The 700 Club with Pat Robertson


Jada Collins: The Truth About Beauty

By Michelle Wilson
The 700 Club Jada Collins is the commentator and spokesmodel for Ebony fashion fair – the world’s largest traveling fashion show. She’s also one of the faces of fashion fair cosmetics.

Collins’ has walked over a thousand runways from LA to Paris to Rome wearing the fashions of the world’s top designers. And her photos have appeared in hundreds of magazines.

Jada Collins has undeniable beauty – both inside and out. But there was a time when she didn’t like what she saw in the mirror. It all started with the cutting words of her alcoholic father.

"It was just a few words, but those words disabled me, literally. It’s a fear of not having security. It’s a fear of what people think about me. It’s a fear of, you know, 'Dad, why don’t you love me?' "

Jada and her younger sister watched their father beat their mother.

"I’ve seen my dad stomp her and punch her and kick her and, you know, I’ve seen lots of things happen and I always said, 'Well, you know, that’s never going to happen to me. I’m never going to let that happen to me.' And there was a deep sadness of grief for my mom."

Then there was the day when Jada, her mom, and sister came home from a vacation – and found their house empty. Jada’s dad had moved out and he’d taken everything with him.

Jada moved closer to her grandparents and began going to church. It was the unique bond with her grandfather that changed the way Jada saw herself. One day, she was looking through a stack of magazines.

"I just remember my grandfather who I love to death. He told me, 'You know, you would be the prettiest little model.' And that just opened the door. It was like this light at the end of the tunnel that gave me a little hope, that said, 'You know what? I have something to reach for.'

As Jada grew into her teens, those positive words fueled a passion in her to rise above her father’s hurtful words. She studied models -  their look, their attitude, and their walk. By age 14,  she was strikingly beautiful – and five feet, 11 inches tall.  

"That was horrible. That was absolutely horrible. But now I look back at it and go, 'Thank God for 5’ 11.' But, back then I was teased so much and even all of the girls that I work with now, we have the same story.  I don’t know what it is about a giraffe, but everybody wants – whoever’s tall," she admits.

Jada eventually landed modeling jobs in her senior year in high school. Seven years later, she moved to California and trained with supermodel, Christy Turlington. 

"I’m breaking in and I’m like, 'This is just phenomenal.' In being trained together and walking together, I developed this fierce walk," Jada remembers.  

Jada set her sights on becoming a supermodel. She was picked from thousands of entrants to become an Ebony fashion fair model. Her first thoughts?

"I’m going to be a part of history. I’m going to be a part of African American history as being one of the Ebony fashion fair models," she thought.

Jada loved every minute of her new opportunity. She modeled in 180 cites worldwide. The camera flashed and the audience’s reactions seemed to reach out to validate her as she walked the runways. But, when the show was over and the lights went out, Jada’s insecurities came to the surface. Self-esteem became such a huge issue.

"It was like everything was riding on the fact of, 'What do I look like?' You know? I mean, I was schizophrenic. It’s a place of totally thinking if another pretty woman comes around it’s like, 'Is my job in jeopardy?' We’re constantly in competition."

Jada’s life as a model caused her to drift away from her Christian values. A sweet-talking man lured her even further away…

"This person was telling me that I’m wonderful, telling me that I’m gorgeous, telling me all these wonderful things, and so I just kind of stepped away from everything that I believed at that point, and moved in with him. I was shackin’ at this point and living a life that really was not pleasing to God," she says.

Two years later, Jada found out her boyfriend was sleeping with another woman. She ended the relationship and re-committed her life to Christ – with these words: 'Lord, I’m sorry. I’ve made some mistakes again. Please take me back. And this time, I’m not turning back.'

Jada learned about God’s forgiveness and began to read the Bible. She forgave those in her past who had hurt her – especially her father.

"I stepped out on faith. I called my dad. We talked and we got some things hashed out. I understand why he did some of the things he did," Jada says.

With the words I’m sorry and I forgive you, Jada was able to walk away from years of bitterness and unforgiveness. 

"I am a prayer warrior. I don’t care what I’m going through. Even when I’m on stage, I’m saying, 'Lord, I just praise you. I bless you. I give you praise, glory and honor for deliverance.' "

I n 2003, Jada married gospel artist and minister, Ernest Collins Jr.  And she’s written a book called,  Be-u-ti-ful, which speaks to women about overcoming their past – and becoming all God has called them to be.  She continues on as an Ebony fashion fair commentator and supermodel.

"My career has been spectacular. And I’m sitting here now and I’m saying to myself, 'Thank you Lord, thank you.' Because it couldn’t have gotten any better for me," she says. "I just know that God reigns and He is faithful, and He’s my King."

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