Former international fashion model Rosemary Card addressed the importance of self-worth outside of physical beauty Feb. 21 for BYU’s Eating Disorder Awareness Week held by Women’s Services and Resources.
Women’s Services and Resources hosted an intuitive eating workshop, a Q&A session for family and friends of those with eating disorders, and body-positive yoga.
Card revealed the insecurities she felt about her body during her teenage years even though she was a fashion model.
“When I was in middle school and high school I hated my body,” Card said. “I would have done anything to have a different body. My whole world was about what I looked like and what people were thinking about me.”
Card attributed most of that anxiety to societal pressures to look beautiful. She said she even felt inadequate during her modeling career when she seemed to reach “society’s ideal.”
Card said the desire to be loved and accepted is universal and not necessarily a bad thing.
“When you think of where all of us were 100 years ago, we were with our Heavenly parents,” Card said. “I’m just willing to guess that we felt ultimate love and acceptance there. And now we’re away from that in some sense, and I think it’s natural for our spirits to be like ‘wait a minute, something feels off.’”
However, she feels there are better ways to fill that “love cup” than focusing on beauty.
“Beauty is not an accomplishment,” Card said. “It’s not something that anyone earned or worked really hard for, but it’s interesting that we still get hit with that stuff left and right.”
Card said she instead has learned to find satisfaction through the creation of new things. She believes everyone is a child of God and born to create. When she fulfills that purpose on earth, she says “it feels like coming home.”
According to Card, when there is a focus on something that matters less, like beauty, it is a “major win for Satan.” She encouraged students to actively appreciate their bodies for more than just how they look.
“Think about what your body has enabled you to accomplish,” Card said. “Is there an athletic achievement? Did you learn something, and did you score well on a test?”
Card echoed a mantra from Beauty Redefined, an organization dedicated to helping girls appreciate their bodies: “My body is an instrument — not an ornament.”
The ultimate sense of self-worth comes from people’s divine nature, according to Card. She said she believes no matter how someone looks or acts, they have Heavenly Parents who love them perfectly.
“You can’t do anything to make them not love you,” Card said. “They don’t love you because you’re a good Mormon girl, they love you because you’re their girl.”