Today I have an interview with former professional model Leah Darrow up at America magazine.
As a 24-year old model from Oklahoma City, Leah was one of 14 finalists on Cycle 3 of America’s Next Top Model in 2004. She was eliminated in episode two when judge Tyra Banks said she looked like a “soccer mom” in her photo shoot. Ironically, she is now a wife, the mother of two young children, and a professional Catholic speaker.
In the interview, Leah talks about a conversion moment she experienced when the camera flash hit her eyes during a photo shoot for an international magazine in 2005. As she imagined looking at herself through God’s eyes in that moment, she felt empty and disappointed. She quit modeling on the spot because she realized it had turned her into a phony.
Now Leah speaks to high school girls and other young audiences about the dangers of seeking validation for your appearance, the superficiality of the modeling world, and her personal experience of healing and forgiveness for years of what she calls “vanity” and broken relationships as she competed for modeling contracts. She talks about Christ’s love.
If you have a chance to check it out, the interview is worth reading and includes a couple of hyperlinks to videos of Leah on ANTM and in some of her speaking appearances, as well as a link to her website.