January 18, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Despite a successful career as a model in New York, Leah Darrow felt something was missing.
Darrow, the eldest daughter of a deeply Catholic Southern household, told the National Catholic Register in a recent article that her epiphany came when told one day to wear a very revealing outfit in a photo shoot for an international magazine. Despite her discomfort, she complied – telling herself that it was just a job.
But then came what she called a moment of grace – just before the last photos were snapped, she suddenly envisioned herself seeing God face-to-face after death, and having nothing to show for her life.
“I knew that the way I was living, I wasn’t being authentic to my faith,” she recalled. She went to her New York home, called up her dad, and told him: “If you don’t come and get me, I’m going to lose my soul.” He drove from St. Louis to pick her up.
That was enough to propel her on a new path. Now the young woman, once a contestant on the popular series “America’s Next Top Model,” has given up a glamorous career to pursue a full-time job teaching girls her insight into the value of perhaps the most undervalued virtue of all: chastity.
“Although not all modeling is bad, much of it is dehumanizing. The dignity of the person is of little importance,” she explained. “You’re just a body. And it’s also very important what parties you go to and who you are with. A lot of people are sad in the industry, although they cover it up. You’re just supposed to do your job, be a professional.”
She says that modesty is not just a question of dressing, but also of discretion in such things as speech and emotions.
“Modesty is more than just the length of a hemline,” she said. “It’s about our conversations, how we treat people, and how we love others.
“Modesty protects our purity and the mystery of a person. In our society, it gets a bad rap. It’s actually quite attractive.”
Darrow, who is pursuing a Master’s in pastoral theology at Ave Maria University, says she has found her work reaching out to young girls bittersweet. “When I speak, I often have girls coming up to me, crying and saying, ‘I just lost my virginity.’ It breaks my heart. That’s why I’ve dedicated my life to being an advocate for women,” she said.
Read more about Darrow at the National Catholic Register here.