Leah Darrow is dressed in a stunning off-white blouse and stylish knee-length, multi-colored skirt. Her beauty - which won her the stage on the likes of America's Next Top Model - shines through in her down-to-earth personality, which easily ingratiates her with just about anyone.
Something else that makes her so endearing: a book she co-authored called "Decent Exposure" that's coming out in the next few weeks, her month-old baby - her first, named Agnes Regina - and her husband, Ricky Soldinie. The three live in Denver but came to Dallas this weekend so Darrow could speak at Modesty Matters - a Bible-based event at the Mansfield location of Hawaiian Falls. (The founder of Hawaiian Falls, David Busch, has strong Biblical values that trickle into every part of the five Hawaiian Falls parks around North and Central Texas.)
"My role is to talk about the virtue of modesty and encourage and challenge others to walk closer with the Lord through this virtue," Darrow said. "Modesty brings beauty to the world, dignity to the person and honor to God."
From her teenage years in high school, Darrow began making "poor choices" with boys, the world and more. She was brought up with Christian values, but God had not yet given her the faith to believe.
"My moral compass was not pointing due north," Darrow said. "I was enamored with Tyra Banks. I thought America's Next Top Model was going to make me happy and bring me money and success."
She chose to continue down that path and moved to New York City.
"I was so vain," Darrow said. "I thought my stuff didn't stink."
Darrow got a call from an international magazine and they told her how pretty she is, how great she is, and asked her to do a bikini photo shoot.
"All the bikinis were itty bitty. Indecent. Immodest," Darrow said. "My relationships were indecent. The outfits they presented - I was a coward, I didn't want to offend them, so I wore them."
In the middle of the shoot, it was God in the flash of a camera that changed her life's trajectory. She saw the profile of a man's face in the flashing light - and He looked very disappointed.
"I was becoming more miserable as the shoot went on," she said. "I was trying to pretend like it was OK."
Instead of continuing, Darrow took off their clothes, put on hers and in turn was told, "We were doing this as a favor to Tyra Banks! If you walk out of here, you'll be nothing!"
Suddenly wanting to be "nothing" in the eyes of the world she replied, "Do you promise?"
She asked for God's forgiveness, then spent several years hunkering down with the Lord, praying every day, going to church regularly. Then, it became clear to her that God was encouraging her to help other women in that way, she said.
Now, she travels to the Philippines, Australia and beyond with her modesty message.
"I have a front row seat to the workings of the Holy Spirit," she said. "The world promises you comfort. You are not made for comfort. You are made for greatness, in God's image."