Sharing My Story – Beauty Quest, A Model’s Journey

TONYA @ 108 POUNDS - for blog

I will be speaking on Wednesday    3/19  12:00 PM -Free Lunch

I will be sharing — Beauty Quest:  A Model’s Journey from the Dark Side to Light

AT: Marcia Duncan’s Home  3621 Seabreeze Ln., Corona del Mar 92625


Our Christmas Letter for 2013

Karen Power - December 9, 2013 - 5:05 pm

Hi Tonya,

Love watching your family grow! Merry Christmas and many blessings to you all in 2014!


Theresa Frazier - December 9, 2013 - 7:20 pm

I absolutely love your newsletter and that it the happenings with all your kids! You are blessed beyond golden treasures.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and yours! Much love.

Ron Parizeau & Gang - December 10, 2013 - 12:56 am

Getting close to those ‘golden years’ but enjoying our fellowship throughout the years as more precious than gold. Love you guys and your beautiful family. I can’t wait to browse the Ruiz Christmas songs and thanks again for another great news-letter. May the Lord continue to bless and lead you as you follow in His Way.
Merry Christmas to the whole family,
Ron, Anne, Monique, Daniel, Robert, JJ, Steven, Raquel, Michael
Parizeau and Nicole, Jesse, Jessica, and David Oquist(now in TX).
Close to Art and his family.

mary Patton - December 10, 2013 - 4:38 am

Dear Pastor Ron and Tonya,
Praising God for the spiritual gold (His grace) He has imparted through you both to enrich and bless so many of us with His/your ministries of worship and teaching…and the gold vein that’s still producing nuggets to this day:)))
Thanking God for the precious gifts of your children who also have richly blessed us
in the worship ministry and children’s ministry and the Lord knows just how much more.
Grateful to God for the years of fellowship and His miraculous moving in our lives to
touch us through the saints like you when we need Jesus with skin on. Thank you Father! Thank you both!
May our Father continue to inspire you both in His service and use you all till we meet Him in glory where the streets are paved with gold…and we behold our Savior!
We are truly rich because we are hidden with Christ in God…now and forever.
Alan and Mary

Bob and Darlene Owens - December 10, 2013 - 11:27 am

So great to see your family and to see you both standing since your surgeries. Praying that you are still getting stronger each day and that your family stays close, as you are all a light to us who have read your Christmas letters each year. We miss you terribly. Bob and I are doing well, God takes care of everything. He is too good to us. God bless your 30th years together. Love you guys, Bob and Darlene

Carrie Karkut - December 10, 2013 - 3:44 pm

Love to the Ruiz family, I greatly enjoyed the clever verbiage and pictures!

Donna Wilson - December 10, 2013 - 4:23 pm

As always, your Christmas letters are so creatively written, and beautifully put together! Your family is such a blessing to us. Seeing the fruit of your faithful labor in your children’s lives, and now at work in their children, is absolutely wonderful and extremely encouraging! Praise be to God! For HE alone is worthy to be praised and lifted high! Keep on serving the One and Only Most High God!

“Happy Birthday JESUS!”

Love you,
The Wilson’s

Amy Ellsworth - December 10, 2013 - 6:25 pm

Great letter! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Lee Allton - December 11, 2013 - 12:25 am

Just lovely! I always look forward to your cards… love it! Merry Christmas to all of you, sure do miss you…. Praying for you always… Eric and Lee Allton

Andrea Lowe - December 11, 2013 - 1:13 am

I love, love, love your Christmas letter! :) I’m going to print it out and put it with our other letters. We so much love and appreciate you and your family!!!

Franklin E Hughes - December 11, 2013 - 4:38 pm

Thanks for sharing your family. Great photos. I am blessed with a fine christian family. Merry Christmas to everyone. Ron and you are remembered in my prayers. Frank

Roel and Evelyne Pantig - December 14, 2013 - 1:06 am

It’s always nice to hear update about your family. We miss you all so much and hoping to see all someday soon. My family is growing too. We’re expecting grandbaby #3 in March. They bring so much joy. Have a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Love from the PANTIG.

It Beginning To Sound A Lot Like Christmas

Ruiz Family Christmas Photo 1993      Listen To Ron’s Christmas Music

A Tribute To My Husband On Fathers’ Day By Tonya Ruiz 2013

Ronald, from the minute the first pregnancy test was positive – you embraced fatherhood wholeheartedly. After waiting 34 years to become a parent, you relished every second of the experience. You could change a diaper like a pro, extract man-sized burps from small infants, and sooth them to sleep with your lullabies. 

 As our little ones grew, you told them stories of your childhood, planted vegetable gardens together, and shared your love of fishing – while patiently untangling miles of line and retrieving countless snagged lures.

 You knew that your most important job was to train them in the ways of God. You taught them right from wrong and corrected them in love. I think spanking them was harder on you then the kids! Bedtime stories were from the Children’s Bible, and then you got down on your knees alongside them and taught them by example that prayer was talking to a Living God. You, also, taught them what it means to truly worship through music. (And they have followed in your footsteps!)

 As they grew, you had trouble letting go – driver’s licenses, dates, and college were milestones that tugged on your heartstrings. Later, you had a lump in your throat and tears in your eyes as you officiated at their wedding ceremonies.

Grandbabies were the icing on your Fatherhood Cake. You have delighted in each one. Jude was born to be your fishing buddy and Zara your princess to spoil. When Cruz was adopted, you bonded instantly because you finally had a grandchild with your “pikey” black hair. Little blond Ever became your Snow Gopher – a name she MIGHT allow until adolescence. Ruby entered the world and became your “Sunshine, my only sunshine,” and she would soon learn to sing the song along with you. One look at tiny Quin and you finally had your “Sha la la la la la la la la la la la la brown-eyed-girl.” Recently, to add to your overflowing cup, baby Dean was born and you were the first one to make him laugh. Seven little lives (so far) – the next generation.

During this recent difficult season of your life – while you have quietly endured pain and suffering, surgeries and medications, your children showed up to sit beside your hospital beds or next to the couch. They have shown their love and devotion in so many ways. The children that you shared stories with, kept warm, fed, loved, and sang to– have showed up to do the same for you. The grandchildren have constantly piled on top of the couch to keep you company. This wasn’t done out of obligation, but because of the love and the respect that they have for you.

 Our children and grandchildren are blessed to have a father and grandfather like you – a man of character and integrity. You are a rare treasure indeed. Happy Fathers’ Day!


Many times over the years, I have been around sick people. I owe them an apology – and unfortunately, many of them are not here to receive it. You’re probably wondering, “What could she have done now?” Well, let me tell you. When visiting at the hospital, their homes, or just running into them, I commented on their appearance; “Wow, you look great!” “I love your hair (a wig)!” or “I’m surprised to see you looking so good!” Everyone loves compliments, right?

I think back to three specific visits; a woman who had recently had part of her intestines removed, a friend who was dying from cancer, and a man who had suffered a stroke. They could and probably should have yelled at me; “I am suffering,” “I’m dying– who cares about my hair!” or “Are you blind, my left side is paralyzed and I may never walk again.” Yes, they did look good – but I wish instead of complimenting them, I should have touched their arms and said, “I’m so happy to see you and I’m so sorry you’re sick.”

I am amazed at the grace I was shown. Sick people seem to be given an extra measure of graciousness or perhaps it is the pain mediation.

My husband has been sick for a long time. He has had numerous surgeries. He is not well. BUT…HE LOOKS MARVELOUS! When we see anyone we know, they compliment him and tell him how healthy he looks. I want to carry x-rays in my purse that show the screws inserted in his spine that are causing him so much pain.I want to enlarge the picture the hand surgeon took of the tumor compressing the Median Nerve in his wrist. I want to read the long prescription list that I am in charge of dispensing.

I asked Ron, “Does it bother you that everyone compliments you?” “Why?” he asked. “Because,” I insisted, “it’s as if they are dismissing how sick you are.” He lovingly replied, “Honey, they were just being nice.” And they were.

I have learned a lesson. I now know the difference between sympathy and empathy. When I visited a sick person in the past, I had sympathy for them and was truly sorry they were sick. Now, I can empathize because I have seen sick close up and it’s not pretty. From observation, I can tell you that pain wears you out, taking medications is tedious, and being constantly ill is the pits.
Lord willing, when Ron gets well, we will have the privilege of going on hospital visits and I know just what I’m going to say.

Suzanne Herz - March 21, 2013 - 9:32 pm

Oh Tonya, I hear you. When my best friend, who was actually my sister, had terminal cancer at the age of 25, she too heard those very words. My sister and I where really close and she shared a lot if her feelings with me during those 5 years. The one that hurt the most for her was … You look good, …. You look great… You seem good, ect. After those visitors left she would share with me ” my disease is on the inside, not the outside! It did minute everything that she was going through on the inside. I seem her not only suffer from the disease but also from a lot of emotional disease as well. Sometimes it was easier for her to say no visitors and I gladly followed the patients order! No insensitive visitors or skeptics allowed! Her Dr. told her to watch a lot if comedy’s and laugh often and keep away from all negativity. We fell in love with Lucy and Carol Burnett and Tim Conway! Those are the best visitors. Oh and grand kids .

Kim - May 12, 2013 - 11:42 pm

Lots of prayer for you both. It can become very hard I. Both you and unjust pray for a peace for you both and a healing for Ron. My heart goes out to you both. Love you!

Grandma’s Kitchen (NOT)

When my newest grandson was born, I got to keep the two big sisters while their mommy was in the hospital. My husband, the usual cook in the family is sick, so I was in charge of dinner. Ruby said, “Grandma, I’m hungry.”

“Okay,” I replied, “Let’s go see what we can scrounge up.” As I took her little hand and walked to the kitchen, she asked, “Do you use recipes?” “No, but we can find something to eat,” I assured her. After a moment’s hesitation, her three-year-old hazel eyes got as big as saucers, she looked at me very seriously and said, “Maybe I better just put peanut butter on graham crackers.” Sadly, even a small child knows better than to trust me in the kitchen.

Lee - March 7, 2013 - 10:30 pm

hahahahhaha they are brilliant those little ones…. mine find “yuckies” in their Nana’s recipes….. hahahhaha

Why I Like Facebook

Why do I like Facebook?  I like it as a way to connect with old friends, keep current on what’s going on with my present friends, and I’ll admit— it is the ultimate way to snoop without peeping into others’ windows like Gladys Kravitz ( in case you’re under fifty, she was a fictional character on the television comedy Bewitched in the 60s.)

Recently, there have been many political debates, anti-gun-toting opinions, and posts stating that “I want to “de-friend” you if you don’t agree with me.” Isn’t this America– a.k.a. the melting-pot? Am I a right-winged conservative who wishes that Michele Bachmann was our president? Do I miss the Bush family living in the White House? YES! Am I a Bible-believing Christian who TRIES to live what I believe? YES! Do I think that every baby conceived has a right to be born? YES! Should I have the right to go buy a gun if I wanna? YES! Have I eaten at Chick-fil-a? YES! I’ve also been know to eat Ben & Jerry’s Chunky Monkey ice cream. Does everyone on my neighborhood block have the same views as me? NO! Does everyone on Facebook? NO! Are you still my neighbor, alumni, cousin and friend? I hope so – even though I trust, like, and enjoy Fox News.

I LOVE seeing the “new baby” pictures, reading funny post (Drink Coffee – Do Stupid Things Faster With More Energy), and spying on keeping up with my grown children (I read their adolescent diaries, too, but don’t tell). I got to watch Nancy’s kitchen get remodeled without going to her house, I live vicariously through others’ traveling adventures, and I was able to watch my friend, Robyn, (from Jr. High) post pictures of her daughter, Leah, as she was recently crowned Miss California. Where but on Facebook could I see all this???

Why do I like Facebook? To me it’s a link to an era when people had time to drink lemonade, talk, discuss, and debate. It’s about conversations and connections. It’s about posting status updates, asking for prayer, or sharing a funny story. It’s not a rocking chair and a game of checkers on the front porch at sunset – but then there aren’t any mosquitoes, either.

Sharon (Diane) Ramos - December 20, 2012 - 9:02 pm

Nicely said.

Diana Desatoff Walker - December 20, 2012 - 9:31 pm


I just wanted to say hello and let you know that I absolutely love your writing! I agree with your thoughts on Facebook and of course your views as a Christian. Although I moved away from Orange County and CCPC a little over 10 years ago, I still remember how moved I was by your testimony, all of the great skits that you and Nancy concocted and your husband and daughters beautiful singing! When my girls were young I was often asked if our girls were related. Our babies are all grown up now, where did the time go? I’ve followed the updates on Ron and his progress. He has been in my prayers and I will continue to pray for his speedy recovery. Because of FB, I know how your family is doing, about all of your adorable grand-babies and about Ron’s surgery. If Facebook didn’t exist, I probably wouldn’t know any of it or be able to pray for your family. I’m glad you don’t mind being creeped on, not that I am creepy (lol). I wish you and your family a wonderful and Merry Christmas.

In Christ,

Ruiz Family Christmas 2011

Franklin E Hughes - March 10, 2012 - 11:50 pm

I just watched Captians Courageous about a week ago, for maybe the 50th time. I’ve always been a Spencer Tracy fan. The first movie I ever attended as a little child was a Tracy film. Ron you are blessed with a wonderful family.

More Beautiful You by Jonny Diaz

Budd - December 21, 2011 - 3:29 pm

Kudos! What a neat way of thinking about it.

DIY Homeschooling: The Early Years

My daughter’s post about homeschooling:


Does Beauty Matter?

Interesting article on the beauty debate: Female Beauty Matters

Online Homeschool Community

If you’re homeschooling – you need to feel connected to other moms. You want the encouragement, advice, and the freedom to know that you don’t have to be a  ”bread-baking, chicken-hatching,  Birkenstock lunatic” to homeschool (Unless you want to – and then rock on!).  I did a little of everything and yes, I thought my denim jumper was cute.  Here’s a great online homeschool community you can check out:  Hip Homeschool Moms

Attention Homeschoolers

Interview About Modeling

I was interview on 4/5/2001 by Cheryl Brodersen on Today’s Faith about “The Ugly Business of Beautiful Women”

Barbie’s Boyfriend – Ken

“Ken Turns 50
Guess who’s about to get his AARP card in the mail! The perpetually smooth-chested, all-American boy wonder Ken (ne Ken Carson) hit the big 5-0 on March 11. But don’t expect to catch him on the golden oldies circuit just yet–he’s far too busy with his own Bachelor-esque reality TV show, Hulu’s Genuine Ken: The Search for the Great American Boyfriend, a Facebook page, and even a Twitter account. And he’s won Barbie back after a seven-year breakup. The couple officially reunited on Valentine’s Day with this message to the world: “We may be plastic, but our love is real.” Born in 1961 (two years after Barbie), the original Ken was a skinny teen in red swim trunks, sporting a crewcut and underdeveloped pecs and selling for $3.50. Since then, he’s had his share of fashion ups and downs. Among the least attractive models was the ’70s-era hippie-esque Now Look Ken, which had him rocking shoulder-length hair. We’re guessing the latest version will be a crowd-pleaser, though. Mattel has just introduced Sweet Talkin’ Ken, with a built-in microphone to record up to five seconds of, well, whatever you whisper in his ear. Who knows what the next 50 years will bring? –Nancy C. Bilyeau”
Parade magazine

His Channel – Tonya & Daughters’ Life Stories

His Channel: Faith Today Click Here To Watch

Barbie’s Getting Old

Love Your Body!

“I learned the truth at 17, that love was meant for beauty queens…” played from our car radio in 1975. As a scrawny 12-year-old, I believed that if I was beautiful, my life would be perfect. Fast forward four years – at 16, I was chosen from more than 200 girls to go to Paris and become a fashion model. My agent told me, “Your… Read More…Power To change

Barbie & Ken Together Again

First we heard that Barbie left Ken for an Australian Surfer named Blain – now the news is they’ve worked out their differences and are back together again. Go figure. New York Time’s Article: A Make-Over of a Romance

Meet Our Family!

New Site, New blog, and a New family photo, which we will cherish until May. Then it will become “out-of-date” because  Lindsay’s 2nd baby girl, Quin, will arrive and we will once again be lacking a family photo with everyone in it.

Back (Left to Right):  Katie (who belongs to Zachary), Jeremy (single & available), Lindsay holding her baby Ruby, Adam (who belongs to Lindsay), Joel (who belongs to Ashley), Ashley, holding their cutie, Cruz.

Front: Jude, Zachary, Ron holding Ever, Tonya holding Zara

Joel and Ashley are leading the rug-rat pack with four children.  Lindsay and Adam are trying to catch up with number two in May. Zachary and Katie were just married last year and adjusting to married life.  Jeremy is - have I mentioned? –  Single and available.

Living Dolls

Barbie is perfect. Who can compete with plastic? In 1959 Mattel introduced their version of Barbie—the fashion model—and she ended up in almost every home in America. Her anatomically impossible figure of: 36-18-33 measurements, long smooth legs, large pert breasts, cub-scout-sized-hips and minuscule feet have set an unattainable standard for generations of girls.

Well—over in England, Cindy Jackson has had over $100,000 worth of surgery to make herself into a living Barbie.
CBN news article on Cindy Jackson.

Barbie’s Head Is Empty

So many times, I’m driven by how I feel and not what I think.
God wants us to be smart. He wants us to use our brains and “Consider” what we do. To make good decisions using logic – not our emotions.

Do you ever felt like you’re not smart?
The Scarecrow from The Wizard of Oz said “If I only had a brain.”
I’m here to tell you that you have a great brain.
God formed you in your mother’s womb.
In Psalm 139:14 He says that you are fearfully and wonderfully made

You have a great brain. It weights approximately 3 pounds
Scientist report that it feels like butter. It has no pain receptors. Doctors can operate on the brain while the patient is awake. Yikes!
It’s your most amazing organ! It’s irreplaceable.
With it you learn and reason. It control’s all the functions of your body
It’s better than any computer ever built.
Scientist are trying to discover the mysteries of the brain

We are born with approximately 100 billion brain cells – more or less.
Remember in school some kids are labeled “the brains?”
Some people do actually have bigger brains, but that doesn’t mean they have a higher IQ and there are many people with high IQs who never do much in life. Some people with average IQs are smart and become quiet successful. It’s not the size of your brain that counts or your IQ, what matters is if you use it. We use a very small fraction of our brain’s potential.

There are many smart people that are not wise-
Wisdom is brain knowledge – guided by understanding.

Proverbs 2:6 For the Lord gives wisdom;
From His mouth come knowledge and understanding

Barbie’s head is empty – Yours is not!
Pray and Ask God for knowledge, wisdom and understanding.
That would be a very smart thing to do!

Anonymous - May 12, 2012 - 8:14 am

We also battle this monster in our brains and I admire you so very much for speaking out and doing it with humor.

Good Fortune

I love Chinese food, I even like opening the fortune cookies and laughing at the predictions. Once I opened a cookie that said, “You’ll be receiving a gift.” That day, someone gave me a car. God generally speaks to me through the scriptures. Did He use a fortune cookie to speak to me? Yes. He can do what ever he wants – He’s God.

It’s funny that Fortune cookies are more American than Chinese. Most of them are manufactured in Queens, New York. People are paid to write the fortunes, which are always positive and encouraging. They aren’t prophets, just people who get paid to write little sayings like, Something Wonderful Is About To Happen To You!

Jeremiah was a prophet. In the book of Jeremiah (29:11) it says For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.

I didn’t find that in a cookie, but in the Word of God!


My teenage son, Jeremy, took a CSI (Crime Scene Investigation) class. So we took a tour of the crime lab. We were shown the various ways that criminals are identified. The most common – they leave their fingerprints behind. The forensics’ people can dust door knobs, duct tape and even gloves. That’s right. The oh-so-dumb criminals use gloves and then leave them at the crime scene. At the lab, the scientist turns the gloves inside out and retrieves the fingerprints from the inside of the gloves. The information is fed into the computer system and eventually the criminal is busted. This all got me thinking about fingerprints. I’m the only person in the world with my fingerprint. I am unique. God formed me that way. I didn’t always want to be unique. For many years there was always someone else I would rather look like, be like. I’m finally happy to be me. Most days.

Too Much STUFF!

Barbie’s got the goods. (Houses, and jet skies and cars oh, my!) You want it? She’s got it! Hey, Barbie, I would look more attractive too, if I was spinning around town in a $100,000 pink convertible. This thought occurred to me recently as I was driving to my high school reunion in my—look at me, I’m somebody’s mom—mini-van with the squeaky brakes and missing hubcap.

Recently, I found annoying evidence of termites eating away at my house. (Lions and tigers and termites, oh my!) Only twenty-eight years left on the mortgage and those little guys were busy munching away. I was very unhappy. How dare they eat my house!

I thought back to when we first moved into our termite den. I was like the cartoon mermaid who sang about having gadgets and gizmos aplenty and whozits and whatsits galore. I never realized exactly how much “stuff” I had. My family of six had accumulated mounds of stuff, boxes of stuff, and truckloads of stuff. (Boxes and truckloads and mounds! Oh my!) I moved my gadgets, gizmos and thingamabobs from the old house directly into the new one and filled every cabinet, drawer, closet, nook and cranny. (What is a cranny? It’s not in my dictionary but whatever it is, I put stuff in it.) I squeezed all the leftover doodads into the attic and garage.
Then a light bulb came on. I just knew this wasn’t what the Bible meant about leading an abundant and overflowing life. I longed for the simplicity of “Little House on the Prairie.” Non-essential possessions were cluttering my house and filling my life.

I read the world’s philosophy reduced to a T-shirt, “He who dies with the most toys, wins.” The reality is that I’ll leave it all behind when I die – everything from my toothbrush to my wedding ring. The Egyptians had make-up, riches, food, and even servants buried with them in hopes of using them in the afterlife. People have even been buried in their cars! (Note to my husband: Please DO NOT bury me in my mini-van. I hate that thing!)

Jesus taught, Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. This world is not our eternal home. We have termite-proof mansions waiting for us in heaven. Sometimes we forget that this life is temporary and we start living like permanent residents. It all stays here when we die. In the meantime, do you know a good exterminator?

Can You Be Too Thin?

King Edward the 8th abdicated his throne to marry the woman he loved—the twice divorced pencil-thin Wallace Simpson. She is long remembered for her view on the impossibility of being too rich or too thin.

Can you be too skinny?

Twenty years ago it was headline news when Karen Carpenter died. She was a famous singer of the 1970s who had toured the world, been on TV shows, and on the cover of many magazines. Her story was news again when it was discovered why she died—from anorexia-related heart failure. Anorexia (an obsessive fear of being fat) was common, but rarely talked about. After Karen’s death—eating disorders became the hot new topic. Since then, other celebrities owned up to their eating disorders including actresses Jane Fonda and Tracy Gold, and former gymnasts Cathy Rigby and Nadia Comenici. In a 1995 television interview the elegant, glamorous Lady Diana—the most photographed woman in the world—shared about her struggle with bulimia nervosa (an obsession with bingeing, purging, and dieting).

On October 30, 2000 the cover of People magazine read “Special Report—Dying To Be Thin—Desperate for a better body, more and more Americans are taking bigger risks—and paying with their lives.”

The worlds of fashion models, beauty pageant contestants, gymnastics, ballet dancers, and figure skaters are full of tales about young girls risking their health and their lives to fit into a preset standard of perfection.
Young girls, in their desire to emulate their role models—start to lose weight—by exercising excessively, restricting calories, making themselves vomit, taking appetite-control or weight-loss pills and laxatives.

In May of 2000 Ladies’ Home Journal printed the results of a poll. It said 60% of high-school girls are trying to lose weight.

TEENAGE GIRLS ARE LITERALLY DYING to meet the standards that they see on television and in the movies and magazines. Advertisers pay millions to reach their prime audience—those between 12 and 34 years old. They are targeting our teenagers. Our daughters watch beautiful women, with surgically modified bodies, carefully styled hair, and custom tailored clothing. How sad that many of our young girls are imitating women that are not real. Many models and actresses live in worlds of promiscuity, drug use, eating disorders, and depression. They are NOT good role models for our children.

The news program 48 Hours had a show titled, The Price of Perfection. It showed a teenage girl who had been struggling with anorexia and bulimia for years. When she was 13 years old, she weighed 28 pounds! She actually went blind in one eye from the stress that constant vomiting put on her body.

The closer I get to thin, thin, thin, the closer I get to perfect.”
—Teenage anorexic, 48 Hours

During their first commercial break of the news program, after showing this “prison camp” thin child, was an ad for Victoria’s Secret. A beautiful model, with a flawless, very thin, body was dressed only in a bra, underwear, and angel’s wings.

Where did that little girl get the idea that thin is beautiful? Is TV to blame?

I read a Harvard study regarding eating disorders in girls from Fiji. It said that symptoms of eating disorders have increased fivefold among teenage girls on Fiji since television came to the Pacific Island nation. TV was widely introduced in 1995, and since then, the percentage of girls that vomit to control their weight has greatly increased.

The study went on to say that the teenage girls look to television characters as role models. The increase in eating disorders was dramatic because Fiji was traditionally a culture that had focused on the importance of eating well and looking robust.
One news show said that eating disorders might be genetic. I think they can be passed on in a family—through example and criticism, not genetics. Our behavior—good or bad—affects how our children see themselves and others.

We need to educate ourselves about the seriousness of eating disorders and realize they can have long term consequences on our bodies—and are sometimes fatal.

If you or someone you know has an eating disorder – check out Remuda Ranch

Fashioned By God

Famous fashion designers, like Liz Claiborne and Donna Karan, label all their creations and Barbie has ‘Mattel’ stamped on her back. The Master Designer created us and His label is imprinted on our souls – ‘Fashioned by God, Designer Originals.’
Fashioned By God, a Designer Original
100% Human
Hand Wash Warm
Do Not Bleach
Use Towel to Dry
Do Not Iron
May shrink with age

Elisabeth Elliot on Beauty

physical beauty vs. spiritual beauty…

“People’s standards, of course, differ. Usually, in things that do not matter, we set them impossibly high and thus guarantee for ourselves a life of discontent. In things that matter we set them too low and are easily pleased with ourselves.” —Elisabeth Elliot

The Snare of Beauty by Albert Mohler
The Snare of Beauty on

Newsweek – The Beauty Advantage Sperm Bank
“The other news report is even more troubling. CBS News reports that “an online dating service for good-looking people” has launched a sperm bank intended to produce beautiful babies. As the report states, “The‘fertility introduction service’ aims to link wanna-be parents -handsome or homely – with good-looking sperm and egg donors who haveregistered with the site. The goal? Create a kid whose good looks stop traffic.”

Letter from Whitney, 17-years-old

This letter is shared with Whitney’s permission:

Hello Tonya,
My name is Whitney and I am 17 years old. I was watching tv today, and for probably only the second or third time in my life, I let the TV stay on CBN; I am not usually a fan of the 700 Club, but I left it there because something caught my
attention. I heard the words ‘defintion of beauty’. So I started
watching. I listened to your story, and I felt the need to e-mail you
and tell you a little bit of mine.
I have spent the majority of my teen years struggling in the fight
for a healthy image of myself and fighting against the definition that
our culture has placed on beauty. So this past year, my senior year in
high school, we were given the opportunity to write a definition paper.
We were allowed to pick an object or concept and define it in an
original way. Seeing my opportunity to take another step in fighting
the battle, I defined beauty. So, when I heard you say something about
our culture’s distorted definition of beauty, I felt the need to e-mail
my paper to you. So, here it is…


“A Skinny Definition”

beauty [byoo-tee] n: the quality of a person (particularly a woman)
having absolutely no physical imperfections, skin blemishes, or
visible fat on a single part of her body.

Our culture defines beauty as perfection. We see this
definition in all kinds of media: television, movies, commercials,
billboards, and magazines. Say ‘beautiful’ and super-models and movie
stars fight to be named number one. The media sends out this distorted
version of ‘beauty’ (scantily clad, digitally altered women wearing too
much make-up and air-brushed tans) in magazines, advertisements, and TV
shows. It offers these women as role models for young girls, presenting
their beauty as some kind of goal, or a promise of what they too can
look like if they just buy whatever product it’s selling. Meanwhile, in
its efforts to make more money or get higher ratings, it leaves nothing
but destroyed girls behind. Through the presentation of the models’
beauty as attainable, the media leaves girls who don’t resemble them
wondering why they don’t, and desperately trying to change.
It’s no wonder our hospitals are filled with anorexic and
bulimic young girls. Studies show that one or two of every 100 students
(ages 12-25) struggle with either Anorexia or Bulimia at some point in
their lives (KidsHealth), and maybe it’s because they strive too much
to look like the women on TV and in magazines. The main problem with
celebrities is they really aren’t as ‘beautiful’ as the pictures lead
people to believe. Between make-up, hair-color, spray-tans, tummy-
tucks, and digital-alterations, their appearances are completely
changed. The final product that reaches the public may not look
anything like the original person. Magazine editors even air-brush
excess fat out of pictures. Because our culture has placed such a
skinny definition on the word ‘beauty’, very few women fit into it
without being unhealthy.
In a country where obesity is the most rapidly growing disease,
people are now focusing more on dieting and exercising, and rightly so.
A national study indicates that the percentage of overweight children
and adolescents has more than doubled since the early 1970s (Overweight
Teen). But there comes a point where the focus gets out of control, and
we reached that point several years ago. The goal of dieting and
exercising has become more directed towards looking good, instead of
being healthy. When we turn on the television or look through a
magazine, we encounter multiple health-related ads. One ad may be
saying ‘Lose 10 pounds in 10 days!” and another promises ‘get back into
your skinny jeans in just 2 weeks!” And all these ads use the same
guaranteed method of deception. Pictures. Pictures of ‘beautiful’
women. They’re the same kind of women that are paraded in front of the
adolescent girls, promising happiness and joy if they buy a certain
product, or shop in a specific store.
And it’s nothing but a lie.
And I am no stranger to it. I once bought into this lie. I’ve
never been the model-sized girl. When my friends or my parents asked if
I wanted to ‘get into shape,’ I laughed and replied, “Round is a
shape!” But all my laughing and joking covered up the fact that I, a
girl who succeeded in almost everything, always failed at one thing:
losing weight. Even now, thinking back through the years, I can’t count
the number of ‘diets’ I tried. I remember one time, one or two failed
diets into my short life, my mom promised to give me Pocahontas II if I
lost some weight. With nothing but good intentions, she tried to help
me slim down, more for the sake of my health than anything. For some
extra motivation, she even bought it for me (it was brand new in
stores) and set it in the kitchen. Sometimes I stood staring at it,
propped up on the counter, for ten or fifteen minutes straight. It
begged to be opened.
When that movie was released, I was only seven years old.
The years went by and the bribes became new clothes instead of
movies. Then I started playing high school sports. While my mom still
only wanted me to lose weight for my health, I started obsessing over
my look, my ‘beauty’. The summer before my sophomore year, I lost
nearly 25 pounds in three weeks. My days started at 5:30 am, before the
sun rose, and cycled through volleyball, band, more volleyball, and
finally softball until 10:00 pm when I collapsed into bed. I didn’t eat
much that summer; I didn’t have an eating disorder, I just didn’t have
time to eat. But because I had bought into the lie, I finally started
to feel good about myself and to fit into cute clothes. Then all too
soon, October came, softball and volleyball ended, and the pounds came
After that season, when our slave-driver volleyball coach left,
I knew I didn’t have a chance at losing all that weight again. So I
gave up. Sure, between then and now I’ve tried some fad diets; one in
particular stands out as the reason that to this day the smell of
grapefruit turns my stomach. But even when the crazy diets worked, I
wasn’t losing weight in a healthy way, and I wasn’t doing it for the
right reasons.
My motives were all wrong. Instead of dieting for my health,
and for my future, I did it to look like the girls in the prom dress
magazines that my friends and I never went anywhere without. I wanted
so badly to look like them; I wanted to feel like Cinderella on my way
to my ball. But at sleepovers, when excited chatter about prom dresses
filled the room, I feigned sleep, not wanting to falsely participate in
a conversation that I felt didn’t apply to me. It killed me to watch my
friends go out and buy whatever dresses they wanted, while I was forced
to settle for a dress that simply fit.
But no matter how much effort I put into trying to look like
the girls in the magazines, I didn’t, I don’t, and I never will. It’s
not the way I was made. And besides, being skinny doesn’t translate
into being beautiful, and being chunky isn’t synonymous for being ugly.
Dove recently launched their ‘Campaign for Real Beauty’ and in their
mission statement they say, “For too long, beauty has been defined by
narrow, stifling stereotypes. Women have told us it’s time to change
all that. Dove agrees. We believe real beauty comes in many shapes,
sizes, and ages” (Dove).
It’s time we get away from this skinny definition of beauty and
re-define it.

beauty [byoo-tee] n: the quality of a person (particularly a woman)
loving who they are, being thankful for their unique shape, and not
caring about what other people think of their bodies.

Do You Want A Tan?

I’ve suffered from paleness all my life. When I was young, my Aunt Judy told me “brown fat is prettier than white fat,” as we slathered ourselves with tropical oil and sunbathed down by the creek. A few decades later, I know that cooking in the sun damages my cells and increases my risks for skin cancers so I now avoid sunbathing.

According to
“Skin cancer is the most common form of human cancer. It is estimated that over 1 million new cases occur annually. The annual rates of all forms of skin cancer are increasing each year, representing a growing public concern. It has also been estimated that nearly half of all Americans who live to age 65 will develop skin cancer at least once.”

In Search Of The Perfect Fake Tan
I wore shorts once this summer. My family called me “mayonnaise legs” and put their sunglasses on to shield themselves from the glare. My red-skinned Indian husband called me “pale-face.”

So I began a quest in search of the perfect fake-tanner.

“Are you okay?” Nancy asked while we were out to dinner.
“Yes, why do you keep staring at me?”
“Because you were pale during hors de’oeuvres, coral during dinner, and orange by dessert.”
“Oh, it must be my new tanner.”
“What’s it called? Shades de’ Orange?”

The product’s ad promised that I’d get gradually darker; it didn’t explain that at midnight I’d turn into a pumpkin.

It hasn’t always been fashionable to be tanned. Back a few centuries, white was in. Women applied mercury and lead to their skin and even sipped arsenic to attain a lily-white complexion. Some even applied leeches to drain away the color. A tan was a sign that you were lower class and had to spend time outside working in the fields. It wasn’t until the twentieth century, when celebrities and millionaires began flocking to the Riviera for vacations and their brown hides were photographed that it became fashionable to be tanned.

If you still crave that tanned look, without the skin cancer, there are dozens of over-the-counter products. Obviously, I’ve tried a few. My most recent experiment – Jergens natural glow.

Barbie Article

NEW Pepperdine University article about Barbie: Click Here

Anna Nicole Smith’s Fatal Beauty

Thou who hast the fatal gift of beauty. – Lord Byron

The news shows are full of reports on Anna Nicole Smith. Because of her beauty she poised for cameras, married a billionaire octogerian, and became a celebrity. Her beauty was fatal.

Her pretty face opened the doors to modeling, money, and more. She became a commodity to her agents, arm candy for men, and was included on exclusive guest list because of her good looks.

Sure there are beautiful women who have thrived in celebrityhood, but for every Cindy Crawford and Elizabeth Hurley, there are thousands whose beauty has caused catastrophes. Some get sick from drugs, many are waylaid by eating disorders, and others can’t handle the stress from their constant pursuit of perfection and end their lives.

In the celebrity business, women have a sell-by-date, because it’s only a matter of time till their beauty fades, they gain a few pounds, or the next new star comes along and they’re pushed out of the way. Then what? A reality TV show? A drug overdose?

Psalm 49:14 …and their beauty shall be consumed in the grave…

And You Call This Fat

Link to article in People Magazine

Thankful To Be Alive

I read in the paper about a man from Australia that was born without arms and legs. The photo accompanying it shows this handsome young man, Nick Vujicic, giving an inspiration message in front of a church group.

In telling his story, the article said “He can walk/hop almost anywhere (including up steps), using his only foot. And he can type with his only two toes (43 words a minute, thank you very much)…And he writes, gets dressed and opens doors with his mouth.”

Talk about someone “doing the best you can with what you’ve got.” It made me realize what a baby I am. His story makes my getting upset over a bad hair day or pimple look very vain and shallow indeed. Nick is thankful to God that he is alive. I think we could all learn a lesson from Nick.

Barbie is Perfect!

“She can never bloat. She has no children to betray her. Nor can she rot, wrinkle, overdose, or go out of style.”
Written by M.G. Lord, Forever Barbie: The Unauthorized Biography of a Real Doll.

Barbie is perfect. Who can compete with plastic? In 1959 Mattel introduced their version of Barbie—the fashion model—and she ended up in almost every home in America. Her anatomically impossible figure of: 36-18-33 measurements, long smooth legs, large pert breasts, cub-scout-sized-hips and minuscule feet have set an unattainable standard for generations of girls.

Finding Balance

Finding Balance -
The first national organization dedicated to helping those with EDNOS

Do concerns about food, weight and exercise take a lot of your time and energy? If so, you’ve come to the right place. Welcome to We are a faith based health and wellness organization with an emphasis on eating and body image issues. We are also the first national organization dedicated to providing information and resources to those struggling with EDNOS and non-extreme disordered eating. Whether you’re overweight, underweight, or somewhere in between, if you’re constantly thinking about food, dieting, exercise, and weight, we’re here to help. There’s a better way to live. It’s all about finding balance.

Barbie never ages. She doesn’t have birthdays–only Anniversaries. Same with Cher.

The desire to look youthful is not a new obsession. Almost 400 years ago, Hungarian Countess Elizabeth Bathory slaughtered virgins and bathed in their blood in a futile attempt to renew her youth. Although self-worship is not new, it seems to be taking over our entire society. We are OBSESSED with youth and beauty. We spend a fortune trying to look good.
The advertisements boast that we can look younger, restore our natural beauty, and have inner Beauty—all with cosmetic surgery. We are deluged with advertisers promising to make us—younger, gorgeous, fabulous, luscious, flawless, sensual, and kissable. We are constantly fed images of what we should look like. How many of us would spend $30.00 on a jar of cream if it really did make cellulite or crow’s feet go away? I KNOW I WOULD. The store aisles are full of products promising to restore that youthful glow.
In Isaiah 28:1 the Bible compares beauty to a fading flower. As we get more mature, this verse comes alive to us—so to speak. Youthful splendor eventually turns into a withering blossom—accept it. Get over yourself and get on with the rest of the years the Lord has blessed you with.
Let us wear our crows-feet, furrows and stretch marks as well earned medals of honor.

Anita Renfroe’s Comfort Loving Barbie

Tonya & Anita Renfroe

I’d like to see a “Comfort Loving Barbie.” They could accessorize her with sensible shoes, white cotton granny panties, elastic waist jeans and a flannel covered hot water bottle.  —Anita Renfroe, Comedian

What Rhonda Rhea Thinks About Barbie’s Figure

Barbie boasts a figure that would only be feasible if she totally rearranged several of her internal organs.
—Rhonda Rhea, Humor Writer

What Mary Pierce Thinks About Barbie Doll

Barbie had the hair, the legs—and let’s be honest, the breasts—of our dreams. She had the clothes, the house, and the cars of our fantasies.
Hers was the life we wanted. She even had our dream man.

—Mary Pierce, Author
When Did I Stop Being Barbie & Become Mrs. Potato Head?

Does God Care?

I was reading in the newspaper about a popular religion of film stars. Their “god” is distant and impersonal.

Matthew 10:30 tells us that our God knows the number of hairs on our heads.

It is amazing to know that there is a God in heaven who cares about me at all – and yet, he even numbers the hairs on my head (which are in disarray this morning).

He knows each tear I cry. He knows me – and he still loves me. We have a God that cares!

Swimsuit Season

Hit your panic buttons, ladies, because swimsuit season is just around the corner. An article in Ladies Home Journal was titled, “How to Buy a Bathing Suit, Without Crying.” A study said that 52% of women find cleaning the cat’s litter box more enjoyable than shopping for a swimsuit. The idea of entering a store’s dressing room to squeeze their bodies into two dozen different floral printed spandex suits and view them from various angles under the unflattering glare of florescent lights is more torture and humiliation than most women can bear.

I had avoided buying a new swimsuit for years, so I decided to “take the bull by the horns” (so to speak). I marched into the nearest department store and purchased a skirted swimsuit (the kind senior citizens wear on cruise ships). The tag promised that my thighs would look thinner. My children were provoked to laughter because it seemed to remind them of the similarly clad dancing hippopotami on Disney’s “Fantasia.” Maybe it would have looked better without the accompanying daisy-topped flip-flop sandals. To add insult to injury, when I went swimming, the skirt floated up and looked like a lily pad.

I spent years modeling in an industry with beauty standards few could attain and even fewer could keep. During that time I weighed myself daily and agonized over every (real and imagined) blemish. Who wants to live like that? Certainly, I don’t. In the real world, eating “Häagen-Dazs” is not a crime.

So what if we’re not seven feet tall and seventy pounds like the girls in the fashion magazines. The average fashion model is a size four. The average REAL woman is a size 14 with curvy hips, a rounded stomach and an ample bosom. Real women are not on magazine covers. Real Women are at Wal-Mart.

Psalm 139:14 – “I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well.”

Heaven’s Scent

Adventisers want us to believe that a fragrance alone can change our lives by selling us the illusion of youth, glamour, excitement, romance and luxury, all from a few ounces of aromatic oils mixed with ethyl alcohol. Perfumes have alluring names like Tabu, Obsession, Escape, Passion, Poison (some are more inviting than others), Eternity, Safari, Beautiful, Happy, White Satin, Joy, Youth Dew, and don’d forget, we can be like Elizabeth Taylor wearing White Diamonds. There is no market for perfumes named High School Wallflower, Exhausted Housewife, or PMS Blues.

Don’t we all hope that by spritzing here and dabbing there, our beloved will be attracted to us like ants to a picnic? Studies show that most men prefer the smell of pumpkin pie to perfume. If they put this reasearch into a product, soon we’ll all be wearing Fragrance d’Thanksgiving and eau d’Barbecue Chicken. (My mama always said that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.)

Spiritually, the ingredients for our “signature” scent include love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Then these are mixed together and worn with consistency, they will produce a sweet and pleasing aroma to everyone around us, and more importantly, to the Lord.

2 Corinthians 2:15 For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing.

Mistaken Identity

I went to a training seminar for professional speakers. As part of the program, they gave us a written “Personality Test.” I think I failed mine. Instead of coming out as one personality type or even a mix of two, I matched every type equally. I thought back to the movie Sybil, where Sally Field portrayed a woman with 16 different personalities.

The woman sitting next to me leaned over and whispered, “So how did you score on your personality test?”

“I’m Sybil.” I replied softly.

“Really,” she said loudly, “You’re Cybil Shepherd!”

Not long after that, I was grocery shopping at Costco. An older woman kept staring at me. Finally, she walked over and as she got closer, she exclaimed, “Oh, you’re not you.”

I pretty sure I know who I am—if I get confused, I can look at my driver’s license. God knows who I am because he made me. My true identity is safe.

Get Real!

A few years ago, my son, Zachary, accompanied me when I spoke at a large church and he worked at my book table. He had never been to one of my speaking events and was amazed that so many women sat and listened to me for 45 minutes. (I can barely get his attention for two minutes at home.) Afterward, many ladies came over to talk with me and have me sign their books.

One the way driving home, Zachary, shared his deep insight.
“You know what I think, Mom? Those ladies really liked you. If you had been really skinny, and really pretty, and really young, I don’t think they would have liked you as well. I think they liked you because you’re real.”

At the stoplight, I turned and looked at his sincere face and said, “Zachary, if that was a compliment, thank you.”

Since then, I’ve though about it and decided it was indeed a compliment. I am real and there is nothing wrong with that. Let’s embrace our realness!

Anonymous - January 22, 2012 - 6:49 pm

Hello! Just want to say thank you for this interesting article! =) Peace, Joy.