Cameron Russell is a stunningly tall woman with shiny brunette hair cascading down her back. As a 16-year-old, she began traveling across the globe as an esteemed model. She lives a lifestyle of fashion and fame, and she frequently participates in luxury fashion shows and editorial shoots for Vogue. Cameron is lucky; if we were all as pretty as her, we would be so much happier. To be gorgeous means that you’re accepted and popular and WANTED. So many friends have said, “If I was as gorgeous as that girl, my problems would be solved.”
Except that Cameron is an incredibly insecure woman.
In a shocking presentation last year, she told the world that if you want to meet the most physically unhappy people on the planet, walk into a room full of models.
She is one of the top supermodels in the world, and that doesn’t make her happy. She has all the designer shoes and fancy hairstyles and expensive cars she could ever want, and deep inside, Cameron lies awake at night thinking about how unhappy she is.
You know what this means? Looks aren’t actually everything. Sure, the Victoria’s Secret fashion show and all the naked magazine covers staring me down in the checkout line sure do try and convince me otherwise, but Cameron gives me proof that even if you’re the most glamorous person in the world, you still feel completely empty.
Statistics show us that 8 out of 10 high school girls are unhappy with their bodies. From your classroom to your workplace, most girls and women are miserable because they believe they are ugly. I certainly did, and it was the most dangerous thought I ever had.
In high school, amidst the stress of my parents’ divorce and my own struggles with perfectionism, I battled anorexia. I was already a skinny girl, and I got so much praise and jealousy from my peers that I was willing to do whatever it took to maintain that confidence. For a long time, I dangerously controlled my eating, and by the time I graduated high school, I was 105 pounds. I couldn’t sit down without being in pain from my tailbone sticking out. And yet all I heard from friends was how much they wished they could wear my size or pull off that trendy new style. They were jealous of my looks, because they just knew that if they could lose those pounds, they would be happy. And yet I was completely miserable.
Maybe you struggle today with feeling completely ugly or overweight or inadequate, and you dream of looking a certain way so all of your problems will disappear.
I promise you that your problems will never go away if you use superficial solutions. So many girls constantly say things about how they’re “fatties” and how they’re never eating again after watching the latest Victoria’s Secret fashion show. Every single time I look at Instagram, I see pictures with captions that are completely self-degrading.
I want to grab you by the shoulders, shake you, and wake you up from this nightmare where being thin is the ultimate goal. You are absolutely gorgeous! God created every part of you and He is crazy in love with you. So many girls are obsessed with dieting and trying to mold themselves into a perfect person, and I write this as a living example that these things are NOT worth the price. It took a crazy amount of willpower and strength and grace from God to be able to enjoy food and live my life without being obsessed with my weight.
If you’re basing your confidence and your value on your looks, you are missing out on true joy.
Christ died for our sins so that we can become new creatures, fully focused on praising God and serving others. Not only will you miss out on opportunities to bless other people because you are so focused on your own insecurities, but you will also miss out on living a life filled with absolute security. As Christians, we don’t need to worry about being popular or skinny. These things are not what life is about. Satan likes to distract us and encourage us to tear ourselves apart, but Christ wants to free you from starving yourself and crying yourself to sleep because you don’t look like that girl on the magazine cover.
Skinny won’t solve your problems. Makeup won’t solve your problems. And being popular and accepted won’t solve your problems. Jesus is the only one who can cut through our insecurities, changing our pain into radiant beauty.