Friday, October 2, 2009

Can a women of God model for a beer ad?

Okay, taking a deep breath to slow my fingers down, while I try to type this very important post. An important one to me anyways. A subject that I have wanted to post about for many months now, but have wanted to really give it my time, prayer and thoughts. I am passionate about this subject because it not only involves me personally, it involves many men and women that are trying to find their balance in their love for show biz or modeling, while trying to also represent God and glorify God in all that we do.

I have had several young female fans or blog readers come to me and ask, "how do I keep that balance?" How do I make choices in the jobs I do or do not do in this business (modeling/acting) to keep that Godly image?

One young lady in college said she was being made to feel bad by some of her fellow Christian peers for taking on the offer she was given to model for the National Publicized College Calendar in a bikini.

I don't have all the answers, but I have spoken with pastors, pastor wives and even pastor wives that have modeled and or still do model. I am simply going to express some of my own personal thoughts on this subject. I am going to do it with love and pray that God guide my words and not let so much of my personal emotion vent out during this post, although it still may. I'm just say'n. :)

Lets see how it goes.

I received yet another email the other night. This time it wasn't asking me a real question. Instead, the sender was asking me a question in a negative tone and asking in a way where it wasn't "asking" but yet it was judging me in a sarcastic way. The email read this:

Kathy Reilly October 1 at 12:41am
personally i don't know how a woman of God can pose in a bikini for a beer advertisement and call herself Godly. What was the purpose of that, were you glorifying God while doing that shoot? Just my two cents.

I wanted to be clear about something in a humorous way....

First, I am not wearing a bikini in the ad I shot for Miller Lite Beer, its a one piece. Does that make a difference? :) Or would it make a difference it I were wearing a business suit or a burqa?

LOL! Keeping the tone light here, that's all.

However, all kidding aside, would it really make a difference? The answer is NO, it wouldn't make a difference. I am still modeling for a BEER ad.

Should a 'women of God' or a Christian or any religious person model for beer?

I think that is a personal choice. The answer is NOT, 'NO, a person of God or a Christian shouldn't model for a beer ad' and let me tell you why I believe this.

Miller Lite, Bud Light.... beer is a beverage. It is NOT a sin. It is NOT wrong. It is not only for un-Godly or non-religious people to drink. It is solely just that, a beverage. Only and ONLY when an individual abuses that beverage does it become a sin. If you drink it to purposely get drunk, then YOUR actions are a sin. You have made that beverage a negative thing. The beer is still just a beverage.

I am modeling a beverage. I am not modeling as a drunken girl, partying half naked. Yes, the poster is sexy. But can Christians not be sexy? Can I not be a "holly hottie"? As some of my Christian friends call their spouses.

Guess what, I can!! I can be a holy hottie, while being a women of God. There is a way to do this and it has nothing to do with skin showing, or less clothes being worn or not, or modeling.

Let me explain something here for those that judge and yet call themselves Christians. God said (if you read your bible you would see this) that YOU are sinning MORE than the person you are judging or claiming to sin, by pointing fingers and judging them. God doesn't like it. So be careful of what you allow to get your feathers ruffled up, and let your thoughts and tongue freely speak. Always, always .... and this is a rule for myself and I am teaching my children. Before doing something to someone else, no matter how big or small, ask yourself this "how would Jesus handle this, and how would I wanted it to be handled towards me." It is something we should all practice daily.

Answer: This is an issue that has confused many people. On one hand, we are commanded by the Lord Jesus, “Do not judge, or you too will be judged” (Matthew 7:1). On the other hand, the Bible also exhorts us to beware of evildoers and false prophets and to avoid those who practice all kinds of evil. How are we to discern who these people are if we do not make some kind of judgment about them?

Christians are often accused of "judging" whenever they speak out against a sinful activity. However, that is not the meaning of the Scripture verses that state, "Do not judge." There is a righteous kind of judgment we are supposed to exercise—with careful discernment (
John 7:24). When Jesus told us not to judge (Matthew 7:1), He was telling us not to judge hypocritically.

When I responded to this person's email, I responded with love. I responded with an open heart and mind, and I told her that if she were truly asking me this, and willing to allow me to respond, I would love to respond to her in a very honest and loving way back. Then I also told her, but if she was just trying to be mean and attacking, then I would leave it at that also.

I haven't heard back from her, which leaves me to believe she just felt the need to place in her "2 cents" as she stated, and then run. That is okay too. However, I was very confused by the part of her email where she said it was her "2 cents," where you? Teasing here, just teasing.

It just gave me the 'kick in the butt' I needed to get on the ball with posting this post on this subject sooner than later.

Let's go back, and I apologize in advance, but this post probably will not be short nor brief. I have a lot to say on this matter and I want to be as clear, as honest and as real as I can about my thoughts on this.

A little background here:

I did that ad for Miller Lite about 8 years ago. That's almost a decade in case you weren't counting. *Smiling folks, smiling here!*

I was a young 22 year old child. A girl that had just stepped out into this big world as a single mom with a 5 month old little boy. I wasn't living my Christian walk for the few years prior 2001, and I come from a very Christian upbringing. I had been living with my sons father for about three years, and I had my son out of wed lock. I am a sinner and never claimed to be differently.

That year I left my sons father, when Hunter was only 5 months old, I went back to my roots that I knew I could rely on and trust in this big ugly, scary and hurtful world. I went back to GOD, my heavenly father. My agent, now also my dearest and best friend, also my church pastors wife, invited me to their church. Back then a small church only growing. I never looked back, only forward. I rededicated my life to God that year in 2001 and I have been on my walk with God, with my son next to me since he was 5 months old, and still walking it today.

It was probably the hardest, no IT WAS the hardest, hardest road of my life for the next five years after that. I was challenged in ways I hope to never be challenged again. I was tested. I was struggling. I was afraid. I was lost, confused and SCARED, as a young 22 year old girl, being taken to court, fighting to not have my son taken away from me by his father. I had no family that lived near me to provide daily support. I had no friends because when I moved to Florida my world evolved around my work and my then boyfriend, and his friends.

I was alone.

I was walking such a dark, dark road in my life, that I didn't want to live anymore. There was a time, and I don't think I have ever shared this before, that I called Lisa and David, my only friend at the time and my pastor, begging them to pray with me on the phone until I could fall asleep. I had pills sitting next to me and I wanted my life to be over. It was probably 1:00 am in the morning I called Lisa and David, and they stayed on the phone with me and just talked and prayed, talked and prayed, until I was finally able to hang up the phone and just go to sleep.

I was losing weight. I wasn't sleeping. I was having repetitive nightmares. I just moved into my first house near a bad section of town, that was supposed to be a growing neighborhood and soon to be a really nice and wanted area to live in. Instead, my house was robbed on more than one occasions. My neighbors called the cops after seeing peeping-toms in the alley behind my house, watching as I walked around my home or showered. I was terrified. It got so bad that even the police officers on one of their last visits to my home, honestly pulled me to the side and with concern and care said to me, "you are a pretty young single mom, this is really not an area for you to be living by yourself, because the word is going to quickly get around about you being hear and I don't want to get a call to come out and it be really bad news." He said "I am telling you this as if you were my sister, I urge you to try to get you and your son out of here and to a safer living area."

I'll never forget his words and I took them seriously.

I had only lived in my home for less than a year, but I sold it, losing money. I moved into an apartment a little north of that area and again, never looked back. However, looking back now, I moved several times over the course of those five hard years. I felt I was moving every year. None of which were my fault. It seemed that every place I moved into had something come up that caused me to move out. My house not being safe. My apartment being turned into town homes to sell. Then my condo apartment being bought out to also be converted into condos to buy, not rent. Each time I moved in those 5 years, I realize now, was Gods way of getting me to a much better place all together. Each time I moved, I moved a little more north. A little closer to my church and to Lisa and David. They were my family here. Today, I live two exits away from my church, 1.2 miles down the road from Lisa and David, and I live in a very safe area and neighborhood. The church that also led me to meet my husband. The man that helped bring Morgan, my daughter into this world. Thanks to the path and the people that God placed into my life to get me where I am today.

Before that, I was barely floating above water. Every dime I made modeling/acting/ little part time jobs here and there, went to my attorneys, rent, bills and food for my son. There were days I went without eating much, if anything at all. As long as my son was fed, that was all that mattered to me.

I remember going to Texas to visit my family, and when my parents picked me up at the airport, my mom just started crying. As I was so skinny from the stress and lack of eating. On the ride home from the airport she was such a mother, she let me sit in the front seat while she in back next to Hunter, and she massaged my oily scalp for what seemed like forever. We laugh now about how smelly my oily hair really was then. I was in rough shape and I do not exaggerate my life at that point. It was awful. Looking back at pictures during those years, a part of my crumbles and feels sad about how I appeared. I was that skinning, but then I quickly bounce back to where I am today, and how wonderful God has continued to provide and love me.

During that time, I would wake up daily and wonder when my next job was coming in. Then if I did work a job, I stressed over how long it would take to get paid for that job. Clients have up to 90 days to pay for a job. I may work for a job, then not get paid for it months out. I had to learn how to be very financially discipline about what bills to pay at what time, just to not drown. I was afraid that one little mistake, my son would be taken from me, because I was financially struggling and my sons father had the money background to support his side of the battle.

It made me hungry. It made me determined to fight this battle for my son. My son didn't deserve to be taken away from his mother because of what she couldn't afford him. I was (and am) a good mother. I live for GOD, my children, and my husband. I am not saying anything bad about Hunter's father either. Looking back he was also young. His father and I are in a very different, and healthy place now in our lives with each other, and for Hunter. If you were to meet us today, you would never think we went through what we went through for the first five years of Hunter's life. We have a friendly relationship now and that part of life, although will never be forgotten, it does almost seem like a foggy dream at times.

I just want to be clear that I am expressing parts of my life and journey without making anyone along the way of my journey out to be bad. That is not my intention at all. This was my journey, this is my story.

With that being said, I was VERY hungry for work. I took some of the most crappiest, low paying jobs I could get my hands on, just to get the pay check months later. Just to stay alive and afloat. There are jobs that I am ashamed of taking and even embarrassed for doing, and took 8-10 years ago, and would never do them again, no matter what they pay.

Miller Lite.... was NOT one of them.

In fact, although probably not gonna happen now that I am almost 10 years older, if Miller Lite were to ever ask me to work with them again today, I would. They were some of the nicest clients, some of the most professional clients and fun clients I have ever worked with and for, in all my 12 years of modeling/acting.

Back then, I took the job for a different reason. I took it to survive. Today, I would take it as just another job.

However, if Miller Lite asked me to model topless, then I wouldn't do the job. If Miller Lite asked me to hold a beer in a swimsuit standing in the ocean, I would. Its an ad, its a job, its what I do for a living, for my career and in truth, I also enjoy it. Because there is nothing wrong with it. I just have to make boundaries. Not YOUR judgmental ideas of boundaries, but ones that I feel are best for me, that I am okay with, and that I feel comfortable enough to talk to God about.

Would that pose of me standing in a one piece bathing suit be any different if the ad were for Sunglasses and I had on sunglasses for Chanel, instead of a Miller Lite? Think about it? Same pose, same sexiness, just a different product, sunglasses vs. beer.

Makes you think doesn't it? So, what is it that you are really asking or judging of ME, when you see that Miller Lite ad? Is it the pose, the wardrobe or the product?

Let me ask you this question, and when I say YOU, I mean any person reading this. Any person that has their own opinion of what is right or wrong, Godly or not Godly. I ask YOU!

Have you ever said a curse word? Do you curse? Or accidental cure now and then?
Have you ever been drunk out with your friends in public? Do you go out drinking with friends?
Do you watch movies with sex scenes?
Do you watch movies that use God's name in vein?
Do you smoke cigarettes?
Do you wear bikinis out at the beach or on boats, while even having a drink of beer or wine, maybe even on a fancy mega-yacht?

Is that okay? Or does that make those people un-Godly? False Christians? Or must they all must be unbelievers, because Christians shouldn't wear bikinis, shouldn't drink beer or wine, although God speaks about drinking wine all throughout the bible? Does that mean those people if do any of the above can't be called men or women of God?

I think if you are a Christian and you want to judge anyone, including myself because of what I do for work, my career or business, such as model for Miller Lite if it were 8 years ago or yesterday, you need to reevaluate your own daily actions.

Because this is where my fire gets going inside of me and I become really emotionally passionate about defending myself and other young talented entertainers.

Some Christians are so quick to judge me for modeling for Miller Lite, and have the nerve to doubt my relationship with God, and even question if I was glorifying God or not while I was holding a bottle of beer, modeling for Miller Lite.

The answer is YES, I was, will and always try to glorify God in everything and every job I am blessed to book. Again, has there been jobs I took 10 years ago, in desperation, that I would NEVER take again, and that were not pleasing to my heavenly father? YES!!! I know better now, and I have learned from my mistakes. God has forgiven me. I have finally, after beating myself up for so long, forgiven myself too. But..... Miller Lite is just not one of them, no matter how badly YOU want me to believe differently.

I used to ask God this all the time, while trying to find that balance in my career, and the talents he has given me as an actress or model, "outside of the worlds view, what is right and what is wrong?"

God, on many occasions has spoken to my heart, and I feel has given me clear guidelines. I will not be told by the world that I am not allowed as a Christian or women of God, to have a romantic kissing scene in a film. To then have those same people, then go home, turn on their TV's and watch reality shows, or TV shows or movies, with sex scenes, curse words, drugs, violence, using God's name in vein, and it be okay. If it is NOT okay for your daughters, sons, sisters, sisters in Christ, friends and peers to be BOTH a Christian, child of God and also a model or actress. YOU then are just as much of a false prophecy and are just as wrong by what your own actions represent to these young folks trying to find a healthy balance in the entertainment industry and be Godly leaders in this world.

When you watch a movie even such as "Funny People" out in theaters today, with all that nasty f-word every other word, G - D every other sentence. The words dick, cock and pussy. Sorry, this is not an PG13 post here. Or Sex this and that, and belittling of women, sex scenes and tacky stuff... to movies as good and simple as The Express,...any movie, any TV show. Or even better, any gossip magazine (people, US, inTouch etc.) that you pick up and read. Are you glorifying God when you watch a movie with actors that may or may not be Christians? Are you judging those celebrities while watching that movie? Even better, if you were to meet that celebrity would you not talk to them or want your picture taken with them, while being excited to "meet" them because of who they are? Do you think if the are believers or atheist? No! You just like them because they are celebrities. You support those non-believers MORE than you are your own loved ones and brother and sisters in Christ around you, by watching their movies, buying gossip magazines.

Who are YOU to judge me or my character or my place in God's eyes, when you support every day things and celebrities that probably aren't trying to be examples or leaders of Christianity or God, or for my children, your children and the youth of this world???

You can watch your movies, but then make a college girl feel she is doing something wrong for posing for a National Calendar in a swimsuit? What is wrong with that folks? Nothing. Now I get the whole thing of not putting yourself out there for the perverts to lust after you and so on. If she isn't dressing like that and walking down the stress, but modeling for a gig, then she is fine. If she wants to be a model or actress, you can't tell her she can't do such and such, but then turn around and have your daughter walk into her own living room, where her parents are sitting on the couch watching a movie with x,y and z in it, and mom sitting on the couch, drooling and reading gossip magazines. What does that say?

I have struggled with that big time. There are times that I rather not watch a GREAT movie just so I don't have to sit there and hear them use Gods name in vein. But it is just a movie right? So does that make it okay then? I walked out of Funny People. I didn't feel that it was necessary for me to sit there and listen to all the crap at the beginning of the movie, just to see the end of the movie which was supposedly good. My choice. But, what if I was one of the actresses in that film???

Like I said, I do not have the answers. I am not saying we should all throw our TV's out the window and never watch it or a movie ever again. Although, that really isn't a bad idea. I am just saying, THINK about what you are saying when you want to question me or judge me or any Christian actor or model out there.

Some Christians will not watch movies, read gossip magazine or open up a Victoria secrets catalog. Some will.

Which brings me to one more point.... just because I am a Christian, does that mean I shouldn't or couldn't take on a lingerie booking for Victoria Secret or anything sexy? I think that needs to be personal judgement and choice made by the individual themselves. Not YOU. I would model for Victoria Secret in a heartbeat. I love shopping from Victoria Secrets and browsing the catalog. Again, lingerie is not a sin. I am not posing for playboy and exposing my private parts. Lingerie and bikini's are just that, clothing. Another job.

Ill try to wrap this up.

In answer to the question:

Yes, I do call myself a women of God, a Christian, a wife, a mother, a sister, an aunt and a friend. I love Jesus, and He loves me. I believe in HIM, and HE believes in me. I am not ashamed of admiting my love for Christ. I try to make my every day choices to glorify God, and use my gifts and talents that HE gave me, and knitted in me from the womb to be an example to my children, to young girls looking up to me and while feeling good to know that my heavenly father is also smiling down on me, watching with joy, as he sees me having fun and enjoying my gifts and being thankful of them, given to me by HIM. (Ok, that was a super long run-on sentence!)

For you young girls whom have sent me emails with very kind compliments and questions. I just say this to you...... when in doubt, pray about it. Don't let the world of jealous people, judgmental people, mean people and false Christians themselves, guide your choices in life. God gives you clear answers if you just ask him. You will know if a job is just a job, or if you are presenting yourself in a way that you shouldn't be. You also know by your own heart of the matter, and so does God. Ask yourself, would I be ashamed to show this to God? If you can show it to GOD, then I believe you can do it.

God is ALL about the matters of the heart. He knows my intensions for taking a job over another, and I know that God is not looking down on me with disappointment for modeling for Miller Lite and with that I will not lose any sleep tonight by being questioned by someone who wasn't asking me out of real love and honest wonder. To then go to their home and watch a movie of actors doing, saying and representing much worse than just being sexy and holding a cold beverage called Miller Lite.

In fact, I enjoy a cold beer now and then. In fact (again) there is nothing better than sometimes being on the hot beach, playing some beach volleyball, hanging out with friends, getting a tan and taking the first sip of a nice cold beer (preferably Bud Light for me!), in a bikini!!!

If that makes my heart any less pure, any less Godly or any less Christian in YOUR eyes, you need to removed that stick from your eye, and look again.

Judging Others

1"Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.
3"Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4How can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye. Matthew 7:1-5

Although, this post turned out nothing like I imagined it the 100 times in my mind and thoughts. I hope I made this topic clear, honest and with love.

I want nothing more than to make God proud of me, my children proud of me, my husband proud of me. Then after that, I would love to be an example to my friends, my enimies, the young, the old, the saved and the lost.

I love doing what I do (acting/modeling). I wake up thankful each and every single day, that God blessed me with this talent and career. It has blessed me to have the best of both worlds. I am able to stay home as a full-time hands on mother to my children, while also helping to help add some additional income for my family. That to me is an amazing blessing.

I went down that long dark road I went through for a reason. I didn't go down it so I can be questioned by others, believers or not. I didn't go down it so I can live a life misrepresenting God. I lived it so I can be who God wants and intended me to be all along. I am able to be more like Christ through the trials I have been through. I am able to relate to others, have compassion and serve others better. Because of what I went through and the love and support of those people God placed in my life to guide me through my darks days. I am a better me today.

No one will fully understand the depth of which the hardships I experienced during those five years as a young single mom, but those that where hear helping me through it. If you were to sit down and talk with them about my journey, you would know that it was truly the darkest days of my entire life. Life changing for me, for the better. God saw I was drifting from him and He took, with love, the necessary steps as my father, to protect me and bring me back to him, so I could lead and live the life, HIS PURPOSE, for me. For my children. For my husband.
You can be a Christ follower, a Godly man or women and still be a model and actress. If I can't play a role in a film that says a curse word, or has a romantic scene because I am a Christian, then you as a Christian should never watch TV or a movie ever again, either. You watching the one same thing you are judging about me 'doing' as a role of acting or modeling, is NO different, or better or worse. If I can't model beer, then don't drink beer (or wine)!

But at the end of the day, I don't think that is Gods intensions and HE very much dislikes those type of people who play that game with HIM or with His children, such as, asking Him or Christians "what about this, what about that?"

Stop judging and worrying about everyone else around you, and keep your focus on yourself and your example you are leading.

Sin is SIN! You judging me, or questioning me, is questioning MY FATHER too. And it is no worse or less of a sin than the person whom has murdered a child. Sin is SIN! We are all sinners.

I am a model. I am an actress. I am a TV host.

I have done things I wouldn't do today. I have learned through the years and experiences and my life is also in a different place. It is no longer DARK or lost. I have been found. I have been forgiven and I am FREE.

I am wiser now also. More mature. I know better of right and wrong even more so today than I did 10 years, 5 years ago or a week ago. Each day I learn something new. I make mistakes, I learn from them.

I will not host a TV show and go into a bar and do body shots, as I have done for a TV show in the past. I will not represent myself in that way for a pay check. However, I would model for a beer ad again if I were asked and I felt it wasn't something inappropriate. I make those guidelines choices, not you.

I wouldn't model something that is going to expose my body again in an inappropriate way. I would do a film and play the role of a character even if it she says curse words, has a (what I would call) clean romantic scene. I would play a dramatic scene. I would play the character I was chosen for, while also being able to stand up and draw lines in what I would or would NOT do. There is a balance.

If I were Jennifer Anniston (I like her romantic comedy's) and you knew me, and I had a facebook account, and I claimed to be a Christian and a women of God. Would you not watch my movies and send me emails questioning me, my character and if I am glorifying God? Or how about posing nude with just a tie on for GQ magazine? I doubt it! Do you watch Jennifer Aniston's movies?

So, just because I am not some A list celebrity, and I am just your average girl next door trying to keep up with life, my family, be a leader and still find time to enjoy and use my gifts of acting and modeling..... don't feel so free to judge me, and then go watch a movie of Jennifer Aniston's.

Unless of course its Marley & Me, because my little Morgan Paige was in it. :) And or the blockbuster movie, The Prince and The Pauper, with the Sprouse twins. My son Hunter (and I) both were in a small spot in that movie.

Its fun stuff.

Something I will not force my children into and will only let them do if they really enjoy it and want to. Morgan had no clue, so don't go there people, she was two weeks old, and seemed pretty pleased to be held by Jennifer Aniston for four hours during the shoot. Hunter told me when he was about 4 or 5 he didn't like it. He never did it anything again. Until this year, now that he is 8 years old and realized he can earn a little money of his own when doing jobs and put the rest away for college. He now asks me when his next job is.

So trust me, I take my leadership to others important, but more important than than, I take my kids to heart. I would never want to steer them wrong. Instead, I lean on prayer and God for my guidance. And even then, sometimes if I still am not sure, Ill speak to my pastor and those of Godly leaders around me and seek their opinions.


I will never be made to feel ashamed or question my heart, my faith or myself by strangers who do not know me and are only trying to be mean and judgmental. It does not hurt my feelings at all. I don't lose sleep over those comments. I respond, in hopes to be the other voice to all readers out there, especially the young ones coming in behind us, trying to figured things out also. If we only closed our mouths and allowed those negative people to voice, then we leave our youth out to figure things out by themselves, and that is a form of abandament to them.

I hope to be a voice for future actors and models, and let them know that you can be a Christian, a child of God and a leader and still be a model and actress. Its not an easy one, but one still possible if this is the dream and passion you have in you to do, and God has given you the gifts and talent.

Okay, I have rambled enough.

And for a little giggle.....

There is nothing more wrong with modeling this picture for Miller Lite in a one piece bathing suite......

Than this picture in a one piece for a hotel in Puerto Rico.

Or this picture for a catalog.

Or any of these either:

ESPN with Alex Rodriguez

Miami Metro Magazine Cover

Turnberry Towers in Vegas

Marco Island, Marriott Hotel

Turnberry Avenetura Florida

They have the same thing in common. A) Its a job B) It has wardrobe of a bathing suit, lingerie or t-shirt or even a bathtub and C) its about a product.

How YOU view these images, is the matter of YOUR OWN HEART~

God Bless.

PS: And while we are on this topic, I have had several people email me asking for an autograph picture. Although, I am (blushing, with a giggle) surprised that anyone would want an autographed picture of me. I do promise that if you email me your mailing address, I will send you an autographed picture. And for those that already have sent me your address, I will get those out, I promise. Thanks for your patients and support.

I am a women of God, and I also am
actress and model.

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