Yesterday, I wrote a blog post about how I view myself in relationship to pictures of me. While writing, I was inspired to write about another issue I find myself dwelling in: beauty. What is beauty? Who is beautiful? What are the standards? etc. This is something I feel all women think about and struggle with. I had a thought a few weeks ago, what if we never had mirrors? We would never know what we really looked like and would never think of ourselves as ugly because there would be no standard of beauty. I know that thought is far-fetched, but think about it. One of the very first things I do in the morning is look at myself in the mirror. Most of the time I’m thinking, “Dang, I am so hot” (sarcastically of course) but we all do this. We get ready everyday in preparation of portraying ourselves the way we want other people to see us. It’s just become a part of our routine.
I know there is a such thing as hygiene and it is CERTAINLY important to take care of the bodies we have been given, but I know I get up earlier in the mornings to shower, because I want to be fresh, clean, and ready for the day. Once again, this is not a bad thing, but I spend nearly an hour every morning blow drying & straightening my hair, as well as applying make-up. I read a statistic that a woman spends an average of TWO years of her life looking at herself in the mirror. That’s 104 weeks. 730 days. As compared to a man who spends only 6 months looking at himself in a mirror. Here’s my question: why do women feel compelled to spend so much time on themselves? I know that there are plenty of men who deal with self-image issues as well, and it is becoming increasingly evident that men want to be considered “beautiful” in their own manly way. But it just seems to me that women feel that pressure more often than men do.
I also know there is a part of me that wants to look nice because it’s just a part of the way God made me, but this culture wants to DEFINE women by their beauty. Women find their identity in beauty. For some, beauty comes naturally, others have to do a little more to achieve it. No matter if you are the most physically gorgeous girl or the girl who could care less about what you look like, women desire to be beautiful and wanted by a man.
But man sees only outward beauty and sometimes we value ourselves and others based on what we SEE. For example, every time the Ladybirds perform at football games, the guys around me are hollering and screaming about how “hot” they all are. And yes, they are. Trust me, girls look at them and think, “Wow, that’s what I gotta look like for a guy to notice me or think I’m attractive? How do I get on that Ladybird workout?” Been there, done that. But I also know that there is more to those girls than how amazing they look or how awesome their dance routine is at a football game. Except society forgot to mention one thing, they don’t care. Beauty has a standard and if you don’t fit it, you’re not worth much. The phrase, “She’s got a great personality” doesn’t even matter. In fact, people just associate that with, “she must be ugly”. Shoot, we got it ALL wrong.
The sad part is that Christian guys are really no different. Yeah, they want a girl who loves Jesus, but they also want someone who meets all of their physical criteria as well. And I’m just as guilty. Obviously there has to be something there to have a connection with someone, I get that. But so far in my personal situation, I’ve got nothing. No guy, no experience. Just a big whopping goose egg. So, naturally, I blame my looks. I know I love Jesus and my relationship with him is pretty strong. I feel like I have a good connection with my Savior and could bring a lot to the table in a relationship with a man. I have a lot to offer, but no one has ever pursued me to find that out. Nothing stands out about me. The problem must be because I’m not attractive. It has to be my looks. I’m not good enough, physically, to be with any man. And that lie holds me back. It always has. In general, I’m cheating myself out of some great friendships because I’m not satisfied with how I look. I think that people don’t even want to be around me because I’m too fat and have 9000 chins. Yes, I have had these stupidly petty thoughts.
But as soon as those thoughts dictate how I view who I am, Satan wins. I don’t know about you, but the words, “wins” and “Satan” do not belong together. I can’t imagine how sad God feels when his creation isn’t pleased with who they are based on man’s view of beauty. I came across 1 Peter 3:3-4 when searching how God sees beauty. It says, “Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.” The word that stands out is precious. In God’s sight a gentle and quiet spirit is precious. Let’s just rest in that for a moment….
Our Creator thinks we are precious. Precious means “of great value; not to be wasted or treated carelessly.” Yet, how often do we let man treat us carelessly? The Most High Father thinks that we are not to be wasted or treated carelessly. We should be taken care of. And he so desperately wants to do that for us. He wants to take care of his children. Yes, there will be days where Satan will win and we will not view ourselves as children of God. But the good news for us is that the battle has been won! Christ already took one for the team; he gave us a break. And that is where our identity belongs. It’s time to let our standard of beauty be how the Father sees us. After all, HE is the one that created such precious beings.