Once on a modeling job, I found myself in 5 inch shoes, a tight dress, and a heavy coat. The camera was flashing, and all I could hear was a woman saying:
“Could you just stand straighter? It doesn’t look like your body is straight.”
You see, I have always had scoliosis. Even when I think I’m standing tall, as straight as possible, my spine always curves a bit. It is my unique, one of a kind body that I have learned to love and accept. The 6 hours of modeling in high heals wasn’t helping when it came to the straight spine and elongated posture, and while I knew it was normal to me, I found myself so insecure and so inadequate.
Tonight, after a long, fun, busy weekend of speaking at the Mom Heart conference in Irvine, I curled up on the couch as soon as I got home and watched a documentary about the modeling industry.
A frail and frightened 16 year old walked up to a modeling scout who asked for the size of her hips. This child was wearing underwear that didn’t leave much to the imagination. The scout went on to tell her that her hips were too large. This is not God’s design.
He went on to tell the next girl that she had “pimple problems” and that wouldn’t be acceptable. The young girl explained that she was on her period, hormonal, and it was a temporary thing. In other words-she’s normal like the rest of us. But in our culture, normal just isn’t acceptable. We are called to live up to absolutely absurdly unrealistic pressures and standards.
One of the female model scouts defended her harsh judgements by saying she knows what beauty is and is not. This breaks my heart.
Many of the girls were so skinny and frail they looked like fragile twigs made of porcelain…their innocence like glass that is waiting to shatter. Our self esteem, self image, value, worth, and security is so precious. It is something that needs to be cherished, nurtured, and encouraged because it is so easily broken.
These scouts said that they are making dreams come true, when in reality, they are crushing dreams and ruining these girls…putting words in their minds and on their hearts they will never forget.
The worst part was watching how the mothers of these girls pushed them into this modeling world, placing insecurities on these beautiful, innocent ones and then sending them into an environment that changes them forever.
One of the scouts said that the secret to being a great model is starting by 5 years old. Can you imagine how damaging that would be? Spending your entire life in a world that tells you you’ll never be enough? While you may feel far from the modeling world, whatever world you live in isn’t too different if you’re on planet earth.
Statistics show that only 2% of girls think they are beautiful. This is all girls-not just those in the industry.
Are you in that 2%? Because if not, we have some work to do. I want to see statistics change. I want to see women who love who they are. I want to see generations transformed because if we learn to love ourselves, our children and children’s children will have a legacy of strength and dignity rather than insecurities and self hatred.
It begins today. It begins in your heart and your mind. I woke up to a pimple this morning and hated it. But I remembered that Ecclesiastes says there is a season for everything! Pimples come and go. No one has a perfect hair day everyday. Our bodies are constantly changing! Laugh lines are beautiful. Wrinkles are natural. Perfection is impossible. And we need to change our model behavior.