Rethinking Beauty–Part 1

Rethinking Beauty…

Who is beautiful to you and why?

Is beauty truly in the eye of the beholder?

Beauty is one of those tough topics for women. It is tough because so many of us have been avoiding REALLY talking about it in honest ways for most of our lives.

I think we avoid it–because it makes MOST of us feel INSECURE.

If we don’t deem ourselves beautiful, beauty is certainly not going to be one of our favorite subjects.

If we don’t believe we fit the narrow stereotype current society says is beautiful; talking about what beauty entails–tends to make us feel inferior, inadequate and just plain not good enough.  It’s a painful topic.

But those who think they just might be pretty, have it equally as bad or worse.

Those who think they might possibly be beautiful, also don’t want to bring up the topic–they know that beauty is fleeting and that they can age, change, or fall out of style and be un-beautiful again in a flash.

If the truth be known, even the most physically beautiful women wonder how long they can hold on to their beauty.  And ladies, that–makes them even more insecure and miserable than the “average” girls.

So you see, beauty as a subject, whether you figure you have it or you don’t, is not a popular topic for deliberation among females.

But the question is, are we really viewing beauty accurately?–or are we viewing the entire subject through a faulty lens?

Whether society will ever recognize it or not–true and lasting beauty is on the inside of a woman!

The Bible exhorts women not to be absorbed with outer beauty but to build up the hidden person of the heart.  According to the Scriptures we are to adorn ourselves with incorruptible beauty–a gentle and quiet spirit–that is precious in the sight of God.

I Peter 3:3-4 tells us, Do not let your adornment be merely outward–arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel–rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.

So, where does that leave us, to be brutally honest, when I first came upon this verse years ago I hated it with a passion.

I felt it was unfair that God should show a discretionary bias towards a gentle and quiet woman.  Was He prejudiced against women of strength who possessed a voice?

This was my opinion, because in my mind, He had created me the polar opposite of the “gentle and quiet” stereotype that I believed He deemed beautiful.  I viewed myself as “strong and extroverted,” and deep down I resented God for crowning the lucky “gentle and quiet” ones as the queens of the ball. How fair is that?

It brought up some of the same emotions I had experienced growing up as a brunette and realizing that “blonds had more fun.”  In those days it felt like the media had made a pejorative judgment against all women with dark hair judging our lives dull and boring.

But in the case of the “gentle and quiet” girls, now it was GOD telling me that they were better. I wanted to run out and get a personality transplant!  It was irritating, because once again, even in the “spiritual” beauty department, beauty seemed outside my grasp.

INSECURITY raised it’s ugly head.  Would I ever be able to attain “incorruptible beauty” in the sight of God, as a strong female leader, who liked to talk?  It was from this starting point of utter frustration that my own personal investigation into “what is true inner beauty?” was born.

In Part 2 of “Rethinking Beauty” I will seek to unravel the mystery of what having a “gentle and quiet spirit” really entails.

MEANWHILE, I know many of you agree that–it is tough being a woman in a world so preoccupied with outer beauty. What are your main insecurities when it comes to the subject of beauty? (Be honest)! I would love to read your thoughts and experiences…so…please feel free to join this thread.

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3 Comments

Filed under Lifestyle, Personal Growth

3 responses to “Rethinking Beauty–Part 1

  1. cari batch

    I believe my main insecurity, I said MAIN insecurity is my weight. I’m never satisfied with how much I weigh. I remember back in my jr high and high school days when I truely was skinny, it was still a problem to me. The world shows all these models in clothes I could never wear or can ever wear because I’m not thin enough. Luckly I have a husband who loves me as I am. But I won’t ever love me as I weigh.

  2. Maryellen Stipe

    Cari,

    I think weight is the main insecurity of a lot of women. The media spot lights women who wear size 0 or 2 and feature them, while the average woman in America is a size 14, now that’s a big discrepancy. The social norm is a 14 while what is portrayed as perfect is at the most a 2, no wonder so many of us feel insecure.

    Meanwhile, most men I know will tell you that super thin or skinny women are not attractive to them. No man wants to see skin and bones. But we still let the media dictate to us. Personally, I have always thought you looked great and I am sorry to hear that you have judged yourself too heavy most of the time. It is simply not true! But I do get why you feel that way, it’s an epidemic! Good thing we’re learning to say So Long to Insecurity!

    Blessings, Maryellen

  3. Mitz

    Well Maryellen, if the truth be told, just between you and me 😉 I would have to say I am extremely insecure about my height. When I was in high school I was always thought of as so “cute”. They called me IBM (Itsy Bitsy Mitzi). Well after 3 kids and some odd years later there ain’t no Itsy or Bitsy. There’s just Mitzi and I’m still short! With bad feet I can’t even wear heels. The part that makes me feel insecure is that I feel like everyone is always looking down on me (literally and figuratively). I have to look up to everyone. Am I ever going to grow up? It stinks because I think there truly are some people out there who actually find joy in making me feel that way. I just walk away from them and tell myself in my mind (Jesus is here with you and He loves you. He created you to be just who you are. No matter). Thanks to you, and people like you, my insecurities are fading. Though I don’t see them ever fully going bye-bye.

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