I had the opportunity to chat with Candace Cameron Bure to talk about what life was like being a teen in the spotlight on Full House, what advice she has for teens now, and how her faith influences her choices today.
You’ve worked on two shows that highlight adolescent issues. First, with Full House, your teenage years were out there for everyone to see. Now with Make It or Break It, you work closely with teenage girls. Do you see a difference in the issues that you faced in the 90’s vs. the issues teens have today? What is the one thing you wish someone had told you then that you think teens need to hear today?
There’s a huge difference. I’m the mom of a teenager, my oldest is 13. It so different today as when I was a teenager. I can look back at Full House episodes and we can kind of laugh about where DJ sat in a phone booth because she had no one to eat lunch with or wore the same clothes as someone else. Times are different. There are no more phone booths [laughter].
The whole aspect of social networking and computers has just changed everything when it comes to teenagers. Because of this accessibility, we can talk to the entire world. We have the accessibility to see what we never could before. If we come from a home that was much more protective we would never see some things that everyone sees today.
The hardest part is just trying to figure out who you are and be comfortable with yourself. [That comfort] comes from so many ares of your life. It can be physical, spiritual, or mental. I wish I heard that more often. It’s okay to just be yourself and not worry about what everyone else thinks. I don’t’ think I grasped that until I was in my late 20’s.
Being a Christian in Hollywood, how do you stay strong in your faith and not give into the temptations that seem to abound there?
For me, my faith is everything. It’s who I am I’m a believer and choose to walk in Christ. I know I’m going to be made fun of and that people won’t like me because of it. I ask myself, do I care about what God thinks about me or what other people think about me. At the end of the day, it’s what God thinks about me. If I truly believe it, I have to live by it. I have to accept that not everyone thinks I’m going to be cool. There are so many stories in scripture that point me toward that very thing. [Those stories] give us the strength to persevere. If everyone did like me I probably wouldn’t be walking the way Christ wants me to.
Tell us about your family. What do you hope for your kids as they grow up? How do you see family playing a role in your kids faith as they age, especially as they soon enter their teenage years?
It’s a tough thing, because everyone needs to claim their faith as their own at some point in their life. Even for me, I became a Christian at 12, and didn’t grow up in a strong Christian household. I didn’t embrace [my faith] until I was 25. I also have to keep that in the back of my mind with my kids. Of course we go to church on Sundays, and we read the bible. They have devotionals, and they go to a Christian school where they’re the values are embraced as well. We work together at school and home. There’s lots of things we can do.
As a parent the biggest thing I can do is live out my faith according to how I talk about it. If my actions don’t match my words it will make a big difference. But we can only do so much. My kids are going to have to make the decision at some point. I talk to teenagers about that. You can be in youth group and lead and be in worship, but you’re not a Christian just because you do those things. You have that day in your life where you choose. When you do that something changes. It’s not just a matter of [faith] being a compartment of your life, it becomes your life. It’s something we all hopefully will embrace.
I think the family only helps to encourage that, and to show that at home, but still it’s each child’s choice.
You discuss your issues with body image very openly. Is this something you think most girls struggle with, and how do you work through them every day?
I think it‘s become such a struggle, because it’s been so prominent in our society with TV, magazines, etc. We discuss it so much. Talking about it really only propels those conversations even more. As much as we’re trying to do good and bring sensibility to the topic, there is such a weight placed on it.
I can’t stress enough how much airbrushing and photoshop goes on with every picture. Even the non-professional pictures are manipulated. 99% are manipulated to look perfectly flawless. It becomes a mind trip to all of us. In reality, we are beautiful, but they are getting a little extra help.
My advice to girls is to know that God wonderfully made you and you are unique and special no matter what your size is. God loves you and it’s not dependent on what you weight or how you look or where you’re at. God’s love is full no matter what, because it’s how He made you.
I think it’s important and I talk about it in the book, it’s important to keep ourselves fit and healthy. Not a size or specific weight, but a healthy weight for you We have to take care of our bodies, but not obsess over it. Our bodies don’t give us our value. Only god give us our value.
Tell us about your new Christmas movie coming out, The Heart of Christmas. What drew you to this movie?
I got asked by a friend if I would read this script. They told me, “There’s no money in the movie. It’s just incredible and if it tugs at your heart, they’d like you to do it.” I watched a YouTube video about the family. I just watched the story, and after 3 minutes I was bawling my eyes out. I read the script right away. Half way though I knew I wanted to do this movie. It spoke to what’s important to me. It’s what I want to do through entertainment. It’s about family.
Anything else you would like the reader’s to know?