Four or five years ago, The Body Shop launched a charming advertising campaign with the slogan, “There are three billion women in the world who don’t look like supermodels, and only eight who do.” The posters of average women were a shrine to reality for all of us who grew up with Barbie and landed on the far side of puberty, perplexed by our non-doll-like proportions.

I called up that real-woman image for confidence several times last week, as I collected booklets full of cleavage from my mailbox. It appears that Victoria’s Secret is stepping up its seasonal direct mail marketing.

First came the high-gloss “semi-annual sale” catalog. OK, it’s summer, I’m in the market for a new bathing suit, and I will window shop and think to myself smugly that these women need to eat more and exercise less. Because no one can maintain such flat bellies and upper-body dimensions without at least a mild case of anorexia, hundred of crunches, and a dash of silicone in just the right places. I’d have to have all of that plus a couple of ribs removed to fit into these photo spreads.

The next day, a Victoria’s Secret catalog loosely titled “clothing sale” arrived. The jeans selections–illustrated with women in denim bottoms and not much else–sported names like “The Boyfriend” (“The comfort of his jean. Designed for you.”) and “The Sexy” (“Very slim. Very flirty.”).

While flipping through the catalog, lyrics from A Chorus Line played in my head, songs devoted to the worship–and enhancement–of the female bust. (“Oh darling, you’re not old enough to wear a bra–you’ve got nothing to hold it up!”; “Didn’t cost a fortune, neither. Didn’t hurt my sex life, either!”)

The day after that, a VS “accessories” catalog slipped in among my other mail, which included a note from the only person in my family even remotely eligible for a modeling career, my smart and athletic niece who just graduated high school. (Their loss; she’s pursuing a softball scholarship.) “Accessories” a la Victoria, with its clear-strapped stiletto heels and the cutest little girly sneakers you ever saw, went straight into the recycling bin.

Friday brought the real temptation for this dedicated bargain-hunter. The VS clearance catalog arrived, with surgically reduced prices on bikinis and bustiers and beachwear, oh my.

I will resist the pressure to look like one of the eight. I will be content as one of the three billion. I will, however, put down this carton of Cherry Garcia and go to the gym.