(Photo: ABC video screengrab)
Former fashion model, Nicole Weider, was featured on ABC Nightline last night as she shared her testimony of how she left Hollywood for a new life as a devout Christian after realizing the modeling industry was not where she wanted to be.
Weider now considers the fashion industry "the devil's playground," mainly because she spent her time in it reveling at the most coveted in-crowd nightclubs and rubbing elbows with high-profile celebrities only to be told by her agent that she was not good enough to continue modeling.
"My agent said my hips were too wide, and she said just the way I was built, I could never do that, and I was really embarrassed, and I left that agency that day crying," Weider said on the ABC special.
The 5-foot-10 former model said she initially wanted to be a part of the fashion industry for the apparent glitz and glamour. However, that eventually changed when she had an epiphany while doing a Victoria's Secret commercial photo shoot.
"I just wanted to be famous because I thought that would make me happy," Weider said. "I thought that being successful, and in front of people, would make me happy."
The photographer at the shoot showed Weider images of Gisele Bundchen as he was retouching them to make her thighs appear thinner, which made her think about her position as a model in a superficial industry.
Weider admitted to The Christian Post that she dealt with anxiety attacks at one point, caused by her insecurities and even recounted a time when she was rejected during an audition.
"I went in for a leading cereal company's audition and before the girls could enter the room to read their lines, there was a scale they had to step on to make sure they weren't over their weight limit according to their height."
She continued, "When I stepped on, the woman took my paper and said 'thank you.' They sent me away for being two pounds over."
After constant criticism and facing depression because of it, Weider decided to leave the industry behind and put her Christian faith front and center instead. Now, she serves as a mentor who is committed to sharing a message of positive self-image and modesty while offering advice to teenage girls through her faith-based website, projectinspired.com on everything from clothes to relationships.
In addition, she hosts live video chats where she discusses topics of importance with her fans from a Biblical perspective and says her life is better now than it was before.
"I am more fulfilled now that I have God in my life, than I ever thought that I could be by measuring up to what my agents wanted me to do, or what the photographer thought I looked like," Weider said.