Website Created to Help Young Women Lead a More Meaningful Life
Los Angeles, CA - While Nicole Weider’s name may not be familiar, her face certainly is. She has graced the pages of some of the world’s biggest magazines and catalogs, and has been seen in a variety of movies and hit TV shows. For years, she chased after a dream of Hollywood stardom. This success, however, came at a large cost.
Now, Nicole has dedicated her life to a more lasting and meaningful pursuit – encouraging teen girls to live full, healthy lives. What began as Nicole simply sharing her spiritual transformation on Facebook has quickly become one of 2011’s fastest growing teen-focused websites, ProjectInspired.com. Focused on nearly any issue facing teens, Project Inspired opens conversation and gives advice from a Christian perspective on topics such as faith, beauty, culture, relationships and life.
“I created Project Inspired to show young girls what it means to be a person of value and confidence,” states Nicole. “I know that everything I saw, everything I went through, was for a bigger purpose. I hope that through sharing my story I can inspire young girls to lead a more meaningful life.”
In her hometown of Portland, OR, Nicole began modeling when she was only 5. By the age of 16 she had enough experience under her belt to move to Hollywood to pursue her dream. Admittedly young and naïve, Nicole was quickly accepted into the see-and-be-seen world of celebrities where she witnessed firsthand a dark-side to the lifestyle that was built around excess and fame.
By the age of 23, Nicole had fallen into a deep depression. While she was achieving the acclaim that she was seeking, her self-image was slowly being destroyed by the constant scrutiny of agents telling her to lose weight and always be picture-perfect. She continued to be faced with the overwhelming pressure to be a part of an expected lifestyle that endorsed excessive drinking, drug use and immorality. Without an alternate plan for her life, Nicole felt trapped in a world that was literally destroying her own life, and the lives of her friends.
One night, out of desperation, Nicole gave her life to Christ. At this moment, everything began to change.
While pursuing her new-found faith, Nicole discovered her true calling: to reach out directly to young women and encourage the conversation of true beauty and what it means to be a daughter of God. Her site ProjectInspired.com allows her to give truthful, unbiased opinions and advice to teens in a safe environment. Her unprecedented access and activity on the site gives the readers the feeling of having a big sister to confide in, while her experience living the life of a Hollywood starlet gives her a unique perspective, platform and voice.
“Modeling definitely gave me a glimpse into how dangerous and harmful Hollywood can be. With Project Inspired, I draw from my own experience in that superficial industry to show girls the truth behind the media,” explains Nicole. “While my journey was painful, it ultimately was what led me to become a Christian. As believers, we are called to be set apart, yet we need to live in the real world as well. By my truthful and real-life advice, girls can relate to me and can use my journey to understand that it's never too late to have a close relationship with God.”
While she continues to actively pursue modeling, she now only takes jobs that are in line with her beliefs. She regularly shares the worthy challenge of living a faithful life while continuing to work in the fashion industry.
“I want to give the girls a clear look at what is targeted at teens, in mainstream culture, advertisements, music, television shows, and gossip magazines,” Nicole continues. “I want girls to know there is a better way. I want to be a role model and provide a healthy state of mind and well-being for girls instead of them only turning to the mainstream media simply because their are no other options.”
No subject is off limits to the Project Inspired readers. Many girls have approached the site, asking questions they may be ashamed or afraid to ask their parents or other adults in their lives. Nicole has enlisted a team of trusted women who are prepared to give Godly and Biblically sound answers to virtually any topic or issue. This variety of unique and wise voices combines with content generated by readers who submit articles as well as inspiring messages and photos.
Nicole’s main focus in 2012 will be continuing her “Anti-Cosmo” campaign. Through a call to action to stand up against the teen-targeted, pornographic content in Cosmopolitan Magazine, Nicole and Project Inspired are fighting to get the magazine sold in a non-transparent bag to adults only in order to protect young girls. This campaign has already received the attention of the Secretary of the Commission of the FTC. With over 10,000 signatures and more being added daily, supporters of all ages are standing up against this harmful magazine and are signing Nicole’s Change.org petition (http://tinyurl.com/projectinspired). Nicole is now also targeting major decision makers including the Chairman of the FTC, Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and the Chairmen of leading grocery and mass retailers such as Wal-Mart, Target, Kroger Company (Ralphs, Smiths, Frys, Fred Meyer, Food4Less) and SuperValu (Albertsons, Jewel-Osco, Cub, Save-A-Lot) and Barnes and Noble.
“I hope that Project Inspired will be not only a resource but a haven where girls can find community and support with their peers,” Nicole explains with a smile. “We hope to encourage the next generation to look differently at the media and live full, healthy and faith-filled lives.”
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