Starting when I was young, I was brainwashed into believing that my worth was wrapped up in how I looked. After all, from what I had seen in life, beauty seemed to be everything, and love seemed to be given in response to beauty. The more beautiful a thing or person was, the more it was loved. Everywhere I looked, all day and every day, whether it was magazines, social media, television, movies, or advertisements—all the women, no matter what they were doing, looked flawlessly beautiful, from their wardrobe to their hair, nails, apartments, boyfriends, friends. Even their silly dogs were well groomed. And those who looked beautiful were happy in relationships and had supportive friends. . . .
I know I’m not the only one who has found herself seduced by imitation beauty. The promise of being and feeling beautiful has been whispered into the ears of millions of girls all over the world. The false promises of the beauty industry have led us to chase after a type of beauty that is unreachable.
In my return to sanity and faith, I’ve gradually come to understand that true beauty should always point to its original source and lead to the development of a beautiful soul. Surprise, this has little to do with glitter stilettos or fake eyelashes. Calvin Klein, Chanel, or Dolce & Gabbana do not dictate our worth. God alone does, and he sees us as “very good” (Gen. 1:31).
As I rebuilt my life after America’s Next Top Model and walked away from my modeling career, I realized that my worth actually comes from being made, known, and loved by God and that I am called to a life of love, holiness, and beauty as a result. And that has nothing to do with the imitation beauty the world offers us. . . .
Together we will uncover the lies the beauty and fashion industry attempt to sell us and the impact these have on our lives as women, not only on how we think about our outward appearances but also what we believe about our identities, relationships, and roles in the world. More importantly, we will find our way to the truth that we are beautiful, valued, and worthy of love. Not only do these truths change us, but through us, they can change the world.