I was a Teenage Fashion Model

Tonya's Comp Card from Ford Models

Me (Tonya) 1980 New York/Ford Models








What I have learned since I was a teenage fashion model…

“There are three billion women who don’t look like supermodels, and only eight who do.”
– The Body Shop Campaign

Physical beauty is subjective because the standard changes every century, decade, year, and season. The fashion industry is lying to us and setting a standard that we cannot meet. You don’t even want to get me started ranting about the computer generated photos of fashion models that the media is feeding us.

In real life, nobody looks like a magazine cover

Tonya on Carina Cover

Yet… many women compare themselves to the celebrities and fashion models that are on them. Next time you go shopping and you’re waiting in line at the check out counter — look around. Do any of the women there look like models? No.

Real Women are not on magazine covers,

Real Women are at Walmart.

Supermodel Cindy Crawford is quoted as saying,

that in real life, without make-up and lights,

…even I don’t look like Cindy Crawford.”

I also have to be reminded what True Beauty is on occasion…

When I turned 30, I dug through a box of my modeling pictures and came up with a picture of myself — in a swimsuit. The picture showed a thin, tanned and cellulite free 16-year-old. I showed the picture to my husband, Pastor Ron Ruiz.

“So?” He asked, as I held the picture in front of him.

“Look at this picture Ron, look how I looked. I don’t look like this anymore.”

Tonya Modeling in Paris

I expected some insightful advice from my pastor husband — my ever-wise counselor. I expected him to comfort me, to reaffirm my beauty, and acknowledge the fact that I looked that way only because I had given birth to his four precious children. Maybe a scripture?

Without pausing he asked, “What do you expect? You’re not sixteen anymore.”

He slept on the couch for a week.

Beauty is fleeting. Nobody can look sixteen forever.

Tonya Modeling

More Beauty Resources to Explore:

Beauty Quest, The Book
Tonya’s Testimony on the 700 Club
Today’s Christian Woman article
Beauty Tips-  Heavenly & Earthly