Self Esteem

The problem with phrases like, “You’re Beautiful Just the Way You Are” & “Beauty is More Than Skin Deep”: Part 2

Here is quick recap of what I wrote in Part 1. Basically we need these phrases because we don’t feel beautiful, and one reason for that is because we measure ourselves by the world’s standards instead of how God created us. 1 John 5:21 says, “Dear children, keep away from anything that might take God’s place in your hearts (keep yourselves from idols).”

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines an idol as “an object of extreme devotion," and a statistic from The Dove Campaign says that "72% of girls feel tremendous pressure to be beautiful." From what I see all around me I think it is safe to say that beauty has become to many women an idol. So the problem with phrases like “Beauty is more than skin deep” and “You’re beautiful just the way you are” is that they put all our focus on being beautiful.

The media tells us that in order to feel good about ourselves we need to weigh a certain amount, have a boyfriend or just flings and one night stands, live a certain lifestyle, have a lot of money and the list goes on.

In order to get those things we have to look a certain way. It is this constant cycle, we try and fail, try again and fail again. Doesn’t it get tiring? We try so hard to look pretty or attractive in order to gain popularity and get noticed, but then when it doesn’t work we try something else. All this does is leave us feeling down and insecure.

That is what the world does, and that is all it will ever do because it is fallen and like it says in 1 John 5:17b, “The whole world lies in the power of the evil one.

All Satan wants to do is keep us from realizing and believing the truth about our beauty because then he will lose his power.

The truth is, beauty is not the ultimate goal.

What happens when we idolize beauty is we become inward focused and think too much about ourselves instead of others because we are worried about our image. This in turn actually makes us unattractive, especially on the inside, because we are so consumed with ourselves. You probably can think of at least one person who you really don’t like being around because all they think about is themselves. These are people who have placed self-image and beauty on a pedestal.

What happens when we realize that beauty is not the ultimate goal? Well, we realize that our relationship with God is more important and that the ultimate goal is to bring Him, not ourselves, glory. “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” 1 Corinthians 10:31

When we live our lives for God we become women whose focus is not on ourselves, but on loving God and loving others. When this happens we will truly become beautiful because we are doing what we were made to do—worship God.

The problem with phrases like, “You’re Beautiful Just the Way You Are” & “Beauty is More Than Skin Deep”: Part 1

 
problem-with-phrases.jpg
 

We have all heard the campaigns for women young and old telling them that they shouldn’t have to dress a certain way or wear a ton of make-up or lose weight to “feel good” about themselves. I am all for encouraging women to be comfortable in their own skin and embracing the beauty that God gave them. However, there is just something about this view that is missing the mark. Even though we are bombarded with these messages, women are still left feeling like they are never quite there. The whole, “It’s what’s on the inside that counts” spiel sounds great, and deep down we want to believe it, yet it’s still not enough for us women to feel content with our image.

I won’t really get into how the fact that culture has set an imperfect standard skews women and men’s view of beauty, because that would take too long, but be aware this does play a role in it.

I believe we are afraid to go deep, to get to what’s really keeping us from seeing ourselves as beautiful

I believe it goes deeper than that though. In fact, I believe we are afraid to go deep, to get to what’s really keeping us from seeing ourselves as beautiful. In order to explain fully why I don’t like those phrases, we need to understand WHY we feel like we aren’t beautiful just the way we are and WHY we believe that beauty is more about looks than what’s inside. That’s the reason these phrases even exist because somewhere along the way (way back to when Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit) we stopped believing we were beautiful.

So here it is: the fact simply is, we are trying to measure ourselves against the world’s standard. Did you hear that, THE WORLD’S STANDARD, not God’s.

If we say we are Christians, then our approval cannot be found in anyone or anything of this world because we have been told to be set apart. Yet, we have found ourselves, ladies, measuring our beauty against others.

So when it comes down to it our self-image and esteem issues are rooted in the fact that we choose to measure our beauty by the world’s standards and not to see who we are in God’s eyes.

Now that we have that figured out we need to change our way of thinking because we have become wired to think the way the world does, and evaluate ourselves the way the world does.

When we look to the world to see what is beautiful all it really ends up doing is putting us down because we feel like we will never be good enough. For example, we may see ourselves as average or even feel pretty good about our appearance, but we say, “I will never be as stunning as so-and-so.” Comparison is indeed the thief of joy.

But when we look to God and what he sees as beautiful, we are left speechless and amazed by his grace. When he looks at us he sees us without blemish, his wonderful and beautiful creations. He sees us in our worst state and says we are beautiful because we are His. When we are confronted with how God sees us something inside changes and causes a transformation in our hearts.

When we are confronted with how God sees us something inside changes and causes a transformation in our hearts.

When we put all our time and attention into the world we will begin to look like it—a fallen and broken place, but when we shift our focus to God, we will begin to reflect his image—our perfect, gracious, loving, tenderhearted, and beautiful Creator.

Now, I hope to have helped you understand why, despite the fact that people tell us that beauty is more than skin deep, we still feel unbeautiful (yes, I just made up a word), and how changing our perspective is the first step to really seeing ourselves as beautiful. In Part 2 I will share why I think the phrases “You’re Beautiful Just the Way You Are” and “Beauty is More Than Skin Deep” are hurting us more than helping us.

Want to read Part 2? Click here > Part 2