ChristianHeadlines.com recently had the opportunity to correspond with Nicole Weider on the issues of morality, the #MeToo movement, and positive body image. Nicole is the the founder of Project Inspired, an online community formed to help young women.
Christian Headlines: What did Wal-Mart recently decide regarding Cosmo Magazine and why is that significant?
Nicole: Wal-Mart recently made the announcement that they will no longer carry Cosmopolitan magazine in their checkout aisles in more than 5,000 stores. This means tens of thousands of less explicit magazine covers in children’s faces, less pornographic material, and ultimately less copies being sold. This is monumental, because whether for a business or moral decision- it shows that the retail giant is hearing loud and clear the concerns about the effects of hyper sexualization on young women in America, and is taking a moral and definitive stand against it.
Christian Headlines: Why do you believe Christians should care about this issue?
Nicole: As Christians, we absolutely need to care about the dangerous effects of hyper sexualization on young women. The reason why Cosmopolitan magazine is so dangerous- is because it actively and sinisterly persuades women to go out and not value their bodies by looking at sex as a means just for fun- and encourages one night stands, cheating, threesomes and more. This is no material that an underage girl should be reading and absorbing. There are countless Bible verses about guarding our minds and hearts against sin. One of them is “The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!” Matthew 6:22-25. When a young woman (or man) reads this magazine- they are absorbing sinful ideas and behaviors that not only dishonors their bodies and self worth- but also dishonors God. As believers we absolutely must speak out against and not support immoral companies and practices.
Christian Headlines: What action steps can Christians take to promote morality and positive body image?
Nicole: The first step is to not buy (and encourage others to do the same) harmful magazines like Cosmo which only hurts girl’s self esteem by telling them they need to look, dress and act a certain way. And to explain why, instead of just “no you can’t.” Explain the reason why it’s harmful. As parents and believers we need to stand up against media that is harming young people. Cosmo labels themselves as "empowering women" but in reality they are doing the complete opposite. To promote morality-it sounds simple but it’s true: the main thing is to share God’s hope with others with what gifts and talents you have. We all have different callings and ways we can share kindness to people. The beauty of social media is with the tap of your fingers- you can share scriptures and life giving messages with so many people.
Christian Headlines: Are any other retailers/companies taking positive steps due to the influence of Christians who are calling for moral values?
Nicole: I have seen an influx of companies making the right moral choices because of customers’ demands. The good thing now is because of technology and social media- if customers want change- they can utilize social media and use their voice in that way. People can also start campaigns online and gather supporters which can have real change, as I have seen from my Anti-Cosmo campaign in the past. Also- a way to bring morality and hope is to support and go out and see the amazing faith-based films that are in theatres. I was so moved by the films “Paul Apostle of Christ” and “I Can Only Imagine.” They really are terrific and are inspiring so many people. My desire is also to help make and be a part of faith based films. Movies are one of the most powerful forms of media- and when a Christian film is out, it sends the powerful and life giving message through cinema that there’s a God who loves us. As believers, it's so important to see these movies and support them. To send the message to Hollywood and the media loud and clear that Christian values and our faith is here to stay.
Christian Headlines: What do you most want (especially young) women to know in this often over-sexualized culture?
Nicole: I want young women to know that they are loved, valued, and treasured the way they are. Instead of reading Cosmo, I offer another and more inspiring place called Project Inspired where young ladies can learn and read Godly advice about everything from dating, friendship, career advice, and so much more. That young ladies don’t need to act and do the harmful things Cosmo says to do. Cosmo gives the complete opposite of good advice to young women. There’s a better way. A way to keep their standards high. A way to know their full value. A way to know what it’s like to fully be loved. And that way is only through a relationship with Jesus.
Nicole Weider is a former model and founder of the largest online community for young women called Project Inspired, which focuses on helping young women grow closer to God and how to live a life of value and purpose.
Photo courtesy: ©Thinkstock/fizkes
Publication date: April 6, 2018