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.