I remember the way they looked at me as a woman.
They looked at me as a commodity. A product. Something to be used or taken advantage of. Not a woman. Not a child of the Almighty God. Hardly a human.
In Hollywood, my worth rode on nothing more than the amount of money I could make, the amount of success I achieved, or the way I looked.
Years ago I was working with a team in Hollywood on some major label projects. But it didn’t exactly go as hoped. Thankfully, my eyes were opened to the very real corruption that greeted me behind those dark studio walls..
It was 4 AM. The producer was mean drunk. I was standing in the sound booth waiting for him to hit record so we could FINALLY get this song finished. He made me stand there while he hit on a young artist in booty shorts and a push up bra (and he was no young dude) while he continued to drink.
Once I put my headphones down and came out to see what was taking so long, he made a comment about me needing to be more like the artist he was flirting with. He wanted me to be sexy. To flirt and give him what he wanted.
Once she left, it was just us. He looked at me with cruel eyes and with his slurred speech asked me, “Why were you being so difficult on the photo shoot yesterday?
Let me tell you about the photo shoot the previous day…
I was shooting with one of the top photographers in LA and I wanted to glorify God with the way that I was represented. The stylist had me try on a short crop jacket over a tank top. When I came out she preceded to try to pressure me to take the tank top off, and just have the short crop jacket on over my naked body. That was not going to work for me.
Long story short, I refused as respectfully as possible, several times. She reluctantly caved and I did the photo shoot WITH my shirt on.
So back to the studio the following day.. He begins to ambush me with another ‘legendary’ male producer about how I need to be “sexy”, show my body and compromise my moral standards because that’s what I am up against in this industry. I’ll never make it unless I play the game.
NO WAY. I began arguing back and forth with these men at 5 AM. I was exhausted, depressed and frankly just wanting to run away and quit completely. This was not what I signed up for.
They dangled my dream in front of me and all I had to do was compromise who I was.
They told me to basically get on the train to 'sex town' or take the next stop. Can you guess what I chose?
I stood up for myself, told them they will not wear me down, and decided this was the end. At least of this particular endeavor.
I was worth more than that. I would NEVER compromise who I am and what I know to be right so that I can sell millions of albums and be considered a ‘successful’ artist.
The topic of self-worth and not feeling like you are enough has been surfacing more and more in this generation. Especially among young women. But God has made us in His image with a purpose.
He determines our value. Not men. Not culture. And definitely not Hollywood!
Luke 12:6 says, “Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows.”
He values us and knows our worth so deeply that he knows the very number of hairs on our heads! That is worth. That He, being the Almighty God of the universe, cares about the details of our lives.
After these types of experiences in Hollywood, I made a decision to step away. To not let people or men tell me what my value was, but to trust God fully with my dream. As a result, my life took a massive turn.
I realized my worth and purpose is all found in Jesus. He defines me. He is the one who tells me what I am worth. And He will NEVER pressure me to take my clothes off, sell a sexy image, or be put in a position of compromise.
I want to encourage you to stand up for your worth. It is being attacked every day and it needs to be protected. Guard your heart, guard your worth and STAND UP for who you are.
Your Creator makes no mistakes. You are infinitely worthy.
Never forget it.