25-year-old Yumi Nu — plus-size Sports Illustrated Swimsuit cover model, singer-songwriter. Recently, The Cut published an essay written by the girl, where she frankly tells how she went from a pupil of a Christian school to a model posing in swimsuits, and explains why she eventually became disillusioned with religion. She titled the article: “Destroying faith. As a teenager, I gave everything to Christ. As an adult, I finally return back.”
A 14-year-old Yumi wouldn't come close to today's Yumi. She would look at me with disappointment and shame because I had departed from the Lord. She would pray for me, believing in her heart that I was a lost sheep unable to find her way home. She would not believe that happiness and healthy relationships are possible in my life, because all this is based on sin,
— writes the model. As she says, her grandmother introduced her to faith, she also sent the girl to a Christian school, where a lot of time was devoted to talking about religion.
Yumi Nu as a child
I was afraid for the lives of everyone the people I love who didn't believe in Christ, especially my agnostic father… I talked endlessly about how Jesus had changed me and how he could have saved them too — if they just believed.
In the future, the girl began to run her own Christian channel on YouTube, which gained 20 thousand subscribers. There she talked about God with her peers — some shared her beliefs, others criticized her.
Yumi admits that at some point she began to ask herself questions about whether everything that the teachers at school were saying was true. In particular, she was embarrassed that they called any relationship sinful, except for the relationship between a man and a woman. The girl had several gay friends, and she thought:
If God is as loving as I was told, why did he simply reject some people?
In addition, her teachers considered any manifestations of sexuality:
I was constantly told that any sexual desire, even just some kind of thought, — this is wrong, these are fantasies that Satan puts in our heads. It was especially horrific that we were taught the idea of a woman's responsibility to ensure that men were not tempted. This means that you need to control everything: how you dress, how you walk, any manifestation of at least a little defiant or simply expressive behavior should be stopped.
At the age of 20, Yumi moved to New York and met people who also called themselves Christians, but at the same time went to parties, had novels, could drink — and was shocked that faith could be like this:
To my surprise, when we talked about Jesus, their faces lit up with the same light as those of the people I grew up with.
Yumi decided to fulfill her dream of becoming a singer: she has been composing songs since childhood, but because of her religious upbringing, she could afford write only about God, other topics could be considered sinful. In Los Angeles, she found herself in the company of creative people and “felt free for the first time”:
Separating myself from my past, I wrote and wrote. Finally released the song Sin (“Sin”) — about my break with the church. She lay with me for three years, but I did not feel ready for such a confession.
Yumi concludes the article by saying that she is “still exploring her relationship with God” and learning to adapt in the world without regard to her instilled principles in childhood.
Breaking from the Church — one of the biggest traumas of my life. The solid foundation I rested on turned out to be a crumbling house of cards, an illusion that quickly fell apart,
— the model is recognized.