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My daughter is wiser than her years. One day she asked me, “What defines beauty and who gets to decide who’s beautiful and who’s not?”
Since that day when Sierra demonstrated such amazing insight and compassion, I’ve viewed physical beauty in a new light. Recently, I saw an article featuring a woman who was highlighted for being especially beautiful. She was in her twenties, somewhere around 5 feet 8 inches tall, and 100-105 pounds. Makeup was plastered on her face, and her eyes were half open in a seductive pose. Is this Beauty?
Thumb through popular magazines for women, and the adds that you’ll see will frequently feature women dressed to the nines, tall and slender. Not a hair out of place. Everything about them looks perfect. We would like to look like her. And that’s the idea. But is this Beauty?
I don’t know how it is for guys, but we gals over-stress the size of everything between our heads and our toes. From Western culture, we’ve gotten the idea that our weight and dimensions are ultra important and that they effect our value. The problem is, ask even the skinny girls, very few of us are confident with our physical appearance. In other words, who among us feels pretty? If you do, consider yourself quite special. Really.
The struggle for image is real. I don’t get gold stars for this either. Looking in the mirror, I see who I think I am. I wish I could consider myself quite special. But I miss the mark with self confidence. Not that I struggle big time with this, but there have been days when I avoided stepping a foot outside my house lest a neighbor drive by and see me looking like I felt. Thankfully, because I’m better today at being mindful of identity and value, I haven’t had an ugly day in a long time.
I’m more concerned in you being healthy than in you looking like a run way model. I think that my views represent a whole lot of women who feel the same way. I’ve been watching for a shift in the beauty industry for the last twenty years.
Health is wealth! Of course, I mean health in spirit, health in mind, and health in body. That’s true beauty and that’s true wealth.
While we’re waiting for media trends to catch up with the rest of us who are more interested in being healthy than in plastering our faces with gooey makeup and face lifts, let’s shift our attitudes about beauty and be more focused on getting healthy, and reflecting this value to younger women and girls.
You are His beloved child. That says a lot right there. He chose you. So, that settles it. Your worth is priceless. This is just the way it is. You have immeasurable value. In this truth is beauty. You are beautiful.
Even when you’re dressed to the nines and every hair is in its place, if you’re not centered in what God says about you then you might feel like an ugly duckling when your real identity is that of a stunning and beautiful swan.
The ugly duckling illustrates what I’m saying here so well. Nothing about the little darling was rejection-worthy. If you’re familiar with the story, then you know that the “duckling” was actually a baby swan, but he didn’t know it. His poor self-image messed with him, causing him to devalue himself and to be depressed.
Back to my daughter’s question—What defines beauty and who gets to decide who’s beautiful and who’s not?
The young model in the beauty write up was pretty, but she looked frail. The women in the popular magazine were gorgeous. Their dresses and outfits, makeup and hair radiated glamour and wealth.
Who among us has a personal makeup artist, hair designer, clothing engineer to cater to us everyday of the week? Looking like those knock out gorgeous women isn’t real. The images that we see in the media and advertising are produced. Are you produced? Are you an image to the world made up to look like someone you really aren’t? Of course not. And neither am I.
I’m far more concerned about you as a person than I am about your body shape, hair style and clothing. I don’t care if you’re wearing expensive designer jeans–I mean, really, aren’t there far more important issues in the world than the label on our pants? I’m concerned with how you are. Are you healthy?
Let our focus be on promoting health not counterfeit beauty. Your health is wealth. Health of spirit. Health of mind. And health of body.
For all of my sisters, the women I’ve met and those who I’ve never met, I want you to know that being skinny doesn’t add up to being gorgeous. Beauty and skinny are not the same. The size of your body doesn’t determine the size of your worth. You are more precious than anything in this world. No matter what you feel about how you look, sister you are more than all that!
Copyright @Pamela Koefoed, 2019