Former model Kylie Beyn knew when it was time to focus on other things in her life

Kylie+Beyn%27s+modeling+career+began+when+she+was+discovered+leaving+Yankee+Stadium+when+she+was+14.

Headliners of Summer

Kylie Beyn’s modeling career began when she was discovered leaving Yankee Stadium when she was 14.

Jayha Buhs-Jackson, Bella Vista High

At first, Kylie Beyn thought it was a scam when she was approached by modeling agents from Elite. A vacation Yankees game turned into a job opportunity as the agents insisted she had the look. How could she model in New York when she lived in Sacramento? 

Now, Beyn’s a 29-year-old former model who worked nearly a decade on photo shoots and runways around the world for the Look and Elite modeling agencies.

Beyn began modeling at 14, going back and forth from New York and California until she made the official move to New York when she was 20. During her time as a model she experienced thrills and adventurous times, but, in the end, her perspective shifted on the modeling industry. 

It started to dawn on me that I was projecting a negative body stereotype for women. This is my natural body but this is not a lot of people’s natural bodies.”

— KYLIE BEHN

A highlight in her career was on the “Today” show, she did an outside runway for Elle magazine’s bargain looks. One of her favorite runways was Vivienne Westwood for Shanghai fashion.

“She’s a total rock star. She was being interviewed backstage,” she said. “I was kinda like eavesdropping with my camera. I heard her say, ‘If I have any advice, it’s don’t listen to the government and eat your vegetables.’ I just thought that was great.”

Although Beyn’s modeling career included highlights all over the world, she hesitated to portray stereotypes about women’s bodies.

“Honestly it started to dawn on me that I was projecting a negative body stereotype for women. This is my natural body but this is not a lot of people’s natural bodies,” she said.

She saw models comparing themselves, saying, “You look thin, I need to drop 10 pounds,” or “I need to eat less.” It was odd for her, she always wanted to be curvier like the models who wanted to be thinner. 

“I’m like, ‘Can I have a butt and look a bit more womanly?’ ” she said. 

Another bad side are the club promoters. Their job is to advertise and a way they do that is by getting “influential people” into their clubs. Beyn says club promoters used young girls to make their clubs look good and ‘make it look exclusive,’ leading these young girls to self harm with drinking and drugs. 

“I got caught up with a promoter and it was fun, he was really nice,” she said. “But I met a lot of younger girls, they were definitely drinking and like doing bad, you know, harmful things. A lot of [the young models ] just didn’t care, they just wanted to live, have fun . . . I never really had a heart to heart with them about it.” 

Eventually, she reached a point where she  wanted to get out. It took her a while to finally leave, she knew she was giving up a lot, and her mom was heavily invested in this.

I met a lot of younger girls, they were definitely drinking and like doing bad, you know, harmful things. A lot of [the young models ] just didn’t care, they just wanted to live, have fun.”

— KYLIE BEHN

Her mother took her to her photoshoots and appointments, made sure she was safe, she was almost like her manager. When she told her mom the news that she was done with modeling, she got the predicted reaction. Her mom wasn’t happy.

Why was she doing this? She was making good money — easy-to-get money — why would someone want to leave?

Beyn didn’t care, she was done. It hurt her to see other’s thinking negatively about their bodies due to the standard the modeling industry holds women to.

“It’s eating my soul, it was making me feel sick,” she stressed.

Now, she has seen more of an effort of diversity with body types in the modeling industry but wouldn’t encourage girls to join. 

“If you’re gonna do it, get involved with the body positive community and also work with artists and designers that are truly in it . . . not people just doing it for the money,” she said. “People who aren’t going to exploit . . . people who aren’t going to promote negative or toxic ideals. All in all, if you’re going the stereotypical route — you know, with an agency — that’s looking for a certain body type, I just wouldn’t recommend it at all. You’re going to find more bad than good in the end.”  

Her future plans are to make a more sustainable world.

“I don’t like the system that’s in place right now. I want to be able to build off grid solar for people, particularly low-income, impoverished countries, so they don’t have to rely on their government to get their energy.” 

Her ultimate goal is to establish a place for societal misfits.

“To bring them to a place where they can learn a skill to contribute to the world that’s maybe not essential to society but can contribute to building up a more beautiful world,” she said.

–July 3, 2021–