The Christian Broadcasting Network

The 700 Club with Pat Robertson

Featured Book


Author, Beautiful Lies, (2014)

Runway model for Nina Blanchard of Los Angeles

Ford New York, Fashion Milan and NOVA Models of Munich

Worked for Giorgio Armani on runways in Milan

Appeared in TV commercials for Coca-Cola, Mercedes Benz, and Oil of Olay

Appeared in Vogue, Glamour, and Seventeen

Founder of Jennifer Strickland Ministries; M.A., Writing and Literature, USC

BA, Broadcast Journalism, USC

Husband: Shane

Mother of three: Olivia, 12, Zach, 11, and Samuel, 3

Guest Bio

The Beautiful Lies We are Sold

By Mimi Elliott
The 700 Club


For as long as she can remember, Jennifer has always been drawn to perfection.  Her shoes were always lined up in the closet just right, and all of her shirts were neatly folded in her drawer.  Jennifer began modeling when she was eight years old to help her become more graceful and coordinated. Eventually modeling school became a world in which she fit.  At 17, Jennifer was offered a modeling contract from world-renowned agent, Nina Blanchard, and an academic scholarship to the University of Southern California.  After graduating from high school, the next four years were a whirlwind:  working in Europe in the summer, living in Germany, Paris, Greece, Australia and Milan, then coming back to Los Angeles for school in the fall.  She juggled TV commercials, ad campaigns, catalogs and classes. Without realizing it, Jennifer spent the next ten years chasing that flawlessness that attracted her as a child.  “I went after perfection until it nearly killed me,” says Jennifer.  “I went after the perfect size, the perfect shape, the perfect image, the perfect look, being the perfect daughter, taking the perfect path and making the perfect escape.”        

By the time she was 22, Jennifer’s life was spinning out of control.  As a runway model for Giorgio Armani, Jennifer was extremely thin.  She struggled with depre ssion and wanted to give up. She was looking for acceptance and her life was a mess.  “After I did the Armani shows, it seemed that everyone wanted me,” says Jennifer.  “I was flying all over the place for jobs.”  But her body began to give out; her hair turned brittle and fell out in clumps, her eye sockets were dark and the jobs soon dropped off.  Photographers couldn’t take pictures of her anorexic body.  When she went home for Christmas, Jennifer’s mom began feeding her.  She gained four pounds.  After Christmas, Jennifer was on the runway modeling.  Armani tugged at her skirt and with a flick of his hand, a stylist led her off the stage.  When she returned to the agency, Jennifer learned that she lost not only Armani’s job but all of her jobs.  “There was something that hurt that little girl inside of me that wanted to be perfect for everyone else,” she says.

Through with runway modeling, Jennifer moved to Munich and began searching for modeling jobs. On the inside she was depressed so she tried to numb the pain. She stayed in bed for long hours while voices in her head ripped at her self-worth. The voices that circled through her head told her she wasn’t good enough, beautiful enough, or perfect enough. One night, Jennifer could no longer take the self-loathing. She thought of ending her life, but she remembered her family and that she was loved. Shortly afterwards an evangelist in a park gave Jennifer a New Testament. He asked her to go to church with him and his friends. When Jennifer arrived at the church she felt loved and comfortable. “They didn’t look at my body or measurements, but at my heart. I didn’t feel like I had to wear any kind of mask when I was with them,” shares Jennifer. She decided to come back to church the following week. At home she began to read her Bible and discovered what Jesus did on the cross for her.  A few weeks later, on a mountaintop in Germany, Jennifer gave her heart to Christ.

Then one day a stranger saw Jennifer on her way to work with her portfolio in hand and a mini skirt on.  He said, “You cannot sell beauty…go back to America and your family.”  Jennifer had never been told you can’t put a price on beauty. “All my life I was told I could, I was told I should and so it freed me and I left and I never took another picture for money again,” reveals Jennifer. After fifteen years in the modeling industry Jennifer left the modeling world behind.

When she returned home at 23, Jennifer took the money she had made modeling to earn her Master's degree in Writing and Literature. She began teaching school and working with youth. Four years later she met her husband, Shane, who always encouraged her to use her story to help others. Today Jennifer travels the country speaking to women and girls about their true identity in Christ. “My life now has the meaning and purpose I longed for when I was in the modeling industry - to help others discover the beauty that God sees in the heart of every woman and girl, no matter how broken, disheveled, or even perfect she may seem from the outside,” she says.

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