Ask Shannon

On Season One of America’s Next Top Model you refused to pose nude. Are you happy with your decision?

I am so glad that I did not pose nude or with those bands they offered me! I have always wanted to be a “supermodel,” for as long as I can remember. I wanted to win so incredibly bad, but it wasn’t worth compromising my standards for or becoming someone that I am not. I knew that refusing to do the shoot might hurt my chances of winning and I was ok with that. At the end of the day I have to be content with who I am as a person. I want to be able to sleep at night!!! Money and fame isn’t worth selling my soul for.

What is Tyra Banks like?

Tyra is so mulit-talented! She truly is an amazing businesswoman! Since I was on the first season of America’s Next Top Model, I had the opportunity to spend a lot of time with her. I loved watching her work the camera! It is no surprise that she is a supermodel! She can work it! And, it is encouraging to see that she transitioned from the modeling world to other things! I also want to branch out and do other things besides modeling. Tyra is a great example that with hard work and dedication, it can be done! She is also a really sweet person.

Is it hard being a Christian in the modeling world?

Yes, it is extremely hard to be a Christian in an industry where “sex sells.” I have high standards and will not do things that I do not feel comfortable with, no matter how much money I might be offered. I know that if the Lord has me in this business, then He is more than able to supply me with jobs that are “clean.” I do not need to pose in lingerie, wear see through shirts, or sell bottles of alcohol. There are countless others that are willing to do those kind of jobs, but I am not one of them. I have said no to several jobs that would have been great for my career and would have also made me alot of money. It isn’t easy to say “no,” especially in a business where everyone is saying “yes.” I have learned at a young age that nothing is worth selling your soul for. I have such a peace within and can rest my head at night. I have also made firm in my mind what I will and won’t do. I think it is important and really imperative that you have things that are “non negotiable.” I tell my agents up front so that they don’t submit me for jobs, or send me to castings for jobs that I will not do.

What advice would you give to those that want to become models?

I would definitely encourage you to know who you before you ever step foot in this business. It is a tough industry to be in, especially if you aren’t confident with who you are as a person. People are always trying to mold and make you into what they “envision,” but you have to remember who YOU ARE! I had agents that wanted my hair platinum blonde, then others that wanted it dark brown or short. Listening to of those voices all of the time can cause confusion. But, the most important, know what you’re standards are-what you will and won’t do…and stick by them NO MATTER WHAT!

Did your husband and you really wait until you were married?

I know it is shocking, especially in this day and age where sex is so ubiquitous, but yes, we BOTH waited until marriage! If I could only convey to you the excitement we had on our wedding day! It was a special gift that only we could give to each other. I actually didn’t think I would find or marry a man that had waited, but to my surprise I did! It wasn’t easy, but SO WORTH IT! I know we hear this all of the time, “but everyone’s doing it!” Well,that is not true because we weren’t! You have to look at the future and not the “immediate.” It may not be the popular thing to wait, but it is ok to be different! I didn’t care that I was a rare one. I loved being different and not following the crowd.

Did you date a lot growing up?

No, I actually did not! I wanted a boyfriend so bad, but I can see now, that the Lord was preserving me for my husband! It was so hard to watch others get cards, flowers, and gifts. I had to fight of jealousy at times, being insecure, and wondering what was wrong with me for no guy to want to date me. There were a few guys that liked me eventually, but the guys I liked, never liked me when I liked them! I got so frustrated at times! I also wondered if I was going to have to lower my standards. But, I am so glad to say that I did not! I also never dated a guy that I could not see myself marrying. I didn’t want to keep giving myself away to all these guys, for I wanted to be able to give ALL OF MYSELF just to my husband. I had imagined myself being this beautifully wrapped package. I didn’t want it to be handed around, causing the edges to become torn/worn, or for it to get ripped. I wanted the package, myself, to remain perfect, just as the Lord intended it.


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