Sunday, September 12, 2010

What is beauty?

I think most of us can admit that we like people-watching. I always have, but I never really thought about it that much until a couple nights ago. I especially like to watch how other girls interact with each other; how they carry themselves; how they act. It's interesting to me because I often find myself wondering if they know that they are loved by an amazing Father, and that they are beautiful.

Last night I was at the K-State football game, which is a pretty good people-watching opportunity if you ask me. The girl behind me along with the girl in front of me, was yelling all kinds of hateful and demeaning words at the other team and at the refs. I turned to my left and watched a guy pull a beer out of his pocket that he had snuck in, and pour the younger girl behind him a big glass of Bud Light, and then I watched as this guy finished off the beer and then fell off the bench while the girls around him caught him.

I watched as two girls walked past me with their shirts rolled all the way up under their chests, baring their entire stomachs.

I am not writing this judgmentally, but rather with a broken heart, because I'm the same way. Why is it that especially as women we are so uncomfortable with ourselves? Why is it that women usually have no respect for themselves? What possesses us to walk down the street half-naked wearing so much makeup that you can't even see pores?

The other night, I was watching Mean Girls (yes, I like that movie!) and there's a scene where the "Plastics" each look in the mirror and say things they hate about themselves, like "At least you guys can wear halters, I have man shoulders," or "My hairline is so weird" or, "My hips are huge!" It seems ridiculous, but it is so true.

I can stand in the mirror and pick out a lot of things I would change about myself. The mirror is a scary thing for me. Like the fact that I still break out like I'm 14 and my face is scarred despite the hundreds of dollars my parents poured into trying to fix my skin. I cannot tell you how many dermatologists I've seen, how many medications I've taken, how many tears I've cried over this, and how many creams and soaps I've put on my face. But, like most girls, I feel like that flaw is all that people see.

Someone told me this summer (and I hope you are reading this) that my identity is not found in how I look or what I wear. It is in Christ. But for some reason I still cling to these things that I hate about myself. The things that make me say, "How can anyone love you?!" I haven't found the answer to that. Maybe it's because perfection (so-called) has been instilled in us since we were babies. It's in magazines, movies, ads, on billboards, on the internet, and in books.

Or maybe we long for perfection because that's how we were created to be. We weren't created for sickness, for self-hatred, or to be insecure. We were created in the image of God.

"I want to be beautiful,
Make you stand in awe,
Look inside my heart,
and be amazed.
I want to hear you say
Who I am is quite enough.
Just want to be worthy of love,
and beautiful" - bethany dillon

We have let beauty become something that is created by computer programs, when God has told us that as His daughters our beauty should come from within, not from jewelry, not from clothing, and not from "fancy hairstyles" and definitely not from Photoshop.

So, the next time you look in the mirror and start to ridicule yourself, STOP. Open your Bible. Read 1 Peter 3:3-4. This might sound funny, but I believe God made women mysterious for a reason. Stop freely giving that mystery away.

Two things: Respect yourself. You are beautiful.

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