Model and Local Author Create New Book that Addresses Core Issues Women Face

Written by Ann Byle on . Posted in Local

Reitz YouAreBeautiful HCAshley Reitz seemed to have it all: an active modeling career, traveling all over the world, and starring on FOX's reality television show Coupled. But for this "curve model," it wasn't enough.

Now Reitz reveals her life-long struggle with body image, self doubt and insecurity in her new book "You Are Beautiful: A Model Makeover from Insecure to Confident in Christ," recently released by FaithWords.

"When I was in high school, there were certain themes that kept popping up in my life, things I struggled with. I felt God tugging on my heart and felt I'd go into women's ministry at some point in my life," said Reitz, who is moving from Florida back to Michigan, where she grew up, this month.

She got into the modeling industry, which magnified the issues she already struggled with but which also pointed out the need for women and girls to talk honestly about body image and self worth and a woman's image as a child of God.

"After the show Coupled, girls and women contacted me with questions," she said. "I told God I don't want to waste this opportunity, which lead to this book at this time."

Reitz paired up with Grand Rapids author Lorilee Craker to create "You Are Beautiful." Craker is author of 13 books including "Anne of Green Gables, My Daughter, and Me" and "My Journey to Heaven" with Marv Besteman.

"Ashley is very authentic and relatable," said Craker. "The deeper I dug into her story, the more I realized she had some hurts and wounds relatable to many girls and women who have felt the same way."

Craker and Reitz met in person in Florida for several days, otherwise communicated via email and phone calls.

"I felt like I was talking with a friend," said Reitz. "Lorilee and I connected really well and I was able to be very open with her, share my heart of hearts with her. I'd write a bunch of my thoughts and stories and lessons learned, turn it all over to her and she'd put her magic touch on it."

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For Craker, the issues she help Reitz open up about were issues all women face. "I'm 20 years older than her, but for me it was a good book to write. I was able to interact with topics such as our identity in Christ and how we don't have to keep running on a treadmill to find our worth. Any woman can benefit from her story because of the core issues we all face. It's an important book."

Both women will be at Baker Book House on Tuesday, Dec. 12, the official launch date for "You Are Beautiful," to introduce the book and talk about the issues it addresses. Books will be available for purchase and to have signed by Reitz and Craker.

"I'm still challenged," said Reitz, "but my life has so much more peace. I know how different life looks and how different we feel when we know who we are in Christ. When we allow the Lord to bring that peace and the foundation of who we are in Him, we don't seek it from the world."

Connect:

Ashley Reitz and Lorilee Craker
What: Book launch for "You Are Beautiful"
Date: Tuesday, Dec. 12 at 7 pm
Where: Baker Book House, 2768 East Paris Ave. SE
Details: Ashley and Lorilee will talk about and sign copies of the book, available for purchase at the store
Author Information
Ann Byle
About:
Ann Byle is a freelance writer and owner of AB Writing Services. She writes for a number of publications including WMCN, Publishers Weekly, CBA Christian Market and Grand Rapids Magazine, and is author or coauthor of several books including The Baker Book House Story, The Call to Care: A Compassionate Response to Caring for Vulnerable Children (2018) and Christian Publishing 101 (2018). She and her husband Ray, a science teacher, have four young adult children.

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