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Is Sexuality “Identity?” (My Article in the Washington Examiner)

Hey Friends! I want to share an article I wrote for the Washington Examiner about the identity crisis we are seeing in our youth. I hope you enjoy it and share it!

When identity is derived from insecurities about our bodies, it’s like looking in a funhouse mirror, hoping it will give us an accurate reflection of who we are.

I grew up in the modeling industry, in which perfection was the standard. As a professional model for 15 years represented by Ford Models, I appeared in Vogue, Cosmopolitan, and Teen and worked with designers such as Giorgio Armani.

While walking the runway, I descended into an eating disorder. At the root of my body dysmorphia was a stolen identity. The modeling business trains young women to fixate on people’s perceptions of us, our physical flaws, and media images to “tell us who we are.” I saw models suffer from anorexia, self-hatred, and depression over their bodies. I left modeling with a shattered self-esteem and returned to school to get a master’s in writing. Since then, I have written eight books on women’s self-esteem, body image, and identity that help young women find peace in their own skin.

So when a tidal wave of girls rejecting their bodies swept the nation, I paid close attention.

I am horrified by the claim that children are “born in the wrong body.” This outrageous statement denies children an essential key to a healthy body image. They are not flawed.

We would never tell a child with Down syndrome or cystic fibrosis they were born in the wrong body. We would never affirm an anorexic girl in her desire to be thinner. And we would hope that doctors, therapists, and teachers would never lie to children by telling them they can change their gender. And yet the “affirmation-only” model that too many of our healthcare and educational institutions are pushing does just that.

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WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING

At the age of 18, I was recovering from an eating disorder, cutting, and suicide when I read Jennifer Strickland’s book Girl Perfect and it changed my life. At the age of 33, as I travel the world reaching youth for the gospel, this is the only book I recommend to girls who are struggling. The Lord has truly anointed Jennifer’s words through her story, not only to address the struggles of today’s generation of girls, but also to walk them through the healing necessary for victory.

Christina Boudreau

Jennifer is a captivating speaker. She keeps the listener hanging in wonder of what’s coming next! Her presentation is not only absorbing, it reveals the truth of God’s power to heal a wounded spirit.

Barbara Brown

Barbara Brown, Former Stonecroft Ministries Regional Representative, San Diego, CA

“The ‘P’ word [perfection] may be the heaviest burden women bear. All the misguided things we do to attain it can keep us away from what we need most – the unconditional love of God the Father. The Girl Perfect Study Guide gives you a map to the wholeness you were created for.”

Nancy Ortberg

Nancy Ortberg, author and former teaching pastor at Willow Creek Community Church

“The Girl Perfect Study Guide shatters the lies girls and women believe and points to the ultimate truth, which really does set us free. I am confident that this study will help thousands discover a beauty, purpose, and worth that truly lasts. Thank you Jen for exposing the ‘perfect life’ and inviting girls to experience God’s ‘perfect love.'”

Allie Marie Smith

Allie Marie Smith, Founder of Wonderfully Made

One of the best testaments to what Jennifer is doing for the young girls and women of today is a comment from my eleven-year-old granddaughter: “Grammy, I want to read this book and hear her again. She’s good and I learned a lot.” This is exactly what I experienced from a grown-up perspective when I was introduced to Jennifer Strickland’s amazing story. Read it and see if you don’t get the real story from an icon model and a powerful speaker of truth.”

Thelma Wells

Thelma Wells, D.D. (Hon), President of Woman of God Ministries
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