Kylie Bisutti won the 2009 Victoria Secret Model Competition. She beat out 10,000 other tall and beautiful girls and got to walk in the famous holiday Victoria Secret Fashion Show.
But, in February of 2012 Bisutti gave up her enviable title as a Victoria Secret model because she said that it was conflicting with her religious values.
Bisutti recalls the exact moment that she had a change of heart. She was “laying on a bed in little clothing while a photographer encouraged her to pose more provocatively.”
“That’s when it hit me. I was being paid to strip down and pose provocatively to titillate men. It wasn’t about modeling clothes anymore; I felt like a piece of meat,” Bisutti writes. “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!'” (yahoo.com)
This year she released a biographical book about her experience with Victoria Secret titled “I’m No Angel” in reference to the top VS models who are dubbed ‘Angels.’
In this sort of tell-all book she talks about the desperate measures models take to stay thin:
“I pretty much restricted my diet to oatmeal, fruits and vegetables to meet runway expectations. I’m 5-foot-10, and I got down to 115 pounds with measurements of 34-24-34. In February 2007, New York Fashion Week was approaching, and while everyone I knew was being sent out to auditions, I wasn’t. “Why am I still going on test shoots?” I asked my agent. “It’s because you look like a fat cow right now, Kylie. You need to lose 2 inches off of your hips,” the agent said. After cutting my diet even further to just pineapples, watermelon and liters of water while exercising two hours a day, six days a week, I finally dropped down to 108 pounds, which satisfied my agent, and the gigs started rolling in.
I moved in with four other models on the Lower East Side. One of my roommates was so bulimic she would involuntarily throw up when she ate. She would go to sleep crying every night and just look at herself in the mirror thinking that she was so fat. And she was so thin.”
To emphasize just how thin Kylie got I calculated her Body Mass Index.
Normal Adult BMI = 18.5 – 24.9
Underweight BMI = less than 18.5
Anorexia = less than 17.5
At 115 pounds Kylie’s BMI = 16.5 (anorexic)
At 108 pounds Kylie’s BMI = 15.5 (anorexic)
I mean people always say that models have anorexia nervosa and bulimia, but I always thought that the problem was exaggerated in order to make us normal-sized girls feel better. But there it is.
So let me just break this down real quick. The clothing industry needs to show how clothes will look on a real person. I think we can all understand that. All companies need relevant advertisements. But, in order to advertise their clothes for women they:
1. Scour the nation for the most naturally beautiful, tall and lean women that they can find. Model Scout Lanny Zenga says he travels to “music festivals, concerts, a lot of place you’ll see young, good-looking people” (fashionista.com)
2. Tell these already naturally beautiful women to spend their time exercising and dieting to look even thinner. On nymag.com Alison Boxer – a contestant on Australia’s Next Top Model in 2010 – says, “It was a shock to the system to be told I needed to lose weight. At home a lot of people say I’m too skinny. I was 50kg at one stage, which I thought was a bit scary. So I was coming from a place where people were telling me to gain weight, to now people saying I should lose weight.”
3. Put the models – who are already in the top 5% of our nation for looks – through hours of hair, makeup and wardrobe. Hopefully you’ve all seen the “Evolution of Beauty” video from DOVE.
4. Take the photos from the beautiful models who went through hours of hair and makeup and photoshop those images to make them even more unattainable. Click through some of these ‘before and after photoshop‘ images from magazines.
Yep, that makes sense.
So about that self-esteem problem in our nation. . .
- Model Kylie Bisutti Chats with “Project Inspired” Today (btscelebs.com)
- Why The Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show Is Damaging To A Woman’s Psyche (elitedaily.com)
- Let The Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show Make You Feel Fat And Broke Tonight (nyulocal.com)
- #AmReading – I’m No Angel by Kylie Bisutti @mrsbisutti (bookblogpromo.wordpress.com)
- Why You Should Stop Whining About the Victoria’s Secret Angels (lifeunsweetened.com)