Victoria’s Secret is not happy with model Kylie Bisutti. Earlier this week, Bisutti, who says she left modeling to focus on her Christianity, says she was harshly treated by the lingerie brand. After winning a VS Angel modeling competition in 2009, Bisutti says she was floored by the way the brand treated women. Now she’s written a novel called I’m No Angel, which chronicles her VS days. On Wednesday, The New York Post ran an excerpt from Angel, in which Bisutti details how she “felt like a piece of meat.”
Speaking to the Post’s Kate Storey, she said:
“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. 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!’”
Bisutti eventually chose her faith over modeling, announcing in 2012 that she was saving her body for her husband. Following the publication of Bisutti’s claims against them, Victoria’s Secret has released the following statement:
“Ms. Bisutti has made numerous fabrications and misstatements of fact regarding her brief association with Victoria’s Secret. In 2009, Ms. Bisutti won an online amateur modeling competition and hasn’t worked for us since that year. The prize for the winning contestant was the unique opportunity to a one-time walk in the 2009 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. Ms. Bisutti also participated in a swim photo shoot in 2009. That was the extent of Ms. Bisutti’s involvement with Victoria’s Secret. She was never a Victoria’s Secret “Angel” as defined by the terms of our Angel model contract. And contrary to Ms. Bisutti’s claims, she was never offered any subsequent modeling contracts or opportunities with Victoria’s Secret despite her multiple appeals for further work. She has repeatedly fabricated her work experience with Victoria’s Secret – including a relationship that simply did not exist.”
So there you have it. Again, it’s hard to believe that Bisutti didn’t know what she was getting into before she entered the Angels contest. Victoria’s Secret is an internationally known company with a very defined (sexy!) brand identity. Still, it’s easy to believe that working as a VS model — whether as a one-time model or as an Angel — might end up making someone feel uncomfortable, and I would definitely advocate that a woman should get out of a profession that makes her feel objectified. What do you guys think?