One Woman's Take on Real Beauty
It started weeks ago when I happened to see a makeup commercial for CoverGirl announcing their new product called "Simply Ageless." Ellen DeGeneres played the usual, unrealistic-looking "model" to show off the product. It wasn't the actual commercial that bothered me, but what she said in the very beginning: "Inner beauty is important, but outward beauty is even MORE important." In all honesty, I was somewhat angry. Being "beautiful" isn't everything. The sad part is many girls will believe it is.
To argue that external beauty is most important completely contradicts the Bible, as 1 Samuel 16:7 says: "The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart."
More recently, I went to the beach for a week. During that time, and the week after I got back, five different people mentioned to me that I didn't seem THAT tan. (If you're one of those people, and you're reading this, I have nothing against you; I am just adding this to my point). I'm not one to care a significant amount about my own outward beauty, but this did bother me. Did you know that being tan was once not even valued?
Four hundred years ago, alabaster skin was considered an essential item for the fashionable woman. Tan skin was a stigma associated with the lower classes, who mainly worked outdoors. Beauty trends are constantly changing. What does it matter if I'm not tan enough today, for tomorrow pale skin could be back in style? This is the same with any trend, whether clothing or objects.
Part of being beautiful is just being satisfied with the way God made you and not constantly trying to be "good enough" for the world and its corrupt and unrealistic views. The truth is, you will NEVER be good enough to the world or to people of the world. So many women, including those who are Christians, struggle with being pretty or skinny enough. Even godly girls can be insecure about the way they look. However, being beautiful means nothing when a girl's heart is a dark shade of black and full of hate and bitterness (Matt. 23:28).
In the midst of all the shallowness and fake views of the world, we can find truth from God's Word about the way He loves us and what REAL beauty is:
- "Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting, but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised" (Prov. 31:30).
- "The King is enthralled by your beauty; honor him for he is your lord" (Ps. 45:11).
- "I also want women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or expensive clothes, but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God" (1 Tim. 2:9–10).
- "I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well" (Ps. 139:14).
- "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart" (Jer. 1:5).
- "Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it 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" (1 Pet. 3:3–4).
I think a girl can be most beautiful when she's in love with Christ her Lord and desires to be more Christ-like each day, containing the most valuable fruits of the Spirit: "Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control" (Gal. 5:22–23). And if you read this verse carefully, you'll see no mention of outward beauty.
Written by Rachel Chick
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