Being a woman who wants to go into ministry, I feel like I need to clarify to my readers of my intentions when it comes to my blog. Yes, I love fashion, Pinterest, and trying new products and ideas, but I want to make one thing clear. Beauty is not everything, and it is definitely not the defining part of who I am. And it shouldn’t be your defining factor either. You are much more than your appearance.
I may not be perfect (and you probably aren’t either), but I know that I am beautiful and worthy of love in God’s eyes.
And yet, I still catch myself being engulfed by the idea that my imperfections are what define me. This post has sat in my Draft Box for months now because, sometimes, I don’t even know how to confront my own insecurities of self worth. Dealing with the world’s standards for women is an issue I feel like almost every woman in America is facing. The world teaches us to compare ourselves to celebrities and our peers, and yet, comparison is one of the most hurtful things we can do to ourselves. Learning that comparison really is a thief of joy is one of the hardest concepts I think I have had to learn as a woman, and I still am stumped by what others think of me sometimes. Why is that? Why do I feel the need to always be improving my appearance above all else?
The truth is the definition of beauty is one of the most corrupt inventions of the world today.
Take a look at what the media is portraying as beauty right now. What do you see? I see SO many photoshopped women who have been made to have unrealistic proportions. Unrealistic facial features. Unrealistic body structure. Unrealistic curves. Unrealistic beauty.
Don’t think it is that bad? Check out this video. It’s quite shocking.
Yet, this is how women of today are expected to look like when, in reality, no one can look like what the media is portraying. Not even today’s models are able to achieve this ideal beauty. Just look at how Ralph Lauren edited Filippa Hamilton for their magazine cover. The photo on the left is said to be unedited, while the right is obviously Photoshopped. Take a look at her waste size compared to her head. (Filippa Hamilton claimed that she did not approve of how she was portrayed on the cover, and was later fired because they considered her “too fat.”) And this is only one example of how messed up the media’s mind is.
And how about celebrities? I bet if you Googled “Celebrity Women Who Have Had Plastic Surgery,” you would be shocked by how many breast implants and facial reconstructions that have been done. And yet, we feel like we have to look like them. We feel like spending thousands of dollars to be reconstructed is acceptable and desired. Why is this okay? Why do we feel like we have to become as idealized as possible?
We know the counterfeit imitations of the world’s beauty, so why do we still seem to chase after this look? Why do we keep supporting the 32 million dollar cosmetic industry when we know how flawed it is? Why do we keep purchasing the newest hair products, the latest and best mascara, the coolest nail polish, or the trendiest accessories – when we know these things, in the end, will not satisfy us?
Is it because of peer pressure? The need to feel beautiful? Accepted? Successful? Desired?
I am not saying that wanting to feel any of these traits is a bad thing. I am not even saying that women need to care less about their appearance. I am saying that this desire becomes wrong when we prioritize beauty. It is crazy to think about the amount of time and effort we, as women, put into our appearance, whether that means our clothes, cosmetics or weight.
So how do we overcome this idea of the world’s ideal appearance? Well, here are some of my tips.
1. Evaluating the Media. I’m not going to say to fast from all sources of media, because in this 21st day culture, that would be close to impossible. But I want to challenge you to take a closer look at what you are exposed to. Is your Pinterest feeding you impossible expectations? Are the TV shows you are watching making you feel like your closet isn’t big enough? Are you constantly checking for the newest beauty tutorials on Youtube? Or feeling discouraged by the Seventeen or Glamour magazines? Instead of feeding your insecurities, try to evaluate what is making you feel insecure. Once you figure it out, first of all, give it to God. Secondly, remind yourself that how the media portrays beauty is kind of (VERY) disgusting and unrealistic. The media is just a way for Satan to spit out lies of insecurity to you. And thirdly, tell yourself every time you think of your insecurity that it is a lie and remind yourself that you are beautiful (because you are!). You are beautiful, not only because of the way God created you physically but also, personally.
2. Have Self Worth. When I think of self worth, I think of confidence that won’t be shaken. This kind of confidence does not come from other people, but rather, from yourself.
Accept that God created you beautiful and for a purpose.
Accept that beauty isn’t everything.
Accept that looking perfect everyday will not happen … Sorry.
Accept that your beauty is just as gorgeous as your neighbor’s beauty.
Being able to be yourself confidently – even with all natural hair, no makeup, and sweatpants.
The truth is that you are going to have good days and bad days, but your appearance should not disrupt your chance on having a great day.
3. Devotional Time. This is the most important part. Even on my worst days, my personal time with God makes me feel refreshed and rejuvenated. If I start to feel insecure about myself, it is usually because I have been skipping my quiet time with Him. Not only will spending time with Him build your relationship, but it will also put your mind where it needs to be. And don’t forget… He created you. With Purpose. And beautifully.
Charm is deceptive,
and beauty is fleeting,
but a woman who fears
the Lord is to be praised.
Last but not least, I would like to end with a hope filled video. Even though the world seems to be filled with glamorized, worldly women, there are still women out there who would like to see a change. I want to thank Colbie Caillat for posting her new music video, “Try,” as an empowering message to women about natural beauty. Check it out and let me know what you think. Also, a special shout out to the Dove company for sharing truths about Photo-Shop and self-worth and to So Worth Loving for encouraging all women that they are worthy of love. Don’t be afraid to let me know what your views are in the comment bar or if you have any other resources that goes along with the topic of how the media portrays women.
Thanks for listening, and don’t forget to encourage the women who are around you. They are going through the same storms as you are.