There was one time my freshman year that a friend of mine came to me a little upset. She wanted inspiration from the Bible about beauty. She told me, “I don’t feel beautiful lately, so I was looking for Bible verses that would remind me that I am.”
And guys, don’t hate me, but my first thought was, “Maybe you’re not.”
I didn’t say that, obviously (that’s a surefire way to win the most terrible friend of the year award, FYI), but in retrospect, maybe she needed to hear it. Maybe we all need to hear it.
Maybe you aren’t beautiful.
Take a look at celebrities. After all, that’s who society tells us is the most beautiful. They’ve been setting trends and establishing standards for way longer than I’ve been alive. If you were to write out a list of different traits that structured the American standard of beauty, how many celebrities would have several, if not all, of those same qualities? If there was a rubric that graded how aesthetic a body was, where would models fall? But what if you don’t have enough of those qualities? Then logically, according to society, you’re not beautiful.
And therein lies the problem. Because you are beautiful. You are magnificent.
Let’s go back to my friend for a second. She was asking me to provide her with scripture verses that would tell her she was beautiful, but I couldn’t do that. How do you tell someone they’re beautiful when they’re basing their ideas of beauty on the wrong definition?
You change that definition.
It’s not that easy. You’re right, it’s not. Understandably. We’ve been fed images and ideals our entire lives. Disney princesses are flawless. The dolls we played with growing up are completely unrealistic. The women we see in magazines and on billboards are digitally edited (as if being in the 2% of the United State’s most perceptively beautiful isn’t enough). A size six–a healthy average for most women–is viewed as plus sized in the designer world. Makeup commercials remind us that we need to be more than natural. These influences have bombarded us from the first day our heads popped into the world. And in a world where beauty is determined by these influences, we might as well be chopped liver.
So how do you fix this? How do you feel beautiful in a world that says you aren’t enough? Change your definition.
This is not the answer you want to hear. I know. It’s not the answer I want to hear, either, trust me. Changing your definition of beauty means changing 10, 15, 20, 30 years of lies that have been fed to you as truth. And even though it will take me more than one blog post, let me start with replacing some of those lies with a truth that doesn’t discriminate, a truth that won’t change even when standards do…
Society did not create me. Society did not create you. It might have molded you, it might have directed your brain to believe certain things, but society did not create you. God did. Before you were knit together in your mother’s womb, God knew you. He thought of something precious and beautiful and He had to breathe life into you.
So He crafted your eyes, shaped your lips, put a gap in your teeth, and colored your skin, your eyes, your hair. He made you snort when you laugh. He gave you delicate hiccups and elephant sneezes. He made your hair ridiculously frizzy. He gave you the ability to never tan no matter how hard you try. He made one of your eyebrows the tiniest bit higher than the other. He gave you a love for cats, or dogs, or farming, or children, or fixing things, or horses, or dancing, or the color orange, or iguanas. He made you tall. Or lanky. Or short. He gave you that birth mark that everyone can see when you go swimming. He marked the width of your shoulders. He penciled in a thigh gap. Or maybe He erased it. He carved the curves of your body. He drew every eyelash, every freckle, and every speck of brilliant color in your eyes.
Every single part of you was intimately designed in the image of a God who is completely flawless. You are the product of the greatest artist that ever has and ever will exist.
Do you know what that makes you?
Priceless. Completely and utterly.
That means, no matter what happens, no matter who tells you that you aren’t enough, no matter how many times you look at yourself in the mirror and wish you saw someone else, no matter if everyone you turn to refuses to acknowledge that you are beautiful, that you don’t need to listen to the haters. Because you are a hand-crafted piece of incredible art.
The same artist that carves mountains, creates the ripples in the ocean, paints sunset after sunset after sunset…that same artist created you and declared you his masterpiece.
So it doesn’t really matter ten cents what the world thinks of you. What right does the created have to critique the creator? Stop looking at yourself with the eyes society has given you. That’s not how they were meant to be used.
You are beautiful. You are beloved.
So remember that even when you’re not beautiful, you most definitely always are.
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