Model Candice Swanepoel raised eyebrows when she turned up to model Victoria's Secret's new swimwear line in Los Angeles on Wednesday looking shockingly thin. Fans and news outlets across the Web immediately voiced their concern that Swanepoel appeared significantly skinner than she had in photos taken just months before. CBS News called her "startlingly slim," while Hollywood Life remarked that Swanepoel was "scarily, skeletally, stick-thin."
But the 22-year-old South African beauty (pictured above center, with fellow models Alessandra Ambrosio, left, and Adrianna Lima) wants her fans and the world to know that there's no cause for concern. "I am healthy and happy," Swanepoel tells People. "I'm heartened to know how much everyone cares about me, but in this case, everything is normal and good."
And we're heartened to know that Swanepoel, who recently landed the cover of Victoria's Secret's 2011 swimsuit catalogue, is doing well -- though there's no denying that she is noticeably thinner than she had once been.
Back in November, Swanepoel told ABC News during New York Fashion Week that she was eating steak to try to keep her weight up. "Actually, this year my problem has been more putting the weight on and getting muscle on because it's been really busy," she said at the time. "I've been traveling around like crazy. I get skinnier if I'm very busy. I've been eating steak and everything, so I'm actually looking forward to eating some lighter food after (Fashion Week)." (Click here to watch video of her interview.)
A source tells E! Online that the model's contract with Victoria's Secret -- whose models are known for being curvy -- could be in jeopardy. "There is a really clear criteria for both Angels and the catalogue," says the fashion insider. "Their career path is Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue then to Angel, it's the highest paying contract there is, period. The image is about being voluptuous, it's not fat, but it's curvy."
But the insider adds that it's unlikely that she'd lose her contract. "I'd be surprised if it went that far, she'll right herself first. Of course they'll talk to her though, the company is all about image."