A well known celebrity is found screaming at paparazzi as she walks the distance from her flight to her ground transportation. This usually friendly star surprises the media as she yells and runs for cover. The reason? She didn’t have any make-up on and her complexion is quite bad, according to an insider, so she didn’t want to be seen. Hmm…why would this popular actor feel the need to hide from us? I mean, it’s her talent that we admire, right? Or does even she, with all her wealth, fame, and genuinely good looks know that we are judging her by her face? She knows it and we know it too.
The most alarming truth about this is that if someone that most people would label, “beautiful” feels less than that label without make-up on, what hope does that give the rest of us “average” people? Oh, but see what’s great about this is that it shows us how ridiculous our obsession with physical beauty is.
The truth is that our culture is obsessed with looks. So much so, that the only women that model clothes and beauty products are typically around 98% thinner than the average woman! Magazine covers are swarmed with airbrushed (and when I say airbrushed, I’m not just talking about covering a pimple…I’m talking about cutting away at the woman’s waist and thighs to make them look smaller than they actually are) ideals in order to show us that these woman have it together because they look good!
People, (and I mean ladies mostly) we need to stop the obsession with beauty! It is a waste of our time and a detriment to our self concept. There are very few people out there that would say that they feel great about the way they look, and that is a very sad thing, especially since God makes it plain in his word that he doesn’t give a flying fish about what we look like. It’s skin and hair, not heart and soul.
“But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” (1 Sam 16:7)
I know it’s hard not to fall into the mentality and I’ve struggled with it myself, but I have come to the point where I believe that I am beautiful and it’s not because I’ve perfected the latest make-up technique. It’s because God has told me that I am beautiful to him and I finally started to believe it.
In high school my boyfriend (now husband) and I started dating when I was a junior. I barely wore any makeup, my hair was quite an undone mess, I weighed more than I do now, and my clothes were not all that impressive because I just couldn’t afford it. The money I made at work paid for my car insurance and for any random expenses (going out to eat, buying birthday presents, tithe, etc…). On top of that, I would say that I was somewhat insecure. I kind of liked some things about my personality (like my “I don’t care what they think about me” loud mouth even though I really did care) and I even thought I was kind of funny. But overall, I wouldn’t say that I thought I was anything special. I had never had a boyfriend, and any boy that had shown interest in me, I had decided did not look “cool” enough for me to date….so I remained loveless for most of my high school years.
The crazy thing is that Todd still liked me. Not only that, he pursued me. The reason why this is amazing is because later on I started to develop a desire for looking nicer. I had a friend who always looked perfect and I decided that I too would strive to be like her. She had make up books and all kinds of cool clothes. I would try too! I’d take my mom’s free samples of makeup and work extra long to blow-dry my hair. I’d accessorize and buy a cool shirt whenever I could. This progressed for months and I was loving my new attitude towards my looks. The funny thing is that it’s hard to put much energy into one thing and not lose it in something else. What I am saying is that this desire to look good must have impacted my personality negatively because Todd ended telling me one day, “you know honey, I think you’re beautiful, but I kind of liked it more when you didn’t really care all that much about what you looked like. That was part of the reason that I was drawn to you.” WHAT???? I seriously could not understand what he was saying. How could you tell me that you liked it more when my hair was less tame and I didn’t wear contrasting eye shadow? I mean come on…this is common sense we’re talking about! I look better now…you should like me more! That’s what society would have like me to believe anyway.
That day I learned two life-changing things:
- I had found a quality man
- What we have learned about beauty is a lie
The world is judging us by our looks. That is a fact and if we are honest enough with ourselves we will admit that we do it too. We, however, have the power to change that. First of all we need to stop deciding what people are like without seeing them through God’s eyes. Even the most detestable person in our eyes (a murderer, child molester, or someone with a huge deformity) is God’s child and someone that Christ went to the cross for. Second of all, we need to stop obsessing with ourselves and feeling down when we look into the mirror. Even more than that, we need to stop looking into the mirror so much!! It’s perfectly ok to get ready for your day and feel good about the way you look. I am not saying that you shouldn’t care about what you look like, but there comes a point when you have to realize that (like most things) your self concept is a heart issue. If you are not feeling filled up on the inside, the outside is not going to look very nice to you. In the mornings I’ve prayed during my quiet times “Lord make me beautiful on the inside with your word, because if I am not beautiful on the inside, it does not matter in the least bit what I look like on the outside.” Ever known a beautiful girl that wasn’t very nice? She didn’t look so good after she looked down on you, did she?
I know that we don’t believe the cliché’, “Beauty is on the inside” but just like the “Golden Rule” it is true. This is why God makes the statement to Samuel to not judge on the appearance of Eliab. God knew it from the start that people were going to judge based on faces. Knowing this he plainly tells us to stop. His whole word is constantly reflecting on the condition of our hearts. It says very little about our face and figure.
Let’s stop obsessing about our looks. We know that it’s what man looks at but God’s opinion is the only one that should matter. He had made us the way he wants us to be and we may be preventing him from using us in a bigger way by channeling our energy into what we look like versus who we are on the inside. The greatest men and women in history have gone down with legacies of making a difference, not because they were so pretty. Let’s follow their footsteps and let God beautify our hearts and intentions. Then, he will transform our outward appearance into something that cannot be improved upon by foundation and powder.