By Kayla Reeves
A former Victoria’s Secret Angel was inspired to go public with her choice to quit her job as a lingerie model by the Live 31 Movement begun by a group of Baylor freshmen.
“I quit lingerie modeling altogether because I wanted to honor God with my life and my husband with my body,” Kylie Bisutti wrote in an email to the Lariat. “I strive to live in the example of Christ, and I want girls to feel loved [for] their inner qualities.”
Bisutti said she had already made the decision to stop modeling lingerie but was inspired to publicize her choice when she saw Wildwood, Mo., freshman Alex Eklund’s video about the Proverbs 31 woman.
“Prior to seeing his video, I hadn’t really expressed my decision to people other than close friends and family,” she wrote.
Since then, Bisutti has expressed her support for the Live 31 Movement and her desire to be a Proverbs 31 wife. She wrote a blog post on the Live 31 website, which is run by Baylor students, and has been in personal contact with the students involved in the movement.
In her blog post, the model wrote about how her Victoria’s Secret dreams came true. She wrote of her religious “awakening,” when she learned “how to be truly beautiful,” which she said is separate from external beauty, and how to live for God instead of for herself.
“I stand for and love everything about the Live 31 Movement, and I felt God used the movement to share my story,” Bisutti wrote in the email to the Lariat. “When I first heard the way [the movement] started, I immediately praised God and thought ‘nothing is too big for Him.’ God had his hand in everything that these guys have done, and it’s incredible to witness.”
Live 31 has gotten some skepticism, though. Fort Worth sophomore James Stueckler said he sometimes wonders how many people “like” the Facebook Live 31 page to impress their female friends. He said he has seen articles saying the movement could be insulting to Christian models who do not think they are doing anything wrong.
Bisutti said she couldn’t speak for other models, but personally felt that she could not model underwear and be a Proverbs 31 wife at the same time.
“I feel that if I want to pursue [being] a Proverbs 31 wife, I must be pure in the way that I present my body; I must be a lover of people, kind hearted, humble and meek… When I was modeling lingerie, I was not humble, I was not pure, and many men fell into temptation looking at pictures of me half naked,” she wrote.
Longview freshman Michael Bartlemay, an original promoter for Live 31, said he thinks the choice to quit modeling underwear has to be based on personal conviction.
“I don’t think Victoria’s Secret is evil in what they do,” he said. “They have a product that’s needed; they have to advertise it somehow.”
Bartlemay also said the Live 31 team does not believe models cannot be Proverbs 31 women. They are just trying to say inner beauty is more important, he said.
Springfield, Mo., freshman Kristen Bennett said it is a personal decision for a model to pose in lingerie, but she thinks Bisutti’s choice was respectable and considerate to her husband.
”It’s cool that it involved [the Live 31 Movement],” she said. “It definitely represents Baylor well, and what we stand for.”
Bisutti wrote that she believes Jesus is the only person who should be considered a role model, but she “didn’t want girls to feel as though they have to try and dress sexy or act a certain way to feel loved, worthy or attractive.”
The model’s support for Live 31 has brought more followers to the movement than ever before.
“When she originally did the blog post, we had 2,000 views on the website,” Bartlemay said. “Then when [her story] got popular and we started reposting her blog post, we went to 9,000 views in one day.”
Bartlemay said he and the other students involved in Live 31 are hoping to keep promoting their message.
“I’m going to take it as far as God will let it go, and I think most of the guys feel similarly to the way I do,” he said.
“The main goal right now is to get to where we’re speaking places and can share the message that way instead of just the website,” he said.