or relationship is the same, but the one commonality that we all share is that love. If you have that as your basis, you are good to go. It was a beautiful thing to be able to see true love on set while shooting this campaign.”
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