Former model says she was blessed for her commitment to high standards, religion

Published: Thursday, Dec. 6 2012 1:00 p.m. MST

Martha Lyles (Catholic Renewal) Martha Lyles (Catholic Renewal)

Our take: Former model Martha Lyles talks about her experiences as a Catholic model from 1970 to 2000 and how her religious convictions shaped her career and ultimately brought her closer to God.

I was a model back when bust-waist-hip measurements were bandied around like batting averages on baseball trading cards. Those three numbers were printed in Miss America programs until 1985.

Mine were 34-22-33.

Like Twiggy, I was tiny, but I feared that my bust was inadequate. So did others, apparently; implants began making the rounds among American models. The idea just didn't hold up to my core values. That's not the way God made me, I decided. I'm not going to get into that. My newlywed husband, Dick, backed me up. He liked me just as I was.

I got over those superficial concerns, joined a Bible study and rediscovered my Christian faith. Ultimately, three decades of modeling from 1970 to 2000 brought me closer to God. I worked to develop my inner and outer beauty, embracing the adventure of each shoot and dropping to my knees to thank Him for every opportunity.

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