Former Model Melissa Faisst: ‘It Wasn’t Until I Found Jesus That I Found The True Escape From That Crazy Rat Race’

Screenshot from Kirk Cameron on TBN’s YouTube

Former Model Melissa Faisst: ‘It Wasn’t Until I Found Jesus That I Found The True Escape From That Crazy Rat Race’

By Movieguide® Contributor

YouTuber and blogger Melissa Faisst recently sat down with Kirk Cameron to discuss her views on the pitfalls of the modeling industry and how she found redemption in Christ. 

“Deep down, I had this feeling that if I wasn’t perfect, I would not be loved,” Faisst explained. “That same thing happened in the modeling world. If I wasn’t perfect…nobody’s going to want me. I’m not accepted by the world.”

She continued: “I was a model and I put my whole heart into being this model and being something for the world, and then when I got saved, I did a complete 180 and I put everything into just going hard after God.

“I went from model to missionary overnight,” Faisst added. “My idea of God was ‘Okay, he’s important and I need to please him, but if I get in trouble, he’s scary,’” she explained. “So, I really had this relationship not with God as a father, but God as this scary taskmaster that you’re just supposed to serve and stay in line.”

This perfectionism in her relationships led to stress, low self-esteem, and eventually entering into an abusive relationship. 

“I thought it was my fault and I thought I needed to change,” Faisst said of that time in her life. “I went to eating disorders and then I went to alcoholism to basically just escape from this prison that I really was in.”

She continued, “It really wasn’t until I found Jesus that I found the true escape from that crazy rat race of always trying to be better for everybody else.”

Faisst isn’t the only former model who has found her self-worth through her relationship with God.

Movieguide® previously reported:

Former model and founder of Project Inspired Nicole Weider wants to help direct teenage girls to the truths of the Gospel.

Weider is passionate about providing God-centered resources for women moving from childhood into adulthood because of her experience as a young girl in the model industry.

At an early age, Weider started modeling swimsuits and lingerie for brands such as Victoria’s Secret. However, as her career took off, Weider felt like her dignity was being stolen.

“My agent, she was booking me for lingerie work and swimsuit catalogs, and on set, I thought it would be some glamorous experience where I was having fun and I was so excited to book these jobs, but then when I was on set wearing just a bra and underwear, I felt completely humiliated and degraded,” Weider said. “Here I was on set with all of these guys and all of these people fixing my bra and my underwear, and it made me feel really ashamed of myself.”

During a shoot for Maxim magazine, Weider knew that she had to leave the industry. But upon leaving, Weider said that she had nowhere to turn.

“I didn’t grow up in a Christian home. I didn’t really have a concept of who God was, I didn’t have God in my life at all,” she continued. “So I was making my choices based on what I wanted in the world and what I thought was important for myself and I placed my identity in being a model. When I decided I didn’t want that anymore I was kind of left thinking, ‘What am I supposed to do now’”

However, a 23-year-old Weider gave her life to Christ, and the trajectory of her career and purpose changed forever.

“I gave my life to Christ when I was 23, and it was the best decision I ever made,” Weider said. “After I gave my life to God I felt a renewed sense of hope, and I felt like my dignity was back in my heart. I started journaling about my love for God and my experiences in the modeling industry, and pretty soon after I gave my life to God, He put in my heart a desire to create a website for teenage girls to share pieces of my testimony on there and to be a light to girls and to warn them about the dangers of the Hollywood industry and about the modeling industry.”

As a result, Weider released a book and a website under the same name, “Project Inspired,” to help teenage girls avoid her experiences in the industry and turn to God instead.

“God put it on my heart to reach out to teen girls because, when I was a teenager, that’s when I really started to go downhill, and I didn’t have a positive role model in my life,” she said. “I didn’t know where to turn and so I feel like teenage girls are in a really susceptible time in their life and so I wanted to help…”

“I like to say [that] a Project Inspired life is a woman who is confident in who she is, in who God made her to be, a woman who uses her gifts to glorify God and whatever she chooses to do. In my book I talk about the different spiritual gifts because we all have we all have some and I also talk about you know praying for your enemies instead of you know trying to get back at them and becoming a light to non-believers.

“I believe being a Project Inspired girl encompasses all of these different aspects,” Weider said.

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