“No matter how plain a woman may be, if truth and honesty are written across her face, she will be beautiful.” –Eleanor Roosevelt
“Outer beauty pleases the eye; inner beauty captivates the heart.” –Mandy Hale
“True beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul. It is the caring she lovingly gives, the passion that she knows.” – Audrey Hepburn
“Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.” –Proverbs 31:30
Myth: I’m single because I’m not pretty
I blame Ulta.
I went in there looking for a special shampoo. I’d never been in the store before, and as soon as I went in I realized why.
Beauty products of every color and type bombarded me, calling with a seductive siren song:
Products to make my hair thicker, shinier, bouncier, glossier, or any color I wanted.
Make-up I could only dream of and would have no idea how to apply.
Creams, gels, and serums that promised to wipe away wrinkles, lines, dark spots, acne, and any other horrifying blemish.
Tanning, bleaching, removing, enhancing- anything I could ever want to do to my face or body (and a whole bunch of things I’d never even thought to consider) were screaming at me to buy them.
I wandered around the store in a fascinated daze. Who knew women needed so much? I wasn’t using any of these products, so what was I doing wrong? I started to eagerly pull items off the shelves.
And then a little voice in my head whispered, “Maybe if you starting using these things you would become more attractive to men.”
That brought me up short.
Physical beauty has always been a sore subject for me- I’ve been disappointed in my appearance since I was a little girl. If you ask me to list all the things I don’t like about the way I look, I could easily start with my hair (I have perpetually bad hair- one of my students told me the other day that I had “recess hair”) and go all the way down to my toes (weird feet and crooked toes that are getting weirder as I get older).
And don’t even get me started on my arms. My oldest niece is fascinated with them and actually likes to play with them. Once, when I was shaking a nail polish bottle for her she cried out, “Wow! Look at them jiggle.”
Yes, she was talking about my upper arms.
I learned long ago to look in the mirror and dislike… pretty much everything.
The struggle is real. I don’t have all the answers on how to be content with your appearance.
But I do know that Ulta doesn’t hold all the answers, either.
I’ve mentioned before that I’ve never dated. Frequently, when I feel most down, it becomes easy to blame my appearance for that. If only I…
Had better hair
Tightened up my arms
Didn’t have to wear glasses
On and on the list goes, cataloguing every flaw until I’m convinced no man would ever consider me.
Have you been there? Do you tell yourself these things, too?
There is hope!
Ulta may not have all the answers, but the Bible does, even for this:
“Do not let your adorning be external- the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear- but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.” -I Peter 3:3, 4
The importance of physical attractiveness is pounded into girls’ heads from a young age, and yeah, clothes, jewelry, make-up, those things are a lot of fun.
But they should never be the most important thing. Outer beauty should NEVER define us.
God, our Creator, is the only One whose opinion truly matters. He cares so much more about the women we are on the inside. We don’t need expensive beauty products to be beautiful in His eyes
I don’t think the Bible is telling us it’s wrong to look nice, but rather it’s redirecting us toward what should be most important for women- cultivating an inner beauty that reflects our Savior.
Instead of nice clothes, Colossians 3:12 gives us some other attributes we should put on- “Put on then, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. “
That sounds like a woman I would like to get to know. That sounds like the kind of woman I would like to be.
Yes, I wish for long, beautiful hair and thin arms. I will probably continue to struggle with my appearance. I will always fight the little voice that whispers, “You’re single because you’re not pretty.” It’s hard, it really is, in an appearance-driven world.
But I don’t want my appearance to define me, and I certainly don’t want to fix it just to catch a man. Those things don’t really matter. I want to learn to like who I am on the outside, but I would much rather improve who I am on the inside.
A quiet and gentle spirit. It just sounds beautiful, doesn’t it?
If you dislike what you see in the mirror, don’t let it get you down. Move away from the mirror and open your Bible instead. Let God tell you who you are. He can shape you into the woman you’re meant to be. Good character, kindness, compassion, a loving heart- those things will never go out of style. They don’t need cover-up or concealer. In fact, they get better with age.
And the right guy will be attracted to those qualities, too.
This week I’m thankful l external beauty isn’t the only way to define ourselves. God offers us something so much better. Together, let’s celebrate every SINGLE blessing!