I recently had the opportunity to talk with former runway model, Jennifer Strickland on an episode of Your Hope-Filled Perspective. If you missed it, you can listen to it here (Former Model Shares: the Myth of Perfection – Episode 63). So many people struggle with their self-image and the tendency to compare themselves and their bodies to others rather than living in the truth of their identity in Christ. So I asked Jennifer to share more here about the one thing a girl with self-image issues must do to find help, hope, and healing.
Read to the end for a book giveaway!
(If there are affiliate links in this post, meaning, if you click through and make a purchase, I may receive a commission (at no extra cost to you)).
The One Thing a Girl with Self-Image Issues Must Do
by Jennifer Strickland
To tell a girl she is beautiful or worthy isn’t enough. She’s got to believe it deep down in her bones. And for her to believe it at the core level, she’s got to make an agreement with the truth. You can preach truth to someone all day long, but if they’ve made an agreement with a lie, your words will fall on deaf ears.
I turned my life around as a result of a bipartisan agreement. The God of heaven and earth reached for me, and I reached back.
I made a choice.
When we’ve made an agreement with a lie — “I will never be enough,” for example —we keep attracting people and circumstances to confirm that lie.
Everything becomes a confirmation until that lie becomes our truth. So it is with girls with image issues. Their identity is based on a lie — “I am not loved. I am not worthy. I am not beautiful. I am not perfect enough as I am…”
These lies often become planted in childhood and are tough to uproot.
To break the grip of these lies on us, we first have to admit we’ve believed — and therefore based our sense of self — on a lie, and then take hold of the truth of who we truly are in God’s eyes.
Here are some examples, and how they impact the way we live:
I belong. I am valuable. I am loved — and everything in my life can be filtered through these truths.
I am loved —
So I am worthy of counseling, because that will help me be the best version of myself.
I am beautiful —
So I will take care of my body daily with proper diet and exercise. If I am not well, I will reach out to mentors, friends, family, and doctors who will become a circle of care for me.
I am holy —
So I will dress myself with dignity and worth and guard myself from sexual indiscretions which could hurt me in the long run.
I am light —
So I will shine from the inside out instead of trying to be pretty from the outside in. I will believe my real beauty and power come from the way I love — not the way I look.
I am enough —
Because of what Christ did for me on the cross. I am complete in Him. Forgiven. Worthy. Empowered. Covered. Protected. More than enough. His Word tells me I am a Conqueror.
So, I can and will smash these lies that try to strangle me and come out of agreement with them. I have the power to speak truth over my well-being.
And when I fall, God will help me get back up.
Because I AM His beloved daughter —
I can conquer addiction.
I can conquer anxiety.
I can conquer fear.
I am More.
These statements about our identity get truth down in the bones, and give life to the body and everything in it.
They bring out the best in who we are. It begins with God reaching for us — and us reaching back for Him.
When a girl has issues with her self-image, the problem is rooted in her identity. So, the one thing she must do is reach back for God, which only the Holy Spirit can prompt her to do. And when she reaches, she must confess those lies she’s believed and replace them with how He sees her.
This is what healed me. This is what continues to heal me.
And this is the answer, always.
About Jennifer Strickland
Jennifer Strickland is a former international model, TEDx speaker, author, wife, mother of three, and the founder of a non-profit called U R More, that helps women and girls discover their value, identity, and purpose.
Jen has written seven books and studies teaching women and girls their true worth, including Girl Perfect, More Beautiful Than You Know, Beautiful Lies, and 21 Myths (Even Good) Girls Believe About Sex. She holds a bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism and a master’s degree in writing with an emphasis in biblical studies.
In her earlier days, Jen worked for 15 years as a professional model, appearing in Vogue, Glamour, and Cosmopolitan. She was featured in ads for Converse Tennis Shoes, Oil of O’lay, Mercedes Benz, Eddie Bauer, and Jordache; and at the height of her career, she walked the runways of Europe for Giorgio Armani and represented Barbie for the 35th anniversary of the doll. But Jen learned beauty is more than what meets the eye when she discovered what she looked like in God’s eyes.
To connect with Jennifer Strickland: Facebook / Instagram / YouTube / Twitter
In conjunction with this post and the podcast interview, Former Model Shares: the Myth of Perfection – Episode 63, Jennifer Strickland is giving away a free copy of her book, Girl Perfect.
Leave a comment below sharing with us one thing you’ve learned about how girls with self-image issues can find help, hope, and healing and you will be entered into the contest.
You could also share this blog post on Facebook or Twitter then comment here to tell us where you shared it and you’ll also be entered into the drawing.
The winner will be selected at random and announced next Monday, July 6, 2020, here on this post. Continental United States only.
Michelle, thank you for sharing. This is an issue I have dealt with for years and am looking forward to exploring Jennifer’s book!
I love this message so much. I dealt with some self image issues as a young girl and a bit chunky but nothing to the extent of so many of my peers. My grandmother made a lot of my clothes and I was a bit embarrassed to wear them even though she was a great seamstress but the style was not really me. When I realized what the Lord says about me, it truly changed my life. I loved the podcast you did with Jennifer and have shared it already. I will be sharing this blog on Facebook and with others. Thank you for addressing this issue so freely and boldly for I know it is a big issue with teens and even with older women. The podcast and this blog just reinforces for me the truth of God’s Word and God’s love for me just how the Lord created me. I would love to have Jennifer’s book.
Great post. I’ve learned that just because we grow up from childhood learning lies of feeling less than, if we lean into God and trust His truths, eventually those lies are defeated. While this has been a life-long battle for me, it’s because I didn’t obey God and do the hard work. I passed perfection and other lies onto my adult son and it’s a sad reality to see your offspring battle the same insecurities. But, he is learning to take captive those lies with God’s truth. Satan does not want us to believe God. God is our Creator and means for us to know His love for us and be Light for Him. We won’t shine for Him if we allow satan’s lies to keep us in bondage. So thankful for God’s power and grace that is greater in me than the enemy.
Recognizing the lies you have believed and replacing them with truth- so powerful!
I once told a struggling friend that I wish she could see herself the way God sees her. I plan to share your blog with her as well as another friend who needs it. Such an important message. Thank you.
This is really hitting home to me. i always struggled with self-image issues and it caused me a lot of heart ache. Now that I have a teen daughter I want so desperately to protect her from this, but see it creep in anyways. I know that what you say is true. What I say to her doesn’t matter. She has to come into agreement with God’s truth. Great post.
This is so true. We will believe a lie and look for confirmation of that lie, until we replace the lie with the truth. And just telling someone the truth, does not mean they believe it. So much wisdom here. Wanting to listen to this episode.
Heavens, this is so true that we need to see ourselves fully from God’s perspective, and we need to believe with all our hearts that his perspective is the only one that ultimately matters.
I have believed a lie all my life- ever since the kids at school called me “thunder thighs.” I reject this lie now. I will REACH for the TRUTH- so that being while I can teach my daughters their true identity. Thank you!!