The "Beautiful" Deception
Imagine. You’re a teen superstar who’s prepping for her next photo shoot.
The whole team is getting you gussied up.
Makeup wizards with blush, mascara, and lip gloss quickly transform your face into something a tad more suitable for this magazine cover. It's not that you were ugly before. You were just, well...to be frank dear, you looked like a normal person. But now, your hair has been teased and styled with a flat iron, you're wearing a six-hundred-dollar pair of skinny jeans, a comfy designer top, and a two-hundred-dollar scarf. You look like a million bucks!
The photographer snaps dozens of shots as you twist and twirl and laugh and pout for the camera. You're totally photogenic and they love you. After a quick wardrobe change you do another set before wrapping it up.
They give you high fives, way-to-go's and a sweet gift basket filled with your favorite chocolates. Too bad you can't eat them. Just thinking about them makes your face break out.
You're just getting ready to head out the door when the head photographer waves you over and says, "Hey, check out what we're doing to your pictures."
You float over to the area where a young woman has the first photo taken of you on her laptop screen.
The lighting is kind of dark and those darn pimples are showing up.
The woman adjusts the lighting with the click of her mouse, then smooths out your acne-covered forehead.
"Wow" you marvel in awe, "You can do that!?"
She continues to amaze as her magic wand sweeps across your lips and adds a rosy color, making your teeth look white enough to be on a toothpaste commercial.
"No way!" You gasp.
They didn’t look like that when you brushed this morning.
The woman continues to thin your nose and give your skin a light tan. You're really looking gorgeous now. She lightens up your blue eyes making them pop and sparkle more then you knew was possible. The spotty glow of shiny skin on your nose is eliminated and replaced with an attractive tan.
Finally, she smooths out your hair and adds extensions.
You are speechless.
"How...how did you do that?" you finally manage to
They trim a small line off your arm and bring in your waist. The man chuckles,
You didn't think these images on our cover were real, did you? Nobody really
looks like that."
Nobody Really Looks Like That
Are you shocked? You shouldn't be. Magazine covers have been pulling this trick for quite awhile now. Since computer animation came into existence, popular magazines for girls guarantee that their models are totally blemish free.
At age fourteen I was blindingly deceived. I believed with my whole heart that people on the magazine covers actually looked like that in real life. I stared in wonderment at Selena Gomez's perfect hair and asked myself, “How can her hair be that perfect? How can her skin be so blemish free?”
I believed that I had to try to measure up to a worldly measuring stick. And I wasn’t quite tall enough. The measuring stick told me I needed to be equal to artificial, made up, computer-fixed people.
I was surprised to discover the truth. Nobody really looks like that.
Not even these so called “celebrities” think they measure up. Former Disney starlet, Miley Cyrus, revealed in her book, “Miles-To-Go,” that even she fell short of what she thought she needed to be.
“I would like to say that it was exhaustion or the pressure of new fame, but that’s not why I couldn’t get out of bed that particular morning. The truth was, I couldn’t get out of bed because my skin looked awful. I didn’t believe I was beautiful. Nothing could change that fact.” Later she writes, “It started out with my skin, and then it snowballed, I didn’t like my looks, my body, my personality, anything about myself. Why would God do this to me?” Soon bad turned to worse. She says, “Now I was ugly, and self-obsessed.”
She revealed how much pressure she felt to be skinny because the wide-screen televisions would make her look larger in every living room in America. She talked about the harsh lighting on set, and how the faintest zits would show up even more, and had to be masqueraded by makeup. She told us not to believe the girl we saw on the magazine cover, “I don’t really look like that.”
She claimed that her teeth weren’t quite that white, or her hair so flawless.
Another Disney star alumni, Demi Lovato, smiled for magazine covers, yet secretly hated her appearance.
Are you seeing this?
Even the girls that we think are cover worthy and supermodel beautiful, don’t even believe they are beautiful enough!
We are all striving after the “ideal” image of beauty, yet those girls who “have it all” don’t believe that they do!
Its like a crazy cycle! We’re all chasing the plastic Barbie image even though Barbie isn’t real. The girls who look like the Kardashian sisters want to be red heads. The curly-haired darlings wish their hair was straight. We all have something we want to change about ourselves, and believe we must if we’re going to measure up to what’s beautiful.
But how do we know what’s beautiful? Who defines our beauty as women?
The Truth About Your Beauty.
Who defines what a girl should look like? Who decides what beautiful means? Is it the media, our friends, or ourselves?
The more confident girls in the crowd might bounce out of their seats and say, “Oh, oh! I know, I know! I define myself! I can be anyone I want to be!” (According to Disney Channel!)
But do we really have the right to define ourselves? To decide our purpose and what we are living for?
If we want to understand our role in life, why don’t we ask the Director?
He designed you, so doesn’t he define you?
If you’re an artist who creates a magnificent masterpiece, don’t you hold the rights to name it and tell all your friends what its purpose is? He knows what you're made for!
Have you ever stood in front of the mirror and quietly created a list of everything that’s wrong with you?
It’s easy to feel like a big fat mistake. Like you should have been something different. That God got your hair color and your skin tone wrong. We forget how much time and energy He spent designing each of us just the way He desired. He didn’t mess up.
Who knows? Your blue eyes might have the same sparkle that shines on the Crystal Sea before God’s throne. Your annoying curls might be party spirals from heaven! Your laughter might sound just like an angel. Your pale skin might speak of your purity of heart, your tan skin might reflect the intense way you soak up God’s presence and let it saturate your life. The obnoxious snort at the end of your laugh might bring God laughter every time you let it out!
Freckles might be leftover paint drips from His fingerprints.
Think about how much fun God must’ve had creating you! He put careful thought into every detail. Think about how much excitement parents have when a newborn arrives. They stare in wonderment at the newborn, admiring and praising every detail. They say, “She’s so perfect!” Yet her face is red and bunched up, her fingers are all wrinkly, and she’s so tiny and breakable. Imagine the delight God must have in these precious newborns…He made them!
He must proudly say, “Yes, I gave her those striking brown eyes. Hear her screaming? She’s warming up her vocal chords. I know how she loves to sing, can’t stand math, and has a heart full of dreams. I placed every one of those radical ideas inside of her. ”
Imagine how excited He must be to see His creation learn to walk, tie her shoes, pick up a pencil, and tell a funny joke. He must laugh right along with us.
As we grow older, God delights in us as much as He did the day we were born! He still adores every detail. He sees you as beautiful and stunning…because you are. He made you to be so.
He wants you to understand and appreciate your beauty. He wants you to know that the mirror does not define you. You don’t have to try to measure up to this world’s standard. Your value does not depend on outer appearance, social status, or fame.
Believing God’s truth about who we are…that we are beautiful simply because He made us, instead of believing the world's opinion, can be hard to do.
But once we understand that the only perspective that matters, the only One who defines us is our Maker, that truth is totally freeing!
You are beautiful. Nothing can change that fact. Ever. The only thing that can change is whether you believe it or not.
Psalm 139:13-16 (The Message Paraphrase)
"Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out;
you formed me in my mother’s womb.
I thank you, High God—you’re breathtaking!
Body and soul, I am marvelously made!
I worship in adoration—what a creation!
You know me inside and out,
you know every bone in my body;
You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit,
how I was sculpted from nothing into something.
Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth;
all the stages of my life were spread out before you,
The days of my life all prepared
before I’d even lived one day." (vs 13-16)
David praised the Lord for being tailor made. Genuinely crafted, one-hundred-percent unique, one-of-a-kind lovely.
Being comfortable and confident in who we are is really important. We should all learn to enjoy and cherish ourselves in a healthy way. Jesus said we are to love others, as we love ourselves. (Mark 12:31)
How are we going to love others if we hate ourselves? How are we going to keep ourselves from judging others if we’re constantly judging ourselves?
I believe that it takes beauty to see beauty. God wants you to understand how amazing you are…not so that you can be puffed up and parade around in pride saying, “Ah, look at how gorgeous I am!”
He wants you to understand your beauty and value so that you will cherish human life. So that you will treat your friends like priceless treasures, see their God-given potential to be amazing, and to help nurture the beauty you see there.
But if you have a cynical, judgmental mindset about yourself…how much more will you have towards other people? If you label yourself as ugly or something less than cherishable, chances are pretty good that you do the same to others.
So many girls are hurting and struggling to find their value and self worth, because this world has told them they don’t measure up and never will.
God wants you to know your beauty, and embrace who you are…so that you can help someone else find their priceless identity in Christ. He desires that you love others, esteem them even higher than yourself, and never throw anyone away.
The Girl By The Cinders
you just don’t understand” you reply, “I have been told my whole life that I am
nothing. My parents, friends, and people I trusted have all hurt me deeply, and
treated me like trash. I wish I could believe that God values me as much as you
say, but I’m so beyond the point of being salvageable. Everything good about me
has burned away.”
Sweet sister, if you feel like this, you are not alone. Millions of girls feel just like you. You’ve been burned and scarred by people who spoke searing words of hatred, and shot burning arrows of pain into your heart. You feel like you’ve been through Hell. Everything about you has been consumed, and you don’t feel like there could possibly be anything good left. You’ve been bullied, beat up, and spit back out. You feel like Cinderella, a worthless slave sitting by the ashes of her dreams, with nothing left but a pile of cinders. The “evil step-mom” and “step-sisters” in your life have spoken so many damaging words.
Want to know something amazing about the things they’ve told you? They’ve all been lies.
You are not the ugly, worthless, cinder-scooping loser that everyone says you are. Cinderella’s family despised her, yet she was so beautiful that she captured the heart of a prince! She was predestined to be a princess, therefore the enemy tried to beat her into the ground.
Those lying voices have been trying so hard to discourage you because your potential is frightening. The enemy forces don’t want you to see or understand your beauty. They don’t want you to know how crazy the Prince is about you. For if you did, you would be unstoppable.
You’re a princess who has captivated the Prince of Heaven. So much so, that He left His heavenly throne to suffer and die for you. He rose again from the pit of death, and desires to rescue you from the cinders and ashes of broken dreams. All you have to do is call His name. “Jesus, Mighty Warrior, Strong Redeemer… Ultimate Dragon Slayer.”
He can restore your broken dreams and turn all your ashes into roses. He can transform the hopeless prisoner sitting by the cinders, into a strong, confident, world-changing Princess. He can bestow a crown of beauty upon you and dress your heart in garments of heavenly splendor. He can renew your hope, and remind you how to live again.
All you have to do is ask Him.
Remember to pray for every girl who is struggling to appreciate her beauty and self worth.
In a world that defines "beautiful" as skinny, tanned and trimmed, it's much too easy to feel like we don't measure up to the status co. Have you ever felt insecure or unlovely? We all have!
As girls, it's important to remember where our beauty really comes from.
Celebrating our unique inner beauty and outer beauty is what Crown of Beauty Magazine is all about!
This 30 day event reminds you with small daily tasks and projects to embrace and celebrate your unique individuality and unfading inner beauty!
Take me to the challenge!