A former Victoria’s Secret model who sacrificed a successful modeling career to follow Jesus has warned other young girls against going into the business. Following her exit from the industry, Nicole Weider founded the largest online community for teen girls in 2010 called Project Inspired. Through her vital work, Weider hopes to point girls to their inner beauty and free them from the unrealistic and unhealthy standards society places on them.
Weidman has also been a part of a campaign to censor some of the more explicit content published by Cosmopolitan magazine, which is often directed at young teenagers. She saw it as a “huge victory” when Walmart decided to remove Cosmopolitan from the checkout aisles of over 5,000 stores and introduced a new age requirement for anyone seeking to purchase the magazine.
“I was praying for Cosmo to be removed or limited for so long, and to see this come to pass in God’s perfect timing is just incredible,” she told Christian Today.
Weider also discussed what led her to walk away from such a highly lucrative and sought-after career.
“I realized that being a model was truly not what it was cracked up to be. I felt degraded, that I was never ‘perfect’ enough, and being judged only on my appearance was hurting my self-esteem,” she explained. “I realized I wanted more for my life. I rediscovered my faith that I had as a little girl, and it changed my life because I was passionate about using my gifts for God instead of the empty modeling industry.”
The former model said that she has a strong desire to help young girls understand that “they are beautiful just the way God made them” and to free themselves from the cultural pressures put upon them to strive for perfection in their appearance.
“It is too easy on social media to feel like you need to compare yourself to other people. What I do often is, I just make a post about Jesus, and many times I just sign out and not scroll through a lot,” she explained.
In a separate interview with CBN, Weider shared why refuses to recommend the modeling industry as a wise career choice for any young woman.
“It’s just not worth it to be judged only on how you look,” she said. “As a model, there is extreme pressure on the way you look. My agent was marketing me as sexy but I wasn’t even eighteen yet. I felt pressure to be this sex object when in reality it was destroying my self-esteem.”
“I really believe the enemy attacks us as women. He’s that negative voice,” she added. “I started feeling really anxious on set. My heart was giving me warning signs. After I posed in these magazines, it led me to a crisis about who I was. I didn’t want to model, but I placed my identity, for so long, in modeling.”
Then, Nicole’s longtime friend offered some advice that sealed the deal.
“My best friend Christina, she’s the one who planted seeds in my heart and told me ‘God has a purpose for you, he loves you,'” explained Weider. “She said that I can use my past as a testimony for my future. She really was planting the seeds of God’s love and hope in my heart.”
“I was so fortunate to have a friend who was a believer,” Weider wrote on her website. “Christina would come over to my house and tell me, ‘Nicole maybe you are going through all of this so that one day you can help young women. Maybe you can be an example to them and share your story, your struggle with depression. I believe Jesus Christ can heal you, because nothing is impossible with God.'”
Learn more about Nicole’s work by visiting her website here.
(H/T: Christian Today)