Soon Victoria’s Secret models will don wings and walk the runway in the annual fashion show, considered by many to be the pinnacle of success in the modeling industry. Millions will watch. Many will applaud them for their achievement in a cut-throat industry, seeing them as examples of what hard work can produce. But most male viewers will reduce them to mere objects to consume, seeing only bodies displayed for comparison, lust, and sport. Though the world may call them “angels,” Jesus calls them Beloved, and knows their true worth.
I believe Jesus would have some insights for Victoria, and for women and girls everywhere.
“Beloved, by revealing so much, you’re actually revealing too little.”
“Though the world may see a beautiful face, skin, make-up, and hair, I see more. As you step out to reveal so much of your body, I know that you’re revealing too little of who you truly are inside. The best of the woman I created you to be lies beneath the facade of skin, jewels, and feathers you show the world. Applause, bright lights, and a runway can never reveal what I see.”
“I was there, Beloved, when you were formed. I chose the color of your eyes and skin. I sculpted the curve of your hips, cheeks, and nose. I knew how your body would eventually blossom and take shape, and though the world might say change it, my design is still good, perfect. Within you I placed abilities far greater than those the runway or the bedroom requires. I gave you lasting inner qualities, talents, and aptitudes. Though you may believe applause or a man’s love will satisfy, I imparted a deeper desire to be cherished and loved, by Me.”
“When the lights go out and the voices fade into silence, when the make-up comes off and you look into the mirror, I’ll be there. When the eyes of the men who use you turn toward the younger version of you, I’ll be there. When those who said they loved you leave you, or those who befriended you for your status are gone, I’ll be there. When the deepest desires of your heart ring louder than your desire for fame or fortune, I’ll be there.”*
Thoughts on Fashion Models and Role Models
Though fashion models were definitely esteemed when I was younger, for some reason I was more enamored with role models. I knew the glamorous world of fashion was not the real world. I knew that time and gravity would inevitably alter the perfectly sculpted bodies, that God created us for His glory and not our own, and that no runway walk could compare to the adventure of walking closely with God.
I read of people who surrendered their talents, time, and ambition and found a deeper union with God. Though I had many heroes, I met Corrie ten Boom in her book, The Hiding Place, and she soon became a favorite. During World War II her family courageously hid Jews in their home while bombs exploded miles away. Later God softened her heart so she could forgive the guards from the concentration camp where her friends and relatives died. After the war she joined Brother Andrew’s work to smuggle Bibles into Communist countries so others could know God’s immense love and power. They witnessed true miracles together. She knew her worth and the worth of those she risked her life to save. She spent her days on great adventures with God. I found in her mercy, courage and generosity, all honed on the glorious and often difficult battleground with God.
Though I have seen pictures of Corrie’s smooth, youthful face, I cherish the image of an older, weathered Corrie with deep lines surrounding her radiant smile: beautiful marks of a deep walk with God and of a life well-spent.
It has been said that we become what we behold. When we look on the lives of those who know their true worth, and when we behold their Jesus, we become more like Him. I wonder if Victoria knows this?
Jesus was with us in the beginning, He’s with us now, and He’ll be with us when our striving falls short and gravity wins. Fashion models or role models? Parents, introduce your children to role models, and let them meet heroes who will plant seeds for adventure with God that will far exceed any fashion or reality television show.
Teach them their true worth and model compassion for those who don’t know how precious they are to God. Dads, train your sons to cherish and love girls and women and not use them. Moms, show your daughters their true worth by acknowledging your own and encourage them to reveal more of who they are on the inside, who Jesus made them to be.
Plant the truth that we are created to glorify God, and that the empty pleasures of this world will never satisfy. In relationship, first with God, then with others, we begin to see our extreme worth and ability to make a lasting impact on the world.
Take a fresh look at who you’re beholding and why. While others watch the runway show, spend time with your son, daughter, mom or dad, or a living role model. Let God lead you and start that exciting journey with Him that will spur others on to behold Him, and consequently, become like Him.
Founder and CEO of TrueNorth Freedom Project in Atlanta, Georgia
*Please note: These proposed words of Jesus are loosely based on Psalm 139 and several Gospel accounts of Jesus ascribing worth to women in a culture that considered them mere property. Genesis 1:27 proclaims our God-given worth as image-bearers of our Creator: “God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” (New American Standard version)
To read more about Corrie ten Boom, click here or read her book, The Hiding Place.