We live in a culture that is consumed with image. From having the right outfit and flawless make-up to driving a car that equals a status symbol, there is constant pressure to look perfect. One person that knows the struggle with having to live a “perfect” life is former Victoria’s Secret model, Kyle Bisutti. She started modeling at the age of 14 and would go on to beat out 10,000 other beautiful women for the coveted role of being a Victoria’s Secret angel in 2009. Three years after that, in 2012, Risen interviewed Bisutti to talk with her about how others – including her husband – responded to her lingerie modelling and how she struggled with feelings of insecurity.
Bisutti opens up about how other men and her parents responded to her being a Victoria’s Secret model.
“I know a lot of friends of my husband really thought that he was the coolest guy ever to be married to a Victoria’s Secret model. It was kind of a turn-off to me. That’s what they put their value in and my husband puts his value in my heart and inner qualities rather than my success or outer beauty. It really made me appreciate my husband more. He wasn’t one of those guys excited to be married to me because of my modeling and my career. It was a good thing that a lot of his guy friend, and even my guy friends, reacted that way because it made me appreciate my husband more…My dad moved it and was very proud of me. He was not a Christian when I was modeling with Victoria’s Secret. He didn’t see anything wrong with it and was always bragging about me. He was just really happy and knew that my dream was to be very successful modeling and that this was the top of the modeling industry. My mom was as well. Now it’s a lot different. My mom is very happy that I’m not modeling lingerie anymore. She’s expressed to me how much that has affected her life and how she has a different perspective on life. My dad is now a Christian, and he sees that his daughter modeling lingerie for other men to see is not something that he’s excited about anymore.”
“She is clothed with strength and dignity;
she can laugh at the days to come.
She speaks with wisdom,
and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
She watches over the affairs of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
Her children arise and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
Many women do noble things,
but you surpass them all.”
Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.”
Bisutti reflects on how she struggled with being insecure and how she was able to overcome those feelings.
“What brought the insecurities on as I grew in my career and my success, was that everything revolved around my outer appearance. Once I was working with Victoria’s Secret, I had to always be super tan, I was always getting my hair done, I always had hair extensions in, I always had make-up on and it was like I always had to be this sex symbol all the time and never just be me for who I am. If there was a day when I wasn’t tan enough, or thin enough or I was bloated, it would cause all these insecurities on top of that, they would Photoshop [my pictures] doing all these things to change and mold me. It just creates a very, very insecure person because all of your value is placed on your other appearance. They only value you for your looks and that’s it. You always had pressure to look perfect all the time because that’s what you were hired for and where your value was. I was finally able to get past that by putting my value in Christ because that’s something that I hadn’t ever really done in my life; my career always came first. Putting Christ before all that and putting my value in my inner qualities, the qualities that he looks at, allowed me to get past all those insecurities. Of course, I still struggle with them here and there, and of course some days more than others, but I always work on trying to put Christ above those and find my value in him rather than my outer appearance.”
Develop your inner beauty. Think about how much time you take each day getting ready and then compare it to the time that you spend with God. See if there are ways that you can spend time with God as you get ready for your day. Write a verse on your mirror and memorize it. Listen to praise and worship music in the shower. Reflect on the armor of God as you get dressed. Pray for friends and family members as you eat breakfast or drive to work or school.
Encourage someone. Our words have the power to bring others to life. Even if someone seemingly has it “all together,” on the outside, they might be hurting on the inside. Take time this week to pray and ask God how you can encourage someone this week. It might be a friend, classmate, co-worker or neighbor. Write them a note of encouragement or grab coffee with them and let them know how their talents or something they have done has affected you. If you are involved in a small group or ministry at church do a group challenge where everyone has to encourage someone and then share as a group any stories of how you saw God work.
Look in the mirror. It is often easier to look at others and want what they have. From clothing to cars, each of us has at one time or another been discontent with what we have. Take time this week to reflect on all that God has given you, your gifts, talents, inner and outer beauty. Thank Him for all of those things. As we develop a heart of gratitude, it often combats feelings of discontentment.
To read our entire interview with former Victoria’s Secret model, Kyle Bisutti, click here.