Grammy-winning gospel singer Erica Campbell still vividly remembers one of the most shameful moments from her childhood.
“I was 16, and I was walking in the back of the church when I heard a lady say, ‘she’s probably having sex,’” she recalled in an interview with The Christian Post. “And I wasn’t. I was devastated. I wondered if it was what I had on; if it was the way I acted; if what I was wearing made me look like a nasty girl.’”
“I grew up in a church I loved and a Christian home that was fun. I didn’t want to disappoint,” she continued. “That incident set me on a path of second-guessing myself, always making sure I didn’t offend and making sure people were pleased and didn’t think badly of me. It was a constant battle to feel good enough.”
As she grew older and found success in the entertainment industry, Campbell realized that she wasn’t the only woman who struggled with feelings of insecurity, inadequacy, and worthlessness.
“Many different things happened in my life that caused me to realize the conversation wasn’t just my own,” she said. “Culture has mixed the message of the Gospel up. We live a fear-based Christianity. Our faith isn’t based on loving Jesus; it’s based on doing the right thing. But the message of the Gospel is that Jesus loves us exactly as we are.”
Today, the multi-platinum gospel singer and mother-of-three is on a mission to help women build confidence in and through the power of God. Her new book, More Than Pretty: Doing the Soul Work that Uncovers Your True Beauty, demonstrates that true beauty is found not in external appearance, but in celebrating the person God made you to be.
“This is countercultural. But I tell my daughters, ‘your pretty has to have purpose and power,’” Campbell stressed. “Pretty doesn’t make you more valuable or loving or fill you with joy. It won’t get you an education or give you power. Pretty walked me through a door, but pretty didn’t keep me there. I stayed there because of my talent and professionalism, and because I was called by God. Pretty is just one small part of who I am and who you are.”
Fueled by the rise of social media, many girls and women have a twisted view of themselves, resulting in a depression and anxiety “epidemic,” Campbell said.
“Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat — they’ve taken comparison and keeping up with the Joneses to a whole new level,” she contended. “It’s the perfect place to feed insecurity and low self-esteem. It’s comparison on steroids; it’s caused people to second guess their lives. There’s so much pressure to look perfect and be perfect, and it’s devastating our sense of self-worth.”
Additionally, the pressure to appear perfect can lead to eating disorders and forms of body dysmorphia. According to research, “media is a causal risk factor for the development of eating disorders” and has a strong influence on a person’s body dissatisfaction, eating patterns, and poor self-concept.”
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Leah MarieAnn Klett