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Published: Saturday, 2/7/2004

In God's eyes, all girls are B.A.B.E.S.

BLADE RELIGION EDITOR
Andrea Stephens Andrea Stephens
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It's time for teenage girls to look in the mirror and see themselves as B.A.B.E.S. - as in Beautiful, Accepted, Blessed, and Eternally Significant.

That's the point Andrea Stephens, former model turned author and beauty columnist, will make in her “B.A.B.E.S. Seminar,” coming to Toledo Feb. 14.

“Girls are so bombarded with the message that you need to look a certain way, to live up to this impossible beauty standard,” Mrs. Stephens said in an interview from her office in Bakersfield, Calif. “The world has a different beauty standard; it judges from the outside. The Bible says God judges from the heart.”

Mrs. Stephens, a native of Fostoria, said she learned about true beauty after she moved to New York City for a modeling career at age 19.

“The modeling world was good to me considering the short time I stayed,” she said. “I had several small magazine covers and national print ads.”

But while competing in the modeling business, she said, God showed her that inner beauty “is far more important than hips or hairdos.”

She left the Big Apple after two years and enrolled in a one-year Bible training program in Tulsa, Okla., where she felt prompted by the Lord to teach the principles of godly beauty to young girls.

For the last 12 years, Mrs. Stephens has worked as the beauty editor of Brio magazine, the glamour magazine published by Focus on the Family, and also has been conducting B.A.B.E.S. Seminars around the country.

She said junior high and high school girls today are dealing with a lot of negative influences, especially concerning their self-image.

“Kids today, they feel they don't matter, they don't count,” Mrs. Stephens said. “It's very important that by the end of the seminar they know that they do matter.”

In addition to scriptural advice on inner beauty, acceptance, and knowing God's will for your life, Mrs. Stephens sets aside time for “chick chats” and offers tips on understanding boys.

While inner beauty counts the most, it doesn't mean that girls are going to ignore their outer appearance, she said. The B.A.B.E.S. Seminar includes advice on using makeup and skincare products.

“I think all women, when they feel good about their appearance, they feel more confident,” Mrs. Stephens said.

The Toledo B.A.B.E.S. Seminar also will feature Lisa Velthouse, who was named Brio Girl 2000, and singer Summer Ellis. The event runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Calvary Assembly of God, 5025 Glendale Ave. Tickets, $10, are available at are Christian bookstores and Calvary, 419-381-0254.



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