• Thu, Apr 25 2013

Former Victoria’s Secret Angel Kylie Bisutti On Modeling Horrors, Eating Disorders & More

Model Kylie Bisutti attends the 2nd Annual Character Approved Awards cocktail reception at The IAC Building in NYC

Back in 2009, mall lingerie behemoth Victoria’s Secret held a contest to determine their next Angel, because humans love rewarding other humans for a bottomless lack of skill. Anyway, the winner of that contest was Kylie Bisutti, who beat out 10,000 other buxom ladies with big hair for the coveted role. Bisutti thought her dreams had come true.

…Unfortunately, those dreams were nightmares!

The devout Christian was absolutely shocked to find that underwear modeling wasn’t near as wholesome as she expected. No, being an Angel wasn’t all deeply silly costumes and winking at the ends of runways–sometimes one had to pose suggestively.

The now-23 year old has a book coming out, I’m No Angel, which is a title that works on two levels. As part of her promotional duties, she filed a piece yesterday for the New York Post, explaining just how awful being an Angel was, despite her becoming rich and famous for absolutely no reason. The piece begins like so:

I’m lying on a bed wearing a tight, little T-shirt and boy-cut panty bottoms while camera flashes keep popping away. I’m giving the camera that seductive, bombshell look I’d become famous for.

“Pull the top further up,” the FHM photographer encouraged me. “Hold up the covers like you don’t have any panties on.”

Well, obviously that’s gross. But did she really expect her FHM shoot would be any different? We would have anticipated a gallon of baby oil and a trampoline, but we are cynical and dickish.

Things ended shortly thereafter:

The next day, I broke down and started sobbing. I was in my bedroom and dropped to my knees and started to pray. “God, why did you have me win the Victoria’s Secret Angel competition if it was going to make me feel this way? I’m not honoring my husband. I just want answers!”

That was two years ago. Today, I’m living in Montana with my husband, enjoying the fresh air and volunteering with our church.

Good for her! But Montana must be awfully boring, because in between all the Church volunteering and hoovering fresh air, Bisutti still needed to write a juicy tell-all about the corrupt world of underwear modeling.

Ahead, some other revelations we can expect from I’m No Angel.

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  • michbelle

    I started off reading this thinking oh we here we go another poor me tale but then as i continued some of the revelations were truly shocking – getting a 16 year old to pose topless and having a coworker sexually assault you….there is no other industry that would be tolerated in!

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  • Amanda

    My only question is if this girl is such a devout Christian, why’d she try out for the Angel thing in the first place? It’s no secret that VS is a lingerie company and that their models don’t exactly adhere to the most modest of clothing standards. She could’ve done plenty of other modeling stuff that would’ve fit with her beliefs more, like JC Penny or something.

    • Fabel

      This is my question, too.

    • Eileen

      Seriously. I mean, she’s absolutely right to feel violated at having a photographer push her up against a wall and try to kiss her, or upset at being told that 115 pounds on a 5’10″ frame makes her look like a fat cow. It’s sad that these sorts of things don’t surprise us – they SHOULDN’T be par for the course. But wearing lingerie to model for a lingerie company is expected.

    • Amanda

      Because no one’s perfect. I used to be a Christian growing up (now Agnostic), and while I was a firm believer in God, read my bible & prayed every day, I was off hooking up & having sex with guys, wearing ‘revealing’ (for Christian) clothes & bikinis, etc. I was young and confused. Its hard when your family/church wants you to be one way, but your peers/friends want you to be another.

    • Sarah

      This is going to sound odd, but there is a part of christian culture that allows for girls to be sexy, as long as they are just the purest of the pure. Where I grew up in Texas, there was a huge amount of pressure to be really good looking and wanted , but also 100% abstinent. Being a VS model but remaining abstinent would be the ultimate version of this (think Adriana Lima). There was even a girl’s christian group that had a “flirt to convert” policy (yes this was real). It’s kind of hard to explain, and not representative of all Christianity, but I think when a culture (only the culture surrounding Christianity in certain areas, not all of Christianity as a whole) clings to gender stereotypes,shame, and praise for moral superiority, weird hypocrisies like this happen.

    • http://thegloss.com/ Ashley Cardiff

      “when a culture (only the culture surrounding Christianity in certain areas, not all of Christianity as a whole) clings to gender stereotypes, shame, and praise for moral superiority, weird hypocrisies like this happen.” Nailed it.

    • Amanda

      I totally agree with Ashely that you nailed it with that last sentence. I grew up in the Bible belt (and I’m still a Christian. I’m a bible college student) but we never had any kind of culture like this. We were always taught that we should be pure, even in the way we dress. (And my preacher would’ve had a heart attack over that flirt to convert thing which is so totally unbiblical, but I digress) Since Kylie is from California (at least that’s what I gathered from Wikipedia), I can see how there could be that sort of a culture. I had never heard of this kind of culture thing before.

    • http://www.facebook.com/rachel.wellersdick Rachel Wellersdick

      Kind of sounds like the culture Jessica Simpson must have been raised in. Interesting.

    • JennyWren

      I’m wondering if it’s because VS is “safe” sexy. You know, all the models look basically wholesome in a girl-next-door sort of way? And they’re so popular- I think every mall in America must have one. There’s a weird logic with many people that if something is ubiquitous it can’t really be wrong.

  • Fabel

    I mean, okay, she’s pointing out obvious problems that the industry tends to ignored—which is good! But my eyes are rolling so hard from how, I dunno, gimmicky it sounds? MODEST CHRISTIAN GIRL on her escape from the UNDERBELLY of the FASHION WORLD

    • http://thegloss.com/ Ashley Cardiff

      Yup, exactly. As much as she’s citing legitimate problems with the industry, this all feels like a particularly cynical marketing ploy.

    • http://thegloss.com/ Ashley Cardiff

      And she’s pimping a tell-all, for fuck’s sake.

    • theotherone

      I work in the industry and find that it’s not so much the people in the industry that are sleazy but the people who cling to it.

  • http://fitorama.wordpress.com/ Lauren Lever

    What is going on with her spray tan in that picture?

  • Lana

    I worked as an agent for Ford for two decades (now with a different agency) & not all modeling agents promote, condone or allow such horrible behavior. She’s Christian yet she dreamed of posing in her underwear for cash & fame?! Hmm, where’s that in the good book? She made some cash but wasn’t exactly at the top of the famed modeling chart. She quits for her “religion” but then seeks more fame by writing a “scandalous” memoir about her horrible, awful time as a semi-successful VS model…see pouty face & folded arms. I smell a couldn’t hack it so I’ll milk the other angle for all its worth scheme here. If its really about her faith, she would’ve quit long ago/not bothered at all & would want to separate herself from the industry all together now. Modeling is demanding & much harder than these young hopefuls expect. Everyone complains about the appearance of models & the strict requirements on their diets but they’re models & this is their JOB. Their ONLY job. How easy is life at your job? Lil stressful some days, kinda tough? Yea, that’s because its a JOB not a vacation. Too many think it’s a huge party, an easy time of looking great & getting paid 1,000s for it. Nope. All that cash, fame & attention means you have to buckle down, pay your dues & WORK for it. And size-wise, VS models (Adriana, Doutzen, etc) are the fuller of the industry. A lil more hips, breasts & booty are preferred there. Try being a couture model & that’s where the rail thin pressure starts but again, not all agencies condone or allow such disastrous measures to be thin. And as for the sleaze-ball men, there are sleazy men everywhere, where was her mother at 16? Did she tell anyone at the agency? We handle those issues promptly, but we can’t if we aren’t told. But of course, including that side of the story doesn’t sell books now does it?

    • Avery

      I was with you until you revealed yourself to be a huge rape apologist: “And as for the sleaze-ball men, there are sleazy men everywhere, where was her mother at 16? Did she tell anyone at the agency?” Her mother has absolutely nothing to do with this–men who assault women should be dealt with accordingly; it is not the responsibility of women to make sure men don’t harass them.

      Also, even as a Ford agent, surely you’re aware that some of the “bigger” girls go to extreme measures to be thin, hips and breasts be damned.

    • Lana

      Oh brother, no one is saying its cool for ANYONE to be handled in an unwanted manner by anyone else, age & sex be damned, but the point I’m making & do not see an answer to in her excerpt, is whether she reported the incident to anyone outside of her tell-all. Tyra Bank’s mother knew her TEEN daughter would be exposed to things a young girl could be ill equipped to handle. So she was there with her during her earlier years in the industry, as should most parents when your child is entering a very adult occupation like the modeling world.

      Kylie wasn’t vying for a lucrative hand modeling gig or trolling plants on the weekly circular for Target, she was prancing around in bras & panties. A fully dressed woman gets cat calls on her way to the subway, so imagine the outlandish attention she’d draw if she did so in a bra & panty? So yes, her mother’s presence & involvement is key. A reputable agency lays out all the possible exposure a kid like this can encounter when signing them & urges the parents to be very hands on since agencies see scores of girls a day & baby-sitting is not on the menu. If a photog or agent or anyone gets out of hand or does something inappropriate (and most DO NOT, don’t let the Studio 54 biopics fool you) we can only address it IF we’re told.

      And as for the pressures to be thin & what the models will do to get there, there are LOTS of models who don’t do anything outside of eating clean and exercise to maintain, what is, for many, a naturally lean physique. I represented Plus Size for many years & yes, a lot of them will do risky things & the agents get blamed. But a lot of them don’t! Yet we rarely ever hear about that do we? Women are competitive by nature, models are competitive multiplied by 50. If your friend is booking & you aren’t, the FIRST thing you’ll think to do is starve yourself, not work on your walk, or your punctuality or your skin or likeability factor, which has everything to do with a model’s success. There’s so much that goes on in this industry but the public only sees “STARVING TO BE THIN” as the cover story for everything we represent.

      Truth story about the weight factor – there are more girls who desperately want to model than there are who naturally fit the requirement height & weight-wise. Those who don’t will do anything to get there & that’s the downside. I’ve had to tell many girls that their bodies simply need more weight than what the industry allows & that’s okay, they can do other things outside of modeling. They can’t handle it, go to another agent & start the vicious cycle of torturing themselves to make it. That’s the sad part, the desire to model is stronger than their desire to be healthy & accept their body for what it is.

      I’m not saying ALL agencies or agents are perfect but all models aren’t victims either, yet that seems to be the angle here & almost anytime one of these books are written by a woman no longer enamored by the world she so desperately wanted to belong to.

  • Alexandra

    Thank god in Quebec models can be up to size 6 (~36 inch hips) and agents aren’t allowed to tell models to lose weight. A lot of times they actually lie about a model’s measurement and say she’s a lot skinnier than she is.
    Because of vanity sizing no one even notices the difference! If you hired a real size 2 model to show off commercial clothes she would drown in them .___.

    • Tusconian

      A lot of American retailers do it anyway. A lot of stores (GAP, Banana Republic, and Land’s End spring to mind) vanity size like nuts. Officially, the smallest size will be a 0 or a 2, but they’ll be the same size as a 4 or a 6 in many other retailers, or by standard sizing charts (just checked then measured myself. I SHOULD be a size 4 by the standards of BR, but in reality the zeroes are slightly too large, and certainly wouldn’t fit 31-24-33 waifs they’re supposed to fit). Yet their models WILL be 31-24-33, or even smaller. The clothes are pinned, or even sliced up completely and re-sewn, to fit just perfectly on the model (plus, photoshop). If you walk into these stores, the mannequins will be a “real” size 2, but if you check, you’ll see pins and binder clips making them cling. Even designer houses will do this, because even though they don’t vanity sizing like mall stores do, there is no market even among the wealthy for five foot nine women who weigh 95 pounds, since their models are overwhelmingly not representative of even the tallest, thinnest adult woman with a black card. An even darker side to this problem, a lot of the 14 year old runway models are paid in those clothes, which are completely unwearable, and can’t be sold for a reasonable profit.

    • Alexandra

      Agreed, I’m between a size 6 and a size 8 (33-25-37), but I have some clothing in size 0 and size 2, and some stores I can’t even wear their smallest size!
      I was pissed at Reitmans when they ditched their “real women” campain and started hiring standard models, not only do they not fit their image (what where they thinking??) But there’s no way a girl that size can wear their clothing! I drown in those pants!