I keep reading and seeing all these adds and blog posts and makeup-less selfies where women display themselves; all shapes and sizes, praising themselves or others for their bravery. And if I’m totally candid, I find it frustrating.
I am all for breaking down the stereotypes of the waif-like and airbrushed beings who cover magazines setting our standard for beauty, and I wholeheartedly agree that the women in these photos are absolutely beautiful, but that’s precisely why I have a problem with them. Women (of any type) shouldn’t be flowing across our vision so constantly; and makeup-less or not, the selfies are out of control.
Flaunting one aspect of the beauty we’re given is not how we celebrate womanhood.
There is altogether too much emphasis on the way we look, period.
In this age of ‘selfies’, diets, and how to dress, it’s no surprise that we have forgotten what beauty is really about, but I guess I’m still perplexed by the female obsession, including my own, with our own bodies.
We obsess over our cellulite, that our thighs don’t looks just right, our breasts could be bigger, or smaller, our arms more toned, our skin clearer, our hair fuller or straighter or lighter or darker. It’s absurd.
We are so much more than just our bodies.
How much time are we spending thinking about ourselves? We should care well for these bodies we are given, but caring for them and obsessing over them are two very different things. Sometimes it seems like we approach the gift of our bodies more like Gollum does the ring, with a harsh obsession that excludes all else. Instead of embracing it, caring for it, and allowing it to be a part of our beauty, we often obsess over it until it enslaves us, and we lose what makes us truly beautiful.
So, I’d like to challenge you, as well as myself, to stop obsessing. Walk away from the mirror.
Instead of dwelling on what we hate, or love about our bodies; let’s think on truth, think about others. Perhaps spending a little less time criticizing or praising in the mirror, and more time pouring into others. Yes let’s dress well, do our makeup (or not), look beautiful; but let’s spend more time acquiring inward beauty in which we extend grace to others, and serve their needs. Instead of dwelling so much on our own beauty (or what we feel is a lack thereof) let’s look to the beauty around us instead. If we spent more time looking outward to those around us, and less catching glimpses in mirrors or street windows, I think we’ll find that cellulite, or hair that just won’t lay right to be less of a concern.
And sisters, that’s where we’ll be beautiful. As our hands (manicured or not) extend in service, and our mouths (lipsticked or chapped) speak words of truth; as our faces wrinkle with a well-worn smile salted with tears shed for the hurting.
1 Peter 3:3-4 (NASB)Your adornment must not be merely external—braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God