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Mary DeMuth

Way back in the days of yore, the anon days, the days when we thought a color TV was the epitome of technology, I attended modeling school. It was one of those schools that advertised on said color TV with the slogan that read something like, “be a model . . . or just look like one.” I was in the awkward eighth and ninth grade. With braces. Thin as a pole, and nerdy to boot.

I attended that school two long years. I say long because I lived over an hour away from the school and it was an ordeal to make it in. Also of note is that we won a class action suit against the “school” and got most of our money back. Which proves why I didn’t become an internationally famous model (with braces.) Even so, I learned a few things. Three to be exact.

1. Poise is important no matter how you look.

There were beautiful people who slouched and looked at the ground. And there were folks less striking who strutted with self confidence. The latter did better in modeling school, and they learned the art of letting go of inhibitions. I’ve learned these past few years that bemoaning my lot, focusing on the negative, and shrinking back into myself does not ensure success. Having a more optimistic, joyful, pleasant and hopeful outlook not only blesses my poise, but it endears me to others.

2. We are responsible to steward our talents.

I was not model material. I may have been tall and thin enough, but I wasn’t going to have a career in that field. However, I could sing. So I concentrated on honing that skill. Later, I realized I could write, and I’ve spent many, many years stewarding that talent. Instead of looking at my lack (no model potential), it’s better to realistically assess what I do have, then run with those talents.

3. Covering up natural beauty doesn’t enhance it.

When they pancaked me with make-up and I went through the photo shoot process, the makeup did help, but afterward, I felt fake, and my face hurt. I couldn’t wait to take off all that goo. And when I see women who are over-caked, I wonder what they’re trying to hide. Similarly, when we are ashamed or scared of who we truly are, we smear on all sorts of facade-building pancake makeup, becoming who we’re not, in order to impress. But the truly beautiful are those who see themselves, know they are loved by Jesus, and are authentically all there—no masks.

So the whole become-a-model-or-just-look-like-one fiasco had its benefits. I learned things. I may not strut a runway (I still can’t wear heals well), or have my face PhotoShopped on a magazine (thank goodness), but I rest in knowing that God adores me. He created me to do some pretty fun things (writing rocks!), and He has made me more and more real every day.

For more hope and humor, visit marydemuth.com

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