Written by Katie Pezzutto
Modelling is not as glamorous as it looks.
It took me a year of sore-butt-from-makeup-chair-sessions syndrome, over a hundred awkward poses and enough nervous sweat to fill an Olympic swimming pool for me to figure this out.
Modelling is also not as body-image bolstering as you might think. Sure, the likes and comments are nice at first. But after a while, they didn’t make me feel any better about my appearance.
Intensive scrutiny revealed untoned thighs, locks of stray hair, awkward expressions, and crooked teeth. Other people found flaws, while some were enamoured. Creepy people were attracted in droves, persistent marriage proposals from far-away lands were had.
Really I had to expect it. I had put myself on a pedestal. People were watching, and I knew it. After I signed with an agency, I became more aware of what I was wearing and how I was presenting myself—not to mention way more careful what I ate.
I was focusing on my success and not a whole lot else. My mental health started to suffer. I became anxious, almost to the point of not feeling comfortable even going outside. I lived in fear of What will people think of me?
Spending all day in sweats and a greasy bun? Glamourous? Mmmm, no. Point proven.
A little after a year of modelling, I was preparing for law school, had been dabbling with acting and was writing a novel. I was feeling run-down, exhausted, and essentially not where I was supposed to be. It was in the quiet, when I had finally set down my phone that He spoke. His intoxicating presence felt like sunshine on my cool skin.
“Katie-bug, do you know who you are?” I rubbed my arm nervously.
“Uh. A chocoholic?” His smiles widened momentarily but His voice is pensive.
“You’re my girl. You don’t belong to the world. You gave that up, and I’m jealous for your heart.” I let out a deep sigh.
“You need Me, not affirmation on social media. Likes are fruitless. Let Me develop your character. It’s what is most precious, will impact people’s lives and last into eternity. When you have reached the end of your days, you will not be standing before the people who liked you on Instagram. You’ll be standing before Me.”
My heart hurts. What He is saying is true and I know it. I know that I’ve been following popular opinion down a path that was taking me somewhere in the world’s eyes, but doing nothing for what would really bring me joy.
That day, my Heavenly Father asked me to let it go for Him. That day, I decided I would, but it wasn’t easy. When I felt shame for not being a success in the world’s eyes, I would sit down and tell God about it. He would always affirm me where I struggled. He showed me how He saw me, through Father’s eyes. His abundant love crashed over my thirsty heart in waves, filling in the dry space and creating new life.
Through this experience, I’ve learned that the first step to freedom comes from being open, honest, and raw with God. Give yourself permission to be vulnerable, realize the areas you may be lacking, and accept God’s loving correction in those places.
We all need to receive affirmation from someone, but fame is fickle.
Would you choose to receive affirmation from people whose opinions are not altruistic and will change in a matter of minutes? Or would you rather be validated by the God who created you, the One who is enraptured by you, the One who knows the intricacies of you, and what you need so desperately?
Take it from me, the latter is so much better.