What is beauty? It is unique. It is individual. It’s your attractiveness to those around you, and most importantly, to the one you spend the rest of your life with. That attraction may begin with just the physical glimpses, but as we all well know, that won’t sustain a relationship or a lasting feeling of self-worth. Do you feel beautiful? We all want to be beautiful and feel beautiful. That can be proven by the sheer amount of money spent on beauty and hair products each year. But can beauty come in a jar? Can beauty be tested and measured? I really don’t think it can- at least not without knowing who a person is inside. Personality is what makes beauty come alive- it energizes and animates beauty!
As a twenty-something in the world of photo-shopped models and Victoria’s Secret runway shows, it’s easy to forget about the true meaning of beauty. It’s easy to become superficial. And if I’ve become superficial, it’s impossible to be content with my appearance. I could sit here and name 20 or 30 things about my body, face, hair, and nails that I hate. It would be a stretch to name as many I love. But you know when I do feel beautiful? When I stop comparing myself to movie stars and models, and stop worrying if my husband really thinks my tummy’s too big and is just lying to me to be sweet. When I suck it up and remember that God made me-and the most beautiful part of me is my heart. When we’re comparing ourselves with others, we are using a ranking system in our minds. We all do it…I bet you can tell me who you think is prettier if I named two celebrities. And if I told you to think of 5 friends of yours, you’d be able to tell me where you think are on the rank of pretty. With a culture so geared toward pushing female sexuality and outward beauty, it becomes kind of automatic. We have tv shows, magazines, and web pages that all rank women’s beauty. (Just think about the “who wore it better” columns!)
When we subconciously rank ourselves alongside other women, we’re doing ourselves, the other women, and our Creator a real injustice. It’s not up to us to say who’s more beautiful. We don’t have the right to think we are more attractive or less attractive than anyone else. To think your more attractive is being conceited, obviously, but to think we’re less attractive is equally bad. And this is the side we tend to err on, I think. I’ve heard it said that supermodels have the worst self esteem. And I’m not sure if that’s true, but I bet there’s at least a grain of truth there. Why? Because they live in a world where they compete by their looks. Their beauty is ranked by others all the time. Sadly, the common populace is much the same way. Remember high school? It’s hard to shed old ways of thought, but I want to encourage you to let your beauty shine throughout the Holidays and beyond. Enjoy being who you are! That’s the part that won’t ever go away.
Finally, I realize not all of my readers share my faith, but this post reminds me of a very apt verse of the Bible that I try to remember when I find myself feeling ugly.
“Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting, but a woman who fear the Lord is to be praised.” Proverbs 31:30
It all comes down to who you’re trying to please? The perfectionistic side of yourself that wants to be perfectly put together at all times, (she can be pretty selfish and vain) or the part of you that wants to give to the world and take care of the ones you love and be a real light? Because those things make a woman truly beautiful. I always tell my daughters they are beautiful, but it’s more important to be beautiful on the inside than the outside and they have very beautiful hearts. And yeah, some people may rank your beauty, but who cares? You’re your strongest critic. At the end of the day, I’d rather people say that I’m a beautiful person that that I’m just beautiful. And when that’s your focus, you’re more beautiful than you can imagine!
***What is beauty to you? Leave it in the comments section.***