Parents: If you have daughters in your care, I strongly suggest this book to you and to them.
Beautiful Lies by Jennifer Strickland is a book about womanhood and the quest to be desirable, about our hunger for love and living life in our own skin.
This ain't a how-to guide either. I doesn't throw solutions at a girl and give her pat suggestions. No, this is a hymn, a praise-song about life and health and the preciousness of being united with Christ. It is heart-story and poetry. And trust me, girls will understand and be moved by Jennifer's story.
This book is packed with hard-won wisdom from a woman who has earned the right to talk. Beginning at a very young age, Jennifer was a professional model who appearing in Vogue, Glamour and Cosmopolitan. It was a world where she had no value other than her measurements and her skin tone and her walk and how the designer's clothes hung on her. To the men and women who managed her world, she was a mannequin.
They dressed her up, paraded her around, and used her body without any regard for the heart beating inside her. They used her until she wasn't sure if she had an identity beyond what the stylists and cameramen and agents decreed.
Life grew darker and darker for her, and then, in the midst of depression and an eating disorder, Jesus broke into her life. And the Lord began to fill up her thirsty heart. God cherished her and delighted in her and healed her like no man had ever been able to do, and in His eyes she began to see her true reflection.
Slowly, over a hard stretch of life, Jennifer found her true identity, the one God intended for her through all time.
And now she has a message for girls: Your fate is not determined by what a man, of any age, thinks of you.
Men break, men fall, men lie, even good men fail now and then.
A man can't know you as well as God does, therefore a man can't decide what you're truly worth.
And the mirror can't capture your full beauty and potential either, because you aren't defined by how you look.
Reading this book is like running into the ocean, it is shocking and cleansing and refreshing and makes you want to shout. It is a liberating experience, and I intend to read this book again once a year to remind myself of the truth in it. When ever I'm tempted to accept the cultural box labeled "This is Beauty," I'm going to read Jennifer's book. She opens that sacred box and examines the contents. The culture tells us that beauty can be measured as curves in the right places, and slenderness, and smooth skin and plump lips and smoky eyes.
Those definitions slice us into parts and then judge the parts harshly.
Jennifer gives us permission to Be, just Be whomever God made you to be as a whole woman.
Thank you Harvest House for my review copy!
Jennifer Strickland's mission is to realign women and girls with their identity, worth and purpose. Drawing from her experiences as a former professional model, Jennifer inspires others to measure their beauty and value by more than what meets the eye.
As a speaker to girls and women as well as boys and men, Jennifer opens up about her painful experiences as a young fashion model in order to shed light on how the world often devalues women's worth. Further, she encourages men to use their voice, strength, and power to help restore the real beauty and value of women.