Kylie Bisutti was thrilled when she won the Victoria’s Secret Runway Angel model search in 2009, gracing the runway with famous Angels like Adriana Lima and Heidi Klum, but the former model said she had to quit the business after receiving harsh criticism for her appearance.
Bisutti, now 23, announced her decision to leave the fashion industry last year. Now she reveals shocking details of her decision to separate herself from modeling in her new memoir, “I’m No Angel: From Victoria’s Secret Model to Role Model.”
The New York Post reported that in the book, available for sale May 14, the California native describes her first years as a model living in New York as being abusive and detrimental to her health.
“I pretty much restricted my diet to oatmeal, fruits and vegetables to meet runway expectations,” said Bisutti, who was told 115 pounds wasn’t light enough for her 5 foot 10 inch frame.
“New York Fashion Week was approaching and while everyone I knew was being sent out on auditions, I wasn’t,” said Bisutti, claiming her agent would verbally taunt her about her size, calling her a “fat cow” and requesting she lose two inches off of her hips.
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When Bisutti won the Victoria’s Secret contest in 2009, she called the company her saving grace, saying she was finally able to embrace her natural curves. Despite her gratitude, she eventually resigned after realizing she no longer wanted to sell her body.
“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,” she said, recalling one instance when a photographer convinced her to pose into a sheer bikini, the photos eventually landing on a porn site.
“I realized I didn’t want to model anything that sold sex,” she said.
The former model currently lives with her husband, Mike, in Montana and spends her free time volunteering at her church, saying she hopes her memoir will send a positive message to girls.
“Beauty isn’t about what you look like, it’s about what’s in your heart,” she said.
A fellow fashion industry insider, longtime Vogue Australia editor Kirstie Clements, released the expose “The Vogue Factor,” after she was fired from the magazine. In the book, Clements charged that models were forced to regularly starve themselves, with some developing eating disorders to stay stick-thin.
“You might be starving, drunk and high, with dried-up kidneys and the liver of a 55-year-old alcoholic, but just as long as you make it down the catwalk looking fabulous, who cares,” said Clements.