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Catch Nicole in Catching Faith 2 now on DVD and streaming, buy your copy now!

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    How I Felt Ugly in My Teens- With Embarrassing Pictures!

    I definitely considered myself “ugly” and geeky when I was 12-15. I had braces, my hair was cut short (I did a hair show for Paul Mitchell and they lied to me and cut my hair shorter than they said!) and I had acne. I felt so insecure, and I was super skinny and boys would call me “bean pole.” I still vividly remember this time, and I wish now if I only knew that God thought I was beautiful and perfect just the way I was, that would have helped me.

    God doesn’t see what other people see! You are so beautiful and perfect to Him, don’t let others’ comments affect you. (I know it sounds easier said than done!) I got an email yesterday from a girl named Kayla, and she shared a story with me on how she felt ugly when she was younger. She said:

    “This is a little bit of a long story, but it’s good, and I would love if you shared it! I am fairly competitive, and will take on any safe bet. When I was about 7, I was at my grandparent’s, and while I was swimming in their pool, my uncle “dared” me to swim at the bottom of the pool. I was not about to let him win, so of course I took the challenge. I went to the bottom and scraped my chin. This bummed me out because not only did it hurt (a lot), my mom, grandma and I had a movie and lunch date in about an hour. My dad took me into the bathroom and was cleaning the cut up, and the whole time I cried about how I was now “ugly”. My dad told me I was not ugly, but actually much cooler than the average person because I could swim at the bottom of the pool.

    I remembered this story last night at swim practice while we were doing underwater sets and I hit my nose and chin and scraped them up. My reaction to the memory was “why did any 7 year old believe she was ugly for a tiny scrape?” Even at a young age, girls are taught what “beautiful” is, and it’s wrong. We need to stop this media atrocity that is telling girls that you need to be perfect looking in order to be beautiful. God made each and everyone of us perfect, and everything He makes is beautiful!

    Thank you for taking the time to read this, and I would love to hear back from you!

    Sincerely, Kayla

    Another girl also shared this video with me on Project Inspired Facebook, and it brought tears to my eyes. It’s a bit long, but watch it and it will touch your heart too. It shows a lot of girls sharing what they’re insecure about and how they don’t feel beautiful.

    Here are some pictures of me when I felt I was “ugly” so you girls can see! I promise you however you may feel right now, when you accept yourself and realize you are more than your appearance, you will start to love yourself fully. And plus, when you’re a bit older, you’ll grow into your face more!

    In this picture I was in 8th grade and playing volleyball. No boys liked me.


    Here is me and my friend Tory swimming at a lake in Oregon. She covered up her stomach with hearts because she felt “fat.”


    One of my early modeling photos for Candies, I was so shocked when I booked this job because I had braces!

    Here is a billboard for a radio station in Portland, Oregon. I finally got my braces off and I felt a little better about my appearance:


    Focus on your sparkling personality instead of your appearance. In the long run, people remember the ones that were kind and amazing, and not necessarily the “pretty girls” in school! You are amazing just the way you are.

    Do you feel insecure about your appearance?

    [Images Courtesy of Nicole Weider]

    Nicole
    Nicole
    Nicole Weider is a Salem, Oregon native who moved to Los Angeles and quickly found success as a fashion model at the age of 17. Today, Nicole is an active wife, mom, producer, actress and author and has made it her mission to share her personal story, the bright moments and the challenges, with young women around the world.

    115 COMMENTS

    1. I’m so glad you’ve made this website. I’m wanting to be a singer when I grow up and it’s nice to know I can do it and remain a Christian because I will NOT sacrifice my faith under any circumstances. And by the way, I thought your volleyball picture was great. I play volleyball too! 🙂

    2. This is like a gift from God to me, and to so many other girls. I feel ugly all the time with my glasses and curly/frizzy red hair and acne. I’ve heard that I’m beautiful all the time. But something stuck out here that made me remember that I am beautiful and that I shouldn’t compare myself to other people. There are so many girls in my school that are so beautiful with their model looks and pretty clothes. But I am very beautiful in my own way. And so is everyone else here. Thanks, Nicole 🙂

    3. I find it funny how different people think negatively on different things. You (and some boys evidently) thought you were “too skinny”. Most girls now (including me, to an extent) think they’re “too fat”. Your hair is “too short” or “too long” or “too straight” or “not-straight-enough”. If we could only be happy with what we have… But it’s hard!

    4. I think you looked really cute in the volleyball pic. 😀 All my sisters and I are super skinny too, and everybody always calls us bean poles, and we all play volleyball! 😀 So I know what that’s like. 🙂 Thank you so much for this! You are one of my role-models. 😀

    5. I’m 16. I’ve had braces for about 3-4 years. I’ve have 3 oral surgeries to uncover and remove bone from the roof of my mouth to try to get my incisor tooth to move. Well, it wont move. I’ll have to have it removed and have a hole where the tooth should be until I can have an implant. I can only have an implant when my body stops growing, which is about 18-21 years old. You know what the number one compliment I recieve from people is? “You have a beautiful smile!” Irony right? Girls, you might think that your face might be an acne explosion or you might hate your nappy hair or you might feel like everyone notices your awefully crooked teeth (my hand is raised!!!!), but NO ONE ELSE notices what you think are “imperfections”. To everyone else (including God), your complextion looks like a tropical paradise, your hair is like angel babyhair, and your smile is beautiful. You are the only one who thinks you are ugly. Take it from someone who knows. 😉

    6. I love the way I look and I wish all girls could feel the same about themselves. I have braces but I only hate them because they hurt my teeth a little and I have turbos so its kind of hard to eat.

    7. Unfortunately, I do, Nicole. I feel like I’m the only one who has zits (ones that are kinda bad, too), and that I’m short (which I am, but I have accepted it, and like that I’m short now!). I just feel as if I look really bad with my glasses on, and that nobody likes me. Thank you so much for sharing this article with us! God Bless you!

    8. i thought you looked really cute in your volleyball picture! 🙂 Nicole, have you ever done a post on how you got into modeling? i think its really interesting that you were so self-conscience at yet pursued modeling at the same time! You were very brave! If only we could all attack our fears this way!

    9. Nicole, you were beautiful then and you still are now. I love your story of how you came to God. I would love to hear you tell more about it because it really inspired me. As a young teen who was a bit pressured to be more beautiful (I was asked to be be a model and in beauty pagaents) I always felt I wasn’t as pretty as other girls. But know words can’t describe how happy I am that Jesus sees my beauty inside and out (I rededicated my life in the winter after some tough times). Thanks for sharing your stories, I love your website!

      • hank you Olivia for your kind words, I am so happy you rededicated your life to Jesus- expect miracles and supernatural experiences to happen! I will expand my story about how I came to God more in detail soon. So stay tuned!

    10. Nicole, you are awesome!! I’ve been wanting to do modeling for awhile now and this article inspires me to do it… But the only problem is getting me into modeling classes because my family’s broke right now. But my mom said she’d put me in it as soon as she can. Until then, I will be patient… Or try… Thank you for sharing this with us and I’m going to share it with all of my friends in turn!! 😛

        • Nicole you are so right!!! So I had an interview at John Casablancas last summer. They said I had talent to be an actress,and because I only scored a B they wanted $2,000.00 for tuition to their school. In my opinion that is wayyyy too much!!! I wanted to do acting/modeling so I could help support my family. It’s crazy because I know 4 girls at my school that are models for them, one of them only got one gig & then that was it. I pray more people don’t fall for this.

    11. Thank you so much for posting this!! I turn 13 this month and I have a lot of insecurities and this really just opened my eyes. So, thank you. Also, Nicole you have always been gorgeous and I know that it is inside as well as out. (:

    12. Hello there:)
      I am 15 years old and I grew up always feeling inferior to those around me (I still do) I want to start modelling but the only thing holding me back is my appearance and not the average skinny-tall-long haired-beauty queen lol.. I have blemishes and thats one of my main reasons for feeling like a total outcast. Ofcourse, everyone gets acne once a teenager right? But it seems to be taking over my life.. Anyway I wanted to know..

      Do u really think that me , along with my long list of imperfections should even try out with any modelling agency?

      Thank u for ur time and patience
      I appreciate ur work.

      • Hey Nicole! Most modeling agencies are looking for girls who are 5’8” and somewhat thin- impossible standards! If I were you, I would grow up a bit and get more comfortable in your appearance, because once the camera is on you zoomed in you won’t feel good at all. Modeling really isn’t as great as it seems, trust me!

    13. I’m about to turn 18 next month and I’m about to have my braces off in a few weeks and I’ve had appoximately 22 surgeries and most of it was on my mouth and teeth! Last year in December was the surgery that turned my life around! I had a MAJOE jaw reconstruction surgery after te second part of the surgery I figured out that I have to go to speech therapy again! But I know I look more beautiful now than I did before my surgery! And I thank God for all that has happened to me!

    14. this article was soo wonderful! I struggle a lot with my appearance because i’m only 5’1″ and 128 and verrryyy curvy. I always think that i’m not skinny enough, or my skin isn’t good enough, or my hair is too short. but now because of this article and the video, I’m starting to love my body because God made me beautiful and I should only be trying to get approval from him through my actions than through the way i look to get approval from soceity(:

      • Do not look at what the world considers ‘beautiful’ because it’s superficial, it’s not long-lasting, it’s altered, and it’s not what matters. YOU are beautiful! God looks at your heart and soul, and only cares about that. Listen to Jonny Diaz’s song “More Beautiful you.”

    15. Hi, i’ve been searchin an article about confidence.. i actually call my self a photogenic one!

      actually im used to it bec. every time i post my picture, later on they will tell me on the school that im pretty at PICTURES ONLY! so i just “hahaha so nice”

      but actually i keopt it and cry 🙁 i want to be pretty at personal not on pictures! so you know.. i dont like to post my picture or take a picture of me!! 🙁

      i wish.. yah know.. someday i will realize how beautiful am i! 🙁

    16. This article’s inspiring! I felt ugly when I was about 10 years old and i’m like a nerd i guess. When the other girls and their friends are hanging around the canteen or the mall, i don’t even have any friend to talk with. I ever planned a suicide before. But I changed myself when i realized i was over 13 and need to be more mature. so i tried to increase my confidence and with God’s help also, now I’ve changed. i’m not a coward anymore. I made new friends, and no more suicide. I was so thankful to God for His help. And that’s why i really like this article. 😀

    17. aww!!! 🙂 you were sooooo pretty when you were 12-15!!!! 🙂 you wernt geeky at all! lol when i was 12 which was last year lol… i was sooooooooo tiny and everyone made fun of me nd bullied me . and gained up on me. so when i came home from school i would be depressed and would cry . :'( and i remember everything . but now im homeschooled. but you showed those boys, who called you beanpole, just what they missed out on!!!! lol this is a very good article and it helped me to forgive people!! 😀

    18. Sometimes, I struggle with my appearence, because no boy has ever asked me out (I am 15) and I get these thoughts that maybe I am not pretty enough. But I have to remember that God loves me and His opinion is the only one that matters

    19. Yes I do,One thing I don’t like about myself is my skin tone,I’m Haitian-American so I was born in Miami and Miami is pretty hot.One time in my life I got made front of my skin color people use to call me Hersey and I really don’t like my height and the Fact that I’m tall and Flat chested and people are always asking me to play sports and I’m sixteen.Another thing is my shoe size I’m a 9 and when You’re Tall of course your not going to have small feet,i really hate My Hair,My hair isn’t straight at times sometimes it is sometimes it look ugly that’s why I have the wrap my hair instead of flat ironing it,Another thing is my face i have acne and stuff and I don’t wear makeup i hate my weight.I have a Nice body for a Tall girl I had hips and stuff and this year i have track so I’ve been losing a couple pounds and trying to not go out the sun for my skin color can stay this color,I really Compare myself so much that I hurt myself so sometimes when i get home I’m comparing myself to this girl and I’ve been asking God to really help me.

    20. Aww, you were (and are) so beautiful. Even when you were wearing your braces. I actually think that they made you look kinda cute.
      The only thing I have problems with is wondering if guys think I’m pretty, and my flabby tummy and thighs.

    21. I was on the bus today and these two boys kept hinting at ugly however i was in a really good mood and this sort of Bummed me out but i didnt say anything to h i just smiled not only because they looked extremely strange dropping hints to a random girl on the bus but because i am the daughter of the most high and the creator of the WHOLE UNIVERSE says i am beautiful! so it must be true:) thanks for sharing your story with us! i really like all of the pictures they are so pretty!

    22. Your not ugly!!!! Whoever didn’t like you for your looks are fools…I am blessed to see this article cause I was starting to feel uncomfortable and insecure cuz I gained a lot of weight since i was thin…and I have acne…plus the possibility of not applying sun screen most of the time so I’d get sunburn..but now I dont care. whoever likes me must like me for me….Thanks Nicole and God Bless you abundantly..

    23. Thank you for writing this article Nicole!! I have three big spots on my face, plus I’m overweight. Also, I had braces from 2008 to this past August. So I was “Brace Face Fritts;” yeah, THAT nickname was fun! I look around at all of the size 2 girls in the hall way and THAT thought worked its way into my head: “I wish I was as small, pretty, etc. as them.” I constantly struggle with this. I know God created me as he wanted me to, but I tend to wonder if I’ll always look like this….

    24. Oh my goodness, nicole you were not ugly back then and you arent ugly now! If you think about it, what is ugly? You can have an ugly personality, but you cant have an ugly face! Im jealous actually! i wish i was as small as you! Weight is a big issue for me. It always has been. But im going on a liquid diet and ill lose weight!

    25. Thanks for sharing this Nicole! I go to an all girls school so I always feel pressured to look pretty. I have braces but Im getting them off on Halloween! Im so happy! Now I just have to wait and see if my teeth are pretty! Lol! By the way, the date on all these comments say May 27th but this was posted on September 25th.

    Project Inspired

    We here at Project Inspired want to guide and inspire teen girls to be true to themselves and to God. We want to show young girls how to be people of value and confidence – how to be your own best selves – through leading a Christian life. Who are we? We're a team of girls, like you. We edit the site, we post to social media, we hang out in the chat rooms and forums. We talk with you, we listen to you, and we love you!

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