I am annoyed with Americas obsession with beauty and perfection, that I personally feel has distorted the majority of women's thinking about what True Beauty is. You might not think yourself among this majority, but give me a moment to elaborate.
Our society is programmed to give privilege to those who fit the standard of beauty. To admire beauty, and extol those who meet the standard. I know this is true in many cultures, but I don't believe that all of them have as stringent a view on beauty as we do.
Beauty in America is synonyms with a perfect figure that sports no extra fat, love handles, or cellulite. It requires perfect hair and teeth. And a good amount of s..ex appeal must be thrown into the mix. It must be flaunted. Faces should be free of flaws, zits, acne...skin should be tan, but apparently without the risks of skin cancerous sun, and so money must be spent on fake tans to achieve that golden glow. Noses? Not too big or out of the ordinary.
This 'beauty' is presented to us from childhood. Even if our parents are careful with what we watch or see, we live in a society filled with the pressure of perfection.
I'm annoyed. Annoyed, annoyed, annoyed!
I'm annoyed that this perception and pursuit of beauty has slunk into my heart and life, lowering my self confidence, and making me desire to be something I'm not. I'm annoyed that it tarnishes even little girls views of themselves. I'm annoyed that it drives teenage girls to diet, develop eating disorders, secretly loathe themselves, and in the less extreme but just as harmful: spend an excessive amount of time, money and effort on becoming beautiful enough.
And oh the selfishness that this breeds. The devil delights in this obsession with beauty because it requires one to dwell on ones self constantly. Maybe some wouldn't call it "trying to be beautiful" but "overcoming a fault or imperfection." No matter what we call it, we turn inward rather than turning outward as the Lord calls us. We waste excessive time on ourselves, and in the process, shortchange things that we could be doing for others and the Lord. We enter into bondage of self, and lose our freedom in Christ.
inward. Seeking opportunities to help others- the poor, the needy, the lonely.
Freedom is found in pouring out yourself for others. Finding ways to give. Cooking a meal for a family, giving financially if you are able, turning your prayers outward rather than inward.
"Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke?
and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday.
"Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised"
But beauty is not disallowed in scripture. Far from it! In Song of Solomon, the husband delights in the beauty of his wife, and she in her husbands beauty. Many beautiful women are mentioned in the scripture. I believe though, that beauty then and beauty now are two very different things. Beauty today is unrealistic perfection.
I don't write this to preach at you! Far from it. I'm preaching at myself. I'm pregnant, and gaining weight I don't want to gain! (laughing at self) If I complain after this baby comes that I'm not losing weight fast enough, you have a right to correct me and send me back to my own post about beauty! I struggled for years with my nose, because I felt it wasn't small enough. I have agonized about my weight going straight to my love handles, and that even when I was at my lowest weight when I was sick, they were still there! I'd have to be only skin and bones to lose them, because of my body type. And that wouldn't be beautiful at all!!
You see? Society's standards seep into even the most steadfast of minds. Let's change our hearts and minds about beauty. Let's teach our daughters the value of who they are before the world decides to teach them for us. Let's focus on others and not fall into the trap of self.
Let your light shine, for there is where your beauty is found!