Growing up I was always skinny and
tall. My dad used to have pet names for me about my long skinny legs.
I entered into my teen years and was still what some might call a
bean pole. In the eighth grade no girl wants to be taller than all
the boys. Unfortunately, I was. Yet people always told me how pretty
I was and I believed them. I knew I was blessed with enough looks
that I chose not to wear make up like all my friends. When I started
high school I made the Junior Varsity cheerleading squad. All the
pretty girls are cheerleaders right? I will admit that was a
confidence booster for me. However, I was still so shy that I was not
a popular girl even being a cheerleader.
I couldn't tell you how it
happened but somehow in my junior year I was connected with a
modeling agency. After two photo shoots I had modeling cards with my
name on them. My modeling name was Manda. I got to travel down to
Miami and visit modeling agencies presenting them with my card. My
first job was as a model for a car dealership during a one time
event. I was even able to walk the runway in a fashion show. I
couldn't imagine that my looks could actually get me somewhere in
Yet, as time went by I began to have a
change of heart. I had met my now husband during our senior year of
high school. All of my time was spent planning a future with him. I
began to wonder how modeling would fit into that future.
Later, I had to do a photo shoot that
required me to wear a bikini. This may not seem like a big deal but
it was and you will see why in a minute. Then I visited a modeling
agency that informed me that my shoulders were too broad to make any
good money in the European market (at least they were brutally
honest). All these issues convinced me that modeling was not the
career I wanted for my life. I didn't want to fly all over the world
for someone to tell me what to wear and more importantly what not to
wear. I didn't want to be someone's hanger. I saw pictures of models
wearing barely any clothes at all and I knew that that couldn't be
me. I knew to make it big you would have to do whatever it took and I
couldn't be that person. I did not feel like God would want me to
use my body in this way.
Modeling did give me a boost in
confidence but it wasn't necessarily a good thing. I always thought
it was my looks that got me what I wanted or needed in life. As I got
older my looks faded. I am not saying I am not a beautiful person
because what I perceive of beauty is different now. But I do not look
like I did when I was 17. I struggled with this for a long time. I
felt like my husband wouldn't love me and he would want to leave
(this sounds so silly even as I type it). But it was a struggle. I
thought my husband could only be happy with me how I looked when we
met. He is a good man that never made me once think I wasn't pretty.
But deep down I just didn't feel like I could measure up. It has
taken me years to begin to learn what real beauty is.
Real beauty comes from God residing in
my heart. It comes through my actions and how I love my family. My
looks may fade but to God I am His creation. I am worth something. I
am a mom now. I have “let myself go” a little. I still don't put
on makeup or adorn myself with fancy clothes and jewelery. I am
simple and I cant change that (I have tried and failed). I am no
longer a size 4 and probably never will be.
A lady's looks will always change. They
are something we should not rely on or even base our lives around.
Physical beauty will always fade. However, if we think little of
ourselves we will get lost. I got lost for a little bit but I find
myself not stressing about my looks. Instead I consider what a
blessing it is to have the scars, weight gain and any other blemishes
that took away my 17 year old body. I will not lie that when my
husband found a gray hair on my head the other day I wanted to cry
(haha). There are also times when I really pray that I look good
enough to keep my husbands eye (silly me again). But I have put my
modeling pictures to rest. That was me at 17 but I am 31 now and I
am still gorgeous in my own way!
Proverbs 31:30 says, "Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised."
Is there anyone else out there that has struggled with this? Leave a comment and tell me about it!