The Redeemed Girl blog aims to show women how we can glorify God in every aspect of our lives. This week’s guest contributor beautifully demonstrates a heart for Jesus and utilizes her story and love for fashion to lift high Jesus. I’m thrilled to welcome Lauren Sims to the RGM blog and I know you will be inspired by her story. –Marian
Real beauty. Let’s talk about it, let’s dive into it, let’s open up our hearts to what this really means and looks like in our everyday lives. But, before we go there, allow me to introduce myself.
My name is Lauren Sims, and I am a co-editor for LOLOMag.com – a fashion & lifestyle blog incorporating all things fashion, fitness, beauty, travel, and anything that inspires me! I was born and raised in Dallas, Texas and grew up in a wonderful Christian home. To this day, my parents are some of my biggest spiritual superheroes and I am daily challenged and encouraged by their faith in the Lord. I became a Christian when I was six years old. In my pink bedroom, on a teal green carpet, my parents taught me how to pray and ask Jesus into my heart. Since then, I have had the pleasure of walking with and being mentored by amazing Christian women who have poured into me and exemplified Jesus and true beauty in such authentic ways. I grew up in church, went to a private Christian school, and graduated from Baylor University (sic ‘em!) in 2012.
I majored in Apparel Merchandising at Baylor and minored in Business Administration. I interned for Pink Tartan in NYC (in their showroom) the summer before I graduated college and continued to fall in love with the fashion industry. While I loved my internship and the city, this is also where my eyes were first opened to how dark and stressful the fashion industry can be. While in New York, I struggled with restricting my food intake, and exercising an unhealthy amount to be a size zero (or smaller). I lost an extreme amount of weight that summer. The girls I worked with were all so skinny, only ate salads, and I felt the pressure to do the same. I had the opportunity to model for the market appointments in the showroom, and even though the sample sizes were swallowing me, I felt the need just to keep getting thinner.
Friends and family back home who were seeing pictures of me were telling me I didn’t look healthy. My boyfriend at the time (now husband) made comments about how small I was. My mom and sister came and visited me in NY and told me how concerned they were for me. I wouldn’t listen. I was unwilling to let go of what I thought made me “beautiful”, or what gave me significance. What made me stand out. I was living in absolute denial because I thought I had found what made me beautiful, and I wouldn’t let it go. I finished out my summer in NYC and came home, about 20 pounds less than what I am today.
I wish I could sit here today and tell you there was some “light bulb” moment for me where I found a quick fix to this problem and here’s the solution. But that’s just not the case. I’m back to a healthy weight and no longer struggle with restricting my calories or over-exercising. However, I still fight the pressure that I feel to be a size zero or go back to the weight I was that summer in NYC.
Girls, it is a daily battle.
I did go through a season of counseling and accountability, which was a tremendous help for me. But, there is no quick fix to this issue or this type of insecurity – especially for girls, and especially for girls in the fashion industry. It’s not about a quick fix or one-two-three solution. What it all comes down to is what I want talk with you about today: true beauty.
My struggle with insecurity and restricting food came from a lie that somehow found its way into my heart. The lie was that beauty was found in a number on a scale or what size jeans I was wearing. The lie was that number made me beautiful, made me significant, made me stand out from the crowd. So, in my head I thought, “maybe I am being unhealthy, maybe I am refusing to eat certain foods. But if that allows me to wear a size double zero and have people comment on my weight, it’s worth it”.
Here’s the truth ya’ll; we are beautiful. Not because of what clothes we are wearing or what size our jeans are, but because Christ looks at us and says we are enough. We are His, we are chosen, we are loved. No number on a scale or designer handbag that we carry or don’t carry is going to change that. He looks at us and not only says that we are enough, but that we are worth dying for. I’d choose to place my significance in that over a number on a scale any day. And at times, when I still struggle with body image or not loving the way I look, I have to remind myself of the truth that His banner over me is love.
To me, real beauty means fully understanding and living in the love of Christ. My favorite verse is Ephesians 3:17-19 which says “that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” When we fully grasp the love of Christ, we live in the truth that that love defines us and gives us life! Nothing more and nothing less.
So, where does LOLO Mag and blogging come into play? Before starting with LOLO Mag, I had the pleasure of working in the buying offices for Neiman Marcus Direct. I learned so much there, got great experience, and loved the people I worked with. However, I knew I wanted to do something different with fashion. I wanted to be more creative and to help other women learn to love fashion as well.
For the longest time, I struggled growing up in church and a Christian home but also having a love for fashion and clothes. I felt like this made me superficial or vain. While I do think those can be dangers in the fashion industry, I think fashion is a great way to help women feel great about themselves! Fashion is an awesome way to express your individuality and creativity, and to dress in a way that enhances the body type the Lord has given you.
LOLO Mag is definitely about trends and fashion and putting cute outfits together, but not for the purpose of finding beauty in clothes. I think it’s so important that we as women take care of our bodies and desire to look and feel our best! To me, it shows a sense of gratitude – that we are thankful for the bodies that the Lord has given us. We want to dress in a way that enhances and radiates the beauty we’ve been given!
So, let’s talk for a moment about fashion! I want to leave you with a few of my current favorite summer fashion finds. I currently love this nude lip color. First of all, it’s a lip treatment, so it moisturizes your lips and has SPF. It’s the perfect “nude” and looks so natural, yet it’s just the right amount of color! Also obsessed with this Madewell hat right now. I think it’s perfect for traveling or wearing to the pool, and it’s the perfect size! Another summer trend I’m loving is slide sandals. They are so “laid back chic” and great for the pool or a casual sundress!
Thanks for following along with me today as I got to share a bit of my story with you. I pray the Lord encourages your heart to find your beauty in Him and then let that beauty shine through looking and feeling your best in your everyday life!
Cover Photo by Ian Harber