And I want to thank you guys for all the supportive and encouraging comments across social media. You guys are the best 🙂
There’s a stigma about actresses: that they’re vain, self-centered, and uber-appearance-obsessed. When I think of a stereotypical “actress,” I envision a chic, Beverly Hills “Miss” with oversized sunglasses, prancing around thinking she’s God’s gift to mankind. And while, sure, that is true for a lot of actresses I’ve come across, it’s definitely not true for me.
At the music video shoot this past weekend, I found myself in a very strange head space. In the video, I play the artist’s love interest. I’m supposed to be frolicking in a field, at a bonfire, snuggling up to the male artist. And, to be blunt, I’m supposed to be his “beautiful crush.”
This shoot was really hard for me. Why? Because I still don’t believe I’m beautiful.
It was almost an out of body experience for me. There’s a point in the video where I have to kiss the lead, and I overheard one of his friends talking to him between takes, saying “Dang, man! I wish I were you!”
And I had to stop for a second and process: they were talking about me.
Living in a “post-ED-mindset,” I still to this day battle a lot of demons about my self-worth and body image. I’ve said it before, but the Voice of ED never truly silences, I just get stronger at beating him back, and allowing Jesus to fill my heart with the truth.
But back to the music video. So all day long, I had to prance around, acting as though I believed I was beautiful and worth chasing after. I had to give off an air of confidence and mystery and poise. And I can do that, I mean – I’m an actor. But in my head, it was quite a different story.
Afterwards, one of the assistants was driving me back to the train station, and we were discussing the shoot. And we had been in the car for about two hours total that day, so we were opening up to each other, and we found that we both were “lacking” in the self-confidence department. And he said, “Wow, I would have never guessed.”
Sitting on the train, coming home that night, I started reflecting on the shoot.
Whenever I would talk to anyone about the project, I’d always brush it off, “Yeah, it’s a music video. I’m the lead girl – what were they thinking, right?” Or something like, “Yeah, I’m the lead girl – all the other actresses must have missed their auditions.” I would always be self-deprecating – like, I was chosen to be the “beautiful crush,” but it must’ve been a mistake, because I’m not beautiful. I’m not “lead girl” material.
And I wasn’t saying those things out of false humility or as a way to fish for compliments or affirmations. I actually believed it. And that was my ED beliefs manifesting themselves through my speech.
But I had a bit of an epiphany on the train. Even though I may not believe it yet, I am a beautiful girl. And before you scoff, just here me out.
I realized that, you know what, I am beautiful. It’s not because of my hair, or my smile or my skin. Those are nice, but they’re not what make me beautiful. That’s physical beauty.
I have an inner beauty that makes me beautiful.
I have a brokenness that tells a story of victory. I have a spirit that has been wounded, and has been reborn. I have a heart that has been/is being mended by Jesus. I have a light that shines from my soul, which reflects Christ, who is dwelling there. I have a beauty that is all my own. And none of it is physical. And none of it comes from me.
It all comes from Jesus.
Frolicking around and being chased after all day, it was different for me. It was living a life that I do not know. I felt as though I was living someone else’s life. Not my own.
And it was really interesting, because the longer I was in that head space: that confident, believing-in-my-self-worth head space, the easier it got. And there was one point at the end of the day, I was watching the playback in the monitor, and I almost didn’t recognize myself. Who is that beautiful girl? Surely, it isn’t me. But it was. I was that beautiful girl.
I wish I could say that feeling stuck with me. But, alas, I woke up the following morning the same as always.
But I am hopeful. I am a work in progress.
Freedom from the prison of self-doubt is possible. And it all comes down to Jesus. I know that in order for me to truly know and believe that I have great worth and immeasurable value, and yes – beauty – I have to completely surrender my fears and guilt and shame about my ED past to Jesus. Because simply knowing that He already paid the price on the Cross for all those things, and that I am forgiven, and that I am a daughter of God, thus making me precious – simply knowing that isn’t enough. I have to believe it. I have to translate that into my heart, and let it transform my mind and heart and spirit.
I have to love myself enough to allow myself to believe it.
That is the battle, my friends.
That is war to be won.