Successful Maxim and Victoria's Secret model Nicole Weider left the lucrative modeling industry to follow God after feeling unfulfilled, "degraded," and suffering from low self-esteem. Weider now spends her life building up young girls via Project Inspired and warning against entanglement in the superficial industry. She's also been a leading and effective voice in the campaign against sexually explicit and inappropriate content from feminist magazine Cosmopolitan.
Speaking to Christian Today on Tuesday, Weider explained why she left the industry. "I realized that being a model was truly not what it was cracked up to be," she said. "I felt degraded, that I was never 'perfect' enough, and being judged only on my appearance was hurting my self-esteem. 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."
In a 2015 interview with CBN, the former model went even further, warning girls to avoid the industry that left her so empty. "It’s just not worth it to be judged only on how you look," said Weider. "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," Weider continued. "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."
Weider also praised Walmart for finally pulling feminist magazine Cosmopolitan off their check-out shelves and implementing age requirements for purchase. The model got the ball rolling with a Change.org petition titled "Anti-Cosmo Mission."
"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 the Christian outlet.
Regarding her journey to God, Weider says she returned to the faith she had as a young girl with the help of a longtime friend named Christian. "She’s the one who planted seeds in my heart and told me ‘God has a purpose for you, he loves you,'" Weider told CBN. "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."