A war of words is under way between Victoria’s Secret and one of its former models after the model said she “felt like a piece of meat” while she worked for the lingerie company, the Los Angeles Times reports.
In a first-person piece published this week in the New York Post, Kylie Bisutti, 23, said: "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 company has fired back at Bisutti, saying she never was one of the company’s “Angels.”
“In the article, she rails against the lifestyle she led as an up-and-coming model living in New York and her issues with eating disorders and insecurities,” the Times reports.
Bisutti writes in the Post article: "The curves that made me ‘too fat’ by runway standards were perfect for Victoria’s Secret. And even though I was only 19, a newlywed and growing in my relationship to God, I didn’t think twice about strutting my stuff in skimpy bikinis and underwear in the TV contest.”
The Times reports: “The model, who is a devout Christian, beat 10,000 other models in the 2009 Victoria’s Secret Angel Search competition, which bore with it a one-time walk in the 2009 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, which subsequently launched her modeling career.”
Bisutti’s Post article says: "During the Angel competition, I was encouraged to play down my marriage to Mike, because I was supposed to be flirting with everyone all the time. A lot of models don’t talk about their relationships unless they’re married to a celebrity, like Miranda Kerr and Orlando Bloom, which is more of a draw to the brand.”
The Times piece adds: “Bisutti, who has been photographed for FHM and Maxim and was offered a gig in Sports Illustrated’s swimsuit issue, said she decided to quit modeling soon after racey images from a lingerie shoot were uploaded to a porn site. The shoot didn’t seem to be associated with Victoria’s Secret, but was one she was contracted for with modeling agency IMG.”
Bisutti has written a book, "I’m No Angel: From Victoria’s Secret Model to Role Model."
In a statement to People magazine, Victoria’s Secret said: "Ms. Bisutti has made numerous fabrications and misstatements of fact regarding her brief association with Victoria’s Secret.”
The Times adds: “Victoria’s Secret said that after she won the ‘amateur’ modeling competition in 2009, she hadn’t worked for the company much since except for participating in a swimsuit shoot.”
The company said: "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."