On Beauty and Self-Image

“YOU ARE UGLY.”

How many of you feel instantly offended and innately crushed by those words? If you are a female, it is highly probable that you bristled. Women are designed to be beautiful. To be deemed, labeled, or to even *feel* ugly is like snatching a pearl and leaving an empty oyster. (And no, you are not ugly.)

God created women to be beautiful. He created them to be attractive and desirable. Well, lo and behold, Satan knows that.

Have you noticed that “beauty” has taken on many sizes, shapes and colors over the centuries? You see pictures of the pale and plump medieval royalty, curvy Marilyn Monroe, and now it’s the tan and athletic image.

Beauty has become an image. It has become an appearance. It has become a marketable façade.

“If you wear this…you’ll be beautiful!”
“If you lose this…you’ll be beautiful!”
“If you apply this…you’ll be beautiful!”
“If you show more of this…”

It doesn’t even sell for the word “beautiful” any more. It has actually morphed into “hot” and “sexy” and there is no distinction between beauty and sexual appeal.

This makes me so angry! I see countless girls who want to be desired, they want affirmative attention. If they do not get this at home from their close family, they will look elsewhere. And elsewhere is unfortunately very close by. The internet is notorious for young girls looking for affirmation. It saddens and disgusts me when all these girls post pictures of themselves in their underwear. If you like your undies, that’s totally fine, just keep them to yourself, okay? 🙂

I’ll tell you something else, it’s not just the non-Christian ladies who suffer from this behavior–it’s us Christian ones, too. Because we read our Bibles and we learn that God doesn’t give us little airbrushed inserts in Scripture that depict the “perfect” body image. We learn that God is more concerned about how our hearts appear before Him, than how our bodies compare to others’. We strive to apply Biblical standards.

Then we’re smacked with a glossy magazine. Or a flashy pop-up. Or the photo after one our friend was tagged in. It mocks and sneers and says, “Hey, you aren’t really gonna get the attention you want by dressing decently. Check THIS out. Just go a little tighter. A little lower. And a little more sheer. You’re never gonna get a guy if you don’t flaunt what ya got.”

Oh, these are lies straight from the pit of hell that reek of sulfur! So now we aren’t just unattractive, we’re also not desirable. Psshhhh.

So for the ladies who haven’t placed their hope in Christ…they feel worthless.

But for us gals who know that Christ’s desire is to present us as blameless and spotless before the Father…why should we feel worthless?

Another thing that greatly bothers me is the onslaught of pornographic music. Catchy melodies that promote promiscuity. “Rock that, get low, baby I can’t live without your touch…” First of all, if some guy can’t live without touching you, that’s his problem and you should do your best to avoid him. (For married folks that’s a different issue, but you know what I mean.) Our bodies were not created for bar room entertainment.

It comes down to this: the Lord created women to be beautiful. But the beauty He desires is the kind that is in gentle submission to Him, not the kind dressed in the current trend. (Note that I am not saying trends are inherently bad, but they can’t define you.) I love the verse in 1 Peter 3:4-5a, where we learn that our beauty “should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to make themselves beautiful…”

Are we gonna rock that beautiful body for Him as girls/women whose hearts have been captivated by the only One who can truly love our souls? Or are we gonna rock it like one whose soul is continually raped by Satan’s evil lust?

Let me give it to you straight: We have a terrible problem with self-image. Between makeup, or clothes, or even our attitude. We put on masks so others won’t see how we see ourselves, yet inside we long to be known intimately.

When Jesus says that His yoke is easy and His burden light, He is implying that we take on His way of living and lay down the world’s standards. This means that He is the only one we are to imitate, He is our only model. It’s His image we’re after. Strive to be beautiful in His eyes.

Dare to let yourself be discovered by the One who knows every fiber of your being. Perhaps that seems pointless, but the process is way more exciting when you willingly allow God to permeate. Let Him conquer you; tear down your defenses. He will make you stronger, He won’t leave you alone and vulnerable.

You were created by the Author of life itself. Take pride in that heritage! Live with reckless abandonment for the great Redeemer, the one who was ransomed for your soul for the glory of God the Father.

“How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know Him. Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when He appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see Him as He is. Everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.”
1 John 3:1-3

“…as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride, so will your God rejoice over you.”
Isaiah 62:5b

“Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.”
Proverbs 31:30

“Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
Matthew 11:28-30

*soli deo gloria*

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