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I was distracted by unrealistic expectations

Hey Jessie, tell us about your style: “My style is 98% comfort. I’m especially loving the ‘wear white trainers with absolutely anything’ trend at the moment! Yet, my favourite thing is dressing up for an occasion, or making something an occasion purely so that I can dress up…”

What are you passionate about?: “I’m fiercely passionate about girls and women realising that we’re more than just our image; what we look like. God is way too creative for that! We’re so much more than just pretty. We’re pretty kind, pretty funny, pretty ambitious, and all round pretty great. What we see and think when we look in the mirror is sometimes distorted by socially constructed ideas of beauty. It’s time we look at God and believe what he says and thinks about us. And in Ephesians 2:10 it says that we are his masterpiece and he created us anew to do the good things he planned for us long ago. This changes EVERYTHING.”

What worship song do you have on repeat?: “I’ve continued working throughout lockdown and the last few weeks have been pretty draining and exhausting. So I have Good Grace by Hillsong on repeat, particularly when it says: “don’t let your heart be troubled, hold your head up high, don’t fear no evil, fix your eyes on this one truth, God is madly in love with you”. As everything is stripped away, and stripped bare through lockdown, God’s love alone sustains us.”

We’d love to hear something transformational God has done in your life: “God has transformed the way I see myself. I used to question my beauty and whether I was enough. I used to plead ‘if only…. I looked like her, I had skinnier thighs, a flatter stomach, etc.’ Instead of appreciating how God made me, I wanted to be anyone but me. They say that a picture paints a thousand words but it doesn’t necessarily paint reality. I compared myself to photos that weren’t reality on social media. God spoke deeply to me through Ephesians 2:10 and I realised I was so distracted by unrealistic worldly expectations and social media perfection and that God had another way for me to live and another plan for my life. In a society that profits from our self-doubt, insecurity and anxiety, loving who we are is a truly rebellious act. God took my struggle and made it into a beautiful story full of hope for other girls; a story for the world to read in a book called ‘More Than Just Pretty’.”

More Than Just Pretty is published by SPCK Publishing and is available to buy here.