From Victoria Secret’s catwalk to Christian skinny jeans

Kylie Bisutti used to be a Victoria’s Secret model.  She walked away from that job because it clashed with her Christian faith.  Kylie said she wanted to be a Proverbs 31 wife and mother.  She has written a tell-all memoir entitled “I’m No Angel” and is a co-owner of a clothing line called God Inspired Fashion.  I would never have known about Kylie Bisutti and her clothing line except that the young women I work with were discussing the topic.  They had looked at and were giving their opinions about the fashions they found there.  I thought their comments were very interesting and worth discussing.  The fashions weren’t the big story – that came a little later in the conversation.

Kylie Bisutti was only 15 years old when she went to New York City to pursue her dream of becoming a fashion model.  That is the first “WHAT” in this story.  A 15 year old has no business being in that business!  I read a couple of interviews about her life.  She said that she was pressured into posing for pictures that she deeply regrets now, but at 15 she wasn’t able to make the best choices for her life.  That is the second “WHAT!!!”  Where was her mother at this time?  Who was signing on the bottom line that was of legal age?  But what happened later in Kylie’s life is the real story.

Kylie became a Christian when she attended a church youth group with a friend and she is now married to a pastor.  She said she was being asked to flirt one day with men, because that is what the models were expected to do.  Kylie walked away from a lucrative career because she knew she couldn’t meet Victoria’s Secret expectations if she wanted to meet God’s. 

So Kylie wrote a book and helped develop a line of Christian clothing.  But this is the part of the blog that I might have a few reservations about this story.  This statement is from “Ever feel moved to share God’s word with a friend, classmate, coworker or even a stranger and then talk yourself out of it…The bible tells us not to fear man, but many of us still fear rejection…we want to make it easier for everyone to proclaim their faith and spread God’s word everywhere.”  Kylie has spread God’s word – it is the “everywhere” that is the question.

I would like to say first that she needs to capitalize the word “bible.”  It is always Bible, with a capital “B.”  There, now I feel better.  But here is the real point of this blog post.  I looked at the website and wasn’t particularly impressed with the clothing.  I assumed that the reason I didn’t like the skinny jeans, skinny T’s and the blazer, all of which display various verses from Scripture in various ways, was because I was old.  If I wore that stuff I’m pretty sure it would fall in the category of blasphemy, if you catch my mid-life insinuation!  I was surprised when the young women I work with – who could wear it if they wanted to – didn’t like it either.  They didn’t think Bible verses on skinny jeans and tight tank tops was a good way to share their faith.  I have to admit I was kind of proud to hear they were offended to see God’s word displayed on that clothing.

There are a lot of what I often call “God Gimmicks” taking place today.  Churches seem to be looking for new and edgy rather than traditional and godly.  God and his word are being turned into tank tops and slogans rather than truth and love.  Is a verse of Scripture on the side of a skinny jean really going to attract someone to God?  Is a gimmick or a contest going to attract people to church?  Does attracting someone to church mean they will be attracted to God?

Kylie Bisutti was a Victoria’s Secret Angel until God changed her life.  I don’t want to discourage or slander her in any way.  I think she made choices that have given her the opportunity to share God’s word with people who need it.  My question is this:  Is her clothing line a good way for people to share their faith?  Angels are messengers from God – and their message is God’s.  If we want to share God’s message with the world, do we need to be thoughtful about how we present it?  One of the young women discussing the God Inspired Fashion website had a friend who put it this way:  “They will know we are Christians by our – skinny jeans?” 

What do you think?  Is it a good idea to share God’s word any way we can – or are there some lines that shouldn’t be crossed?  Share your thoughts carefully and respectfully in the comment section below.  We had an interesting conversation at the office about this…we are looking forward to hearing what you all say.

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