From the Publisher
They say Beauty is pain . . .
They don’t know the half of it.
Twenty-one-year-old Kylie Bisutti stunned the fashion industry and the world when she chose faith over fame and fortune and walked away from the most coveted title in modeling: Victoria’s Secret Angel.
In I’m No Angel, Kylie shares her storyfrom her early teen years as she struggled to make it in the cutthroat world of modeling to winning the Victoria’s Secret Runway Angel competition to the disillusionment and spiritual struggles that followed. She also shares the moment she realized she could no longer reconcile her career with her Christian beliefs, turned in her wings, and dedicated her life to sharing a message of modesty and inner beauty.
Kylie provides readers with a no-holds-barred look at the harsh realities of the modeling industry as she shares her personal struggles with low self-esteem and her constant quest for approval in a world where it’s impossible to be thin enough, pretty enough, or sexy enough. Along the way, she helps readers understand the powerful truth that real beauty lies within.
I’m No Angel is not only a rare, behind-the-scenes look at the ugly side of being beautiful; it is also a powerful testimony to the indescribable peace and fulfillment that come from knowing, serving, and loving Christ.
From I’m no Angel . . .
Oh great . . . the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show . . . another reason not to eat.
All over the country, young women were filling the Twittersphere with words of anxiety and insecurity in anticipation of watching the Victoria’s Secret Angels walk down the runway in a few weeks.
Those poor things, I thought as I read one angst-filled tweet after another. If they only knew what I know.
Then it hit me like a lightning boltthe answer to the question I’d been asking the Lord for months. So that’s why You let me win!
A smile teased the corners of my mouth as I logged into my Twitter account for the first time in a long while and typed:
I quit being a VS model to become a Proverbs 31 wife.
As I typed the words that would change my life forever, I thought, Well, if my modeling career wasn’t over before, it is now. And yet I had total peace about my decision. I knew it was the right messageone that would free thousands of girls trapped in a world full of insecurity, self-loathing, eating disorders, and emptiness. A world I was all too familiar with. And a world I wanted no part of anymore.
My old life was over.
My new life had begun.
Kylie Bisutti was just nineteen years old when she beat out more than ten thousand other contestants to win the coveted title of Victoria’s Secret Runway Angel as part of a nationally televised competition that captivated the attention of millions of viewers across the country and around the world.
Shortly thereafter, Kylie shocked both fans and critics when she made the controversial decision to walk away from her high-profile, multimillion- dollar career because she couldn’t reconcile modeling lingerie with her Christian beliefs.
Now retired from modeling, Kylie has become a sought-after speaker, sharing her message on the importance of modesty and helping young women understand that true beauty comes from within. Her firsthand accounts of the harsh realities of the modeling industry and the truth behind the images the media presents as “feminine perfection” have captivated audiences the world over and have the power to forever change the way women view the media, the modeling industry, and themselves.
Kylie lives in northern Montana with her husband, Mike. Tyndale House Publishers
Read an Excerpt
I'm No Angel
From Victoria's Secret Model to Role Model
By Kylie Bisutti, Stephanie Rische
TYNDALE HOUSE PUBLISHERS, INC. Copyright © 2013Kylie Bisutti
All rights reserved.
Excerpt CHAPTER 1
ALL THINGS FOR GOOD
We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
FEBRUARY 7, 2012
"Dad just texted me again." My husband, Mike, glanced up from his phone, shaking his head in surprise. "He says Dr. Phil called. Anderson Cooper wants you on his show. Rosie O'Donnell wants to talk to you, and someone from Inside Edition just left a message for you at the house."
What's going on? I wondered. Why is everyone suddenly so interested in me?
Before I could even finish my thought, my phone rang. It was my agent, Sabrina.
"Kylie, where are you?" She sounded a little frantic.
"I'm in Fargo, North Dakota, with Mike. What's going on? All these talk shows and news outlets keep calling Mike's dad, looking for me."
"You're all over the news, Kylie!" Sabrina sounded shocked that I had no idea what was happening.
I'd been traveling with Mike on business, and we hadn't been online or watched much TV for the past few days. Besides, it had been months since I'd stopped modeling. I figured the media had completely forgotten about me—and frankly, I was fine with that.
"Apparently the interview you did with FoxNews.com about quitting Victoria's Secret to become a Proverbs 31 wife went live today. It's all over the news, and Good Morning America has offered to fly you to New York today so you can be on their show tomorrow morning." She paused, waiting for me to respond. I just stared at Mike, stunned.
"Kylie? How soon can you get to an airport?"
I caught a glimpse of my reflection in the front window. Dressed in a puffy ski coat and hunting boots, with no makeup and my hair pulled back in a ponytail, I was about as far from media ready as I could get. And there wasn't a single thing in my suitcase that was going to be an improvement.
"Well ... we're about four hours from the nearest airport," I said. "And I really didn't bring anything with me that I could wear on TV."
"That's okay," Sabrina assured me. "Just get yourself on a plane. When you arrive, we can shop for something appropriate. I'll bring a few backup outfits just in case. See you in a few hours." And before I even could respond, she hung up.
"Well?" Mike asked.
I looked at him and sighed. "I guess I'm going to New York."
God, let me get this right.
* * *
I didn't have much time to ponder the whirlwind of events. Within a matter of hours, I was on my way to New York. I threw a few things into my suitcase, and then Mike drove me to the airport.
As I settled into my seat on the plane, I closed my eyes, trying to rest for what was bound to be an emotionally and physically exhausting couple of days. But I was too wired to sleep—there was just so much to take in. In addition to appearing on Good Morning America, I would be on five other shows before the day's end.
My mind was racing. I thought I'd stepped out of the limelight when I gave up modeling. How could one little blog post lead to all of this? Does the media want to hear about a Proverbs 31 wife? Do they even know what that means?
I was used to media attention, but this was new territory. I opened my eyes and pulled out my Bible. Instead of sitting there worrying the entire flight, I figured I could get ready for the interviews by reading some of my favorite passages. I knew the stance I was taking in favor of modesty wouldn't be popular in certain circles—especially the modeling industry—and I wanted to make sure I was prepared. When my eyes skimmed over James 1:2-3, I couldn't help but smile: "Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow" (NLT).
Wow. How perfect is that? I thought. And suddenly it all started to make sense. The blog post, the media interest, the opportunity to share my story with the world. There was no question—God's fingerprints were all over this.
A quiet calm came over me as I leaned my head back and silently prayed that God would shine through me during every interview. As I shared my story, I wanted to reflect His wisdom, His compassion, His humility, and His love. Modeling had been about bringing attention to myself, but now I prayed that the focus would be on God and the work He was doing inside me.
After several hours of praying and reading God's Word from my airplane-seat sanctuary, I closed my eyes, flooded with a sense of peace. I knew that God would watch over me through each of the interviews and that He would give me each word I needed to say.
* * *
When I arrived in New York, Sabrina met me with enough outfits to accommodate all of my interviews. After looking through everything she'd brought, I opted for a basic black, knee-length dress for the GMA piece. The dress was simple and understated, and it reflected my new standards for modesty. But truth be told, I was far less concerned about my appearance than I was with my message.
My entire worldview had changed radically over the past six months, and I desperately wanted my interviews to reflect that. I had taken a self-imposed hiatus from modeling so I could concentrate my time and energy on studying the Bible, attending our church in Montana, and learning my true identity—who God had made me to be. The Kylie Bisutti who was about to step in front of those television cameras was an entirely different person from the one millions of people had watched strut down the Victoria's Secret runway two years before.
The difference in my outward appearance would be easy to see. No more spray tan. No more highlights or dyed hair. No false eyelashes or heavy makeup. And a much healthier figure. But it was the changes that had taken place inside me—my commitment to Christ and to my husband, my deeper grasp on all God had done for me, and my understanding that true beauty comes from within—that I wanted viewers to see.
While getting my hair and makeup done, I could feel my heart pounding. I was nervous. Even more nervous than I'd been before I stepped on the Victoria's Secret runway for the first time. But this was different. This was important. I knew there were thousands of young girls out there who were trapped in the same debilitating cycle I'd struggled to break free from for years. The never-ending battle to be thin enough. Pretty enough. Perfect enough. I knew what it was like to constantly chase an ideal that's impossible to achieve—an ideal that's not even real to begin with. I had learned that the hard way. I hoped that by sharing my story, I could spare these girls some of the heartache and misery I'd experienced.
Just then, the stylist doing my hair leaned in and whispered, "We're all rooting for you." I looked up and noticed he had a Scripture verse tattooed on his forearm. We exchanged smiles, and my nervousness subsided a fraction.
Thank You, God, for small mercies.
* * *
The energy in the studio was electric, and my hands still were shaking a bit as I was led to my seat next to George Stephanopoulos. We exchanged a few pleasantries, and then he asked, "Are you ready?"
I took a deep breath. "Yes. I'm ready." And so it began.
George opened the interview by complimenting me, but I knew what was coming. The questions were bound to get more difficult—and more pointed—as the interview progressed.
"Back in the Victoria's Secret model search in 2009, you were very determined to
Excerpted from I'm No Angel by Kylie Bisutti. Copyright © 2013 by Kylie Bisutti. Excerpted by permission of TYNDALE HOUSE PUBLISHERS, INC..
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