Project Inspired. The title speaks for itself. The girls of our
generation have been longing and waiting for something like this.
For someone with a “Hollywood” background to step out and say,
“Girls- you are so precious and loved just the way you are. God
created you with a big purpose, and you are cherished and loved
beyond all measure. This isn't what it all appears to be. You don't
have to change yourself to be beautiful. You don't have to conform
to the false image of 'beauty'.”
We got to interview the totally inspiring Nicole Weider, founder and dreamer of the empowering website for teen girls, Project Inspired!
Crown of Beauty: When Project Inspired was still in the beginning
stages, could you possibly dream that it would become so huge and
influential? Or did you always know deep in your heart that this
message would spread like wildfire?
Nicole: I really knew deep in my heart that this message was so needed, and that Project Inspired would touch millions of lives and bring them closer to Jesus.
Crown of Beauty: What are your biggest dreams and heart's desires for Project Inspired?
Nicole: I would love to create a print magazine, because that way the girls could save the issues and circle things they find inspiring, tear out pages they love and post on their wall, and share the issue with friends. Also, I would love to create a clothing line with powerful scriptures on them.
Crown of Beauty: What new and exciting things can we look forward to in the coming year?
Nicole: I am currently writing a book about my testimony of how I became a Christian and gave my life to Christ, as well as writing chapters regarding all things teen girls face- bullying, gossip, purity, and much more. I also will hopefully have a section of modest style suggestions!
Crown of Beauty: Let's rewind and take a trip back to your life in Hollywood, when you were frantically running around, searching for purpose and meaning. How did you feel as a model, trying to fit into a world that demanded perfection?
Nicole: I felt completely overwhelmed all the time, with feelings of worthlessness, defeat, and insecurity. The casting agents as well as my own agent frequently pointed out my so-called “flaws,” and how I needed to change them. No matter what you look like, in the modeling world they always feel the need to “improve you.” It’s a very unhealthy industry, with truthfully no lasting satisfaction.
Crown of Beauty: What lies did you struggle with the most during those years?
Nicole: That I was always a size too big to model, my skin was never clear enough, or I never had the best pictures to go on castings.
Crown of Beauty: After finding the truth in Christ, do you still combat some of those lies in your own life, today?
Nicole: Honestly not at all. Of course there are some days when I think maybe I could tone up a little more, but I am happy with my size and how God created me to be. If I get a blemish, I don’t mind- along with being content with dressing how I want to dress, by honoring God with my body and not packaging myself as being “sexy” to be wanted by men. It’s completely degrading when you dress scandalously for boys, and it leads to insecurity as well.
Crown of Beauty: What advice would you give to girls who are struggling to appreciate their beauty and self worth?
Nicole: To focus on how blessed they are that they have eyes to see, they have ears to hear, and other blessings they have. To realize they are one of a kind, and how loved and cherished by God they are. God looks at the heart, and not the body. To remind them how naturally gorgeous they are, just as they are!
Crown of Beauty: What verse or verses do you use to remind yourself of your worth and identity in Christ?
Nicole: I really love this verse and have it on my desk: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your understanding, but seek His will in all you do and He will show you which path to take.” Proverbs 3:6. Also, “I am your creator. You were in my care even before you were born.” Isaiah 44:2
Crown of Beauty: One of my favorite sections on Project Inspired is, “Me Without Makeup!” Where girls are invited to post pictures of themselves makeup free. How did that idea come about?
Nicole: When I was modeling and trying to please people instead of God, I would of never taken a picture of myself with no makeup on to showcase to the world. But once I accepted Jesus, I was so happy with how God created me to be, and I wanted to share that same message of acceptance and authenticity to the girls. I wanted them to realize that their beauty comes from within, and not from their outer appearance.
Crown of Beauty: Is there a way that we as girls can counteract what is going on in our culture today? Can we redefine what it means to be young women?
Nicole: By getting involved with other like-minded Christians, as often as possible. I can’t stress enough how important it is to have a support system of people to be accountable to, and to help build you up when you feel defeated. Also, get involved with a prayer group!
Crown of Beauty: What advice would you give to a girl who desires to step into Hollywood and make a difference? How can she be “in the world and not of it”? How can she be strong enough to go against the tide and speak up for what she believes in, without falling prey to lies?
Nicole: That is a very hard thing to do to be honest. My suggestion is to be with a team of people, who also have the same goals to make a difference in Hollywood so you don’t go at it alone. Hollywood really is the devil’s playground, God says that Satan is the prince of this world. If you want to sing, make sure the people you work with are also Christ followers. But modeling itself is only focused on the outer appearance, with about 30 girls competing for each job. It is so defeating, so I really don’t recommend trying to be a model. If God blessed you with creativity in the arts, pursue that, but like I said just make sure the people who are with you are on fire for God!
Crown of Beauty: What have you done to keep yourself grounded and remain in the truth?
Nicole: I got out of Hollywood, ditched many of my so-called “friends” who were only interested in partying and having a good time. Also I vowed to never date another actor or someone working in the industry, because I don’t like that lifestyle. I also physically moved away from Hollywood, and I joined a church and made new friends. My life has never been better or more blessed! I also met the love of my life and my husband once I gave my life to Jesus- another amazing blessing.
Crown of Beauty: If you could only share one last message with girls, what would it be?
Nicole: To not listen to what the media says to be, which for girls is that being “sexy” is how you should be. Or that you should worship and glorify celebrities like the media does, which is actually following false idols. To grow closer to God, because He is the one who created you and knows you better than anyone, and He knows which path you should take and how to bless you!
Be sure to check out Project Inspired! :)
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