Actress Encourages Women to Break from 'Cultural Bondage'

Nancy Stafford played Andy Griffith's partner on Matlock after winning "Miss Florida" contest, yet didn't find acceptance.

(AgapePress) - A Hollywood actress says women should see themselves as God sees them and not try and live up to culture's ideas about beauty.

Nancy Stafford is best known for playing Andy Griffith's law partner on the ABC series Matlock. The Florida native is also a former Miss Florida and has appeared on numerous television dramas.

Stafford says that throughout much of her early acting career, she was often in bondage to the culture. But in her new book Beauty by the Book: Seeing Yourself as God Sees You, Stafford offers true hope on the subjects of beauty and acceptance.

"I've been in this industry and I've been in the beauty fashion world for many, many moons," Stafford says, "but everything I have learned about true beauty, true acceptance, and value have not come from the industry - far from it. They've come from God showing me my true identity in Him."

In the book, Stafford lays out scriptures, promises, and truths she says women need to know to find true freedom from the past and freedom from the bondage of the culture. "I love women," she says. "I have a real heart to see them set free from some of the things that keep us in bondage to our past - old hurts and wounds ? that we still rehearse in our minds - and also free from the culture's standards of beauty, which are pretty unattainable and very unrealistic."

Stafford serves on the governing boards of InterMission, a group of more than 3,000 committed Christian professionals in Hollywood, and the Actor's Co-Op, a professional Christian theater company. She is also the host of Main Floor, a syndicated series focusing on beauty and lifestyle trends.

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