(This story first appeared on CNikky.com)
*Gospel artist Erica Campbell captured our hearts on her WE tv doc-series entitled “Mary Mary” that’s now in it’s fourth season. Then she made our spirits sing with the release of her first solo album ‘Help!’ Now, she is is challenging our minds with her new empowerment movement, “I Am More Than Pretty.” I recently sat down with Erica to talk about the re-release of her album and her new single, but I was intrigued by her new movement and when she explained what she is doing and why, I found myself having a few aha moments!
“I Am More Than Pretty” is a series of seminars, where Erica, along with a panel including her husband, Warryn Campbell, Meagan Good and Devon Franklin, sit and speak to people about sexuality in Christianity, the stigma that comes with being sexual, why we spend so much time putting ourselves down, being addicted to seeking approval from others (including social media), how to maintain fire in your marriage and so much more! She is contemplating bringing the seminar on the road and traveling the country in order to help as many people as she can.
Here are a few highlights of what we discussed, but I highly reccomend you watch the interview in it’s entirety to get the message.
On sexuality and why we constantly tear ourselves down:
“I’ve had a lot of heartbreak, I’ve made some wrong decisions. I wish I could say that I was a virgin when I got married but I was not. And through a sincere desire to know God, and to know why our super sexualized culture is now the authority and not people of God. When God created sex! And he created sexuality and sensuality! I mean we demonize girls with curves, we demonize people who are aware of themselves. This is a God thing! It’s gives you a different kind of authority and power to walk in a room and be fully aware of who you are and not need someone to go, ‘Ooh you look cute today,’ you should already know that! That’s not arrogance! You should feel comfortable when you walk out of the house. You shouldn’t look at yourself in the mirror and only point out your flaws. You shouldn’t get dressed and the moment someone gives you a compliment you say, ‘Well you know I had to wear spanx! Or, well, this was only $5. We minimize everything about ourselves. And even women who get married, your husband who married you and wants to be with you, all you do is ask him, ‘Am I too fat?’ ’Oooh don’t look!,’ ‘Turn the lights out,’, ‘This is too much.’ My husband literally told me the other day, he said “You’re the most beautiful woman on the planet, I don’t want you changing what I think! Stop pointing out stuff to me! That’s not what I see when I see you. I see you as a beautiful curvaceous woman and I want you just the way you are.’ And a lot of times in relationships, whether we’re married or not, that’s what we do. They see, ‘Oh my God she’s beautiful,’ and we point out all the negatives.”
On Social Media Addiction:
“Everything is based on likes. And depending on how many ‘likes’ I get will determine how much I like myself. We’re obsessed with going [through the phone] ‘Oh how many? Oh I only got this many [likes] on this picture. Oh she got a lot when she posted her behind, maybe I’ll post mine? Oh she gets a lot when she post her titties, maybe I’ll post mine?’ We’re so torn and caught up in this circle and we’re not getting anywhere! So, I wanna talk about it. I want to be real honest and candid and talk about it.”
“God made you perfect and beautiful and wonderful and if we embrace that then the enemy can’t fight you as hard as he does. He can’t trick you to make you think you need validation from someone else. It’s a beast that we feed and we’re feeding it bits and pieces of ourselves. And we’re dying sometimes at the same time.”
I found myself in a lot of what she was saying and I’m sure many of you do too. Why is it so hard to love ourselves un-conditionally? Why do we spend so much of our lives searching for validation? Why is being confident demonized? I think that Erica’s ‘I Am More Than Pretty,’ movement is desperately needed and I’m so happy that she is sharing her wisdom and life experience with all of us. Follow Erica on social media to find out where she will be speaking next! @imericacampbell
Be sure to check out all 4 parts of my interview with her. We talk about the controversy with her new single, ‘I Luh God,’ her new church she started with Warryn, Mary Mary and much more! Click Here to watch all 4 and pick up her awesome album Help 2.0 in stores and on iTunes now!
Watch The Interview Below: