In February of 2012, I met former Victoria Secret model, Kylie Bisutti, at a local Starbucks. She sat with me and 2 of my girlfriends, and chatted for nearly 2 hours. She was so sweet and gracious and solid spiritually.
She had literally just come from New York city where she was a guest on multiple shows like Good Morning America and Fox and Friends. All of them baffled at her choice to quit being a Victoria Secret model. The media attention all began when a tweet came from Alex Eklund, the founder of Live31. He said:
I’d much rather have a Proverbs 31 woman than a VS model.
Then Kylie tweeted back:
I quit being a VS model to become a Proverbs 31 wife.
Little did she know what that little tweet would turn into, as the media caught wind of her story.
And so you probably wonder –how did she become a model, what’s her story and how in the world did she reach angel status and then quit for Jesus?
Kylie tells her entire story in her newly released book titled — I’m No Angel: From Victoria’s Secret Model to Role Model and I had a chance to read an advance copy.
In Kylie’s book she shares about her road to modeling and salvation. She moved to Las Vegas with her family and at the age of 14 began walking in runway fashion shows there. By 16, she had moved to New York City alone and was modeling in New York’s well-known Fashion Week.
Previous to her move to New York, a girl from school who had never spoken to her previously, invited her to her church youth group. She was warmly received there and for the first time in her life learned about Jesus and the Bible. She had spent so much time on her external transformation that she found much hope in the message of internal transformation through Jesus. And off to New York she went straddling two worlds that would eventually collide.
One of the most eye opening parts of this book is when Kylie shares the harsh realities of modeling. She writes:
Ultimately, your body doesn’t really belong to you. It belongs to the client. Since they’re paying, they figure they can do pretty much whatever they want to you. They can curl your hair, straighten it, dye it, cut it –even shave it. I’ve seen hair extensions being pulled out by the roots and smoke billowing out of flat irons while the hair inside gets singed and fried. I’ve watched models squeeze their feet into shoes so small their feet literally bled, and I’ve seen false eyelashes torn off so quickly that the natural lashes came off with them. Modeling may look glamorous on the outside, but believe me, beauty can be an ugly business.
Kylie’s brave and transparent stories of the modeling world (from the inside) truly broke my heart for both the women in the industry and all of us who look at fashion magazines and dream of having their beauty.
She speaks of being 5’10″, 108 pounds, a size 0 and still being considered too large for some designers. These designers wanted their clothes to fit on the models like hangars and so she tells of some models going to heart breaking extremes to meet these standards –starving themselves. And then there’s airbrushing…
Oh friends, don’t we all struggle with feeling like we aren’t….thin enough, pretty enough, or just…enough. We would be tempted to believe that these super models must be free of these struggles but this book shows the pressures these women face –beyond any we can imagine.
In the end, Kylie meets a wonderful Christian man and falls in love –truly it’s a fairy tale love story but not without heartache as she wrestles with her decisions to go forward modeling for Victoria Secret while trying to lead a committed Christian life.
I find Kylie’s testimony both riveting and powerful. She chose her faith over fame, fortune and the most coveted title in modeling and for that –I am so inspired by Kylie.
Want to learn more about her? Read her blog here: http://www.imnoangel.org/ or follow her on twitter here: https://twitter.com/mrsbisutti and you can buy her book on amazon here: I’m No Angel: From Victoria’s Secret Model to Role Model
And just a side note, I was pretty blessed when Kylie tweeted this last September: