Measuring Beauty & Worth

BarbieThere is a new wave of "what beauty isn't" articles and videos going around. Dove commercials, blogs exposing Photoshopped lies that we're "told" on the cover of magazines-- showing us that models really are "normal." {a relief, right?!} This adjustment and re-defining of "beauty" is good. We need to know what beauty isn't. But we also need to look beyond that and ask ourselves,

How are we measuring beauty? How do we determine what is beautiful and what isn't?

Usually, we just compare. This is more beautiful than that. She "wears that better" than her sister. And we play it ourselves, too-- the comparing game that we've so wonderfully and instinctively MASTERED as ladies.

But.

Using other's looks {or gifts, skills, relationships, etc.} as our "beauty measuring stick," we will always.aLwaYs.ALWAYS have a skewed perspective. We'll fall short. Or. We'll measure higher than them. We will see ourselves as better or worse. More beautiful or less attractive. More popular, or unimportant. It's a competition: there's no even playing ground where we celebrate differences. Nothing's a tie. We're either in the lead, or falling behind...of every.single.woman. we meet.

...makes it really hard to love people, and truly appreciate their gifts without being jealous, huh?

Why do we do this?!Measuring

We all want the same things. We long to be beautiful, to be accepted as we are- to know our uniqueness and be treasured because of it. We hunger to be desired.

And yet our method of "achieving" this acceptance is to either push others down, or raise them as "better" in our minds- a standard to strive for.

This accomplishes NOTHING beneficial! We spin and spiral mentally, worrying and wondering what other's think about us, how we come across...what do we  weigh on the beauty scale? Are we as "together" as the lady who sits in front of us at church? Do our kids behave better than the woman we just passed in the cereal aisle? Will our hair ever be as beautiful as {you fill in the blank.}

We're constantly evaluating ourselves in light of other's success or failure, beauty or flaws. 

We base our worth, appearance, the value of our gifts, the depth/importance of our friendships...completely on OTHER PEOPLE. We ask others to be the final say in determining our significance.

We frantically wonder who's "winning" and where we fall in line.

Oh, but you see, dear reader, our beauty does not come from what others "have" or "have not." Our worth is un-related to what our friends do or don't do, look like, or don't look like. How together or a mess they are.

Your worth, and your beauty...have nothing to do with THEM-- no matter how low or high you view them.

looking in a mirror

You were created specifically, individually and uniquely YOU. There never has been, nor will there ever be in the history of all eternity another YOU. 

Your nose is unique. And your eyes. The structure of your jaw line, your hair's texture, the hue of your skin.  The shape of your mouth and the way it molds into your chin. There's not another like it. In all the world. Your individual strengths or weaknesses may not be unique in and of themselves...but the COMBINATION of those strengths and weaknesses is entirely unique. And cannot be compared with other 'combinations' of strengths and weaknesses {ie: other people.} They are different entirely!

So as you read various tips and tricks for hair and make-up, please PLEASE do not lose sight of this.

Eye shadow and hairspray do not make you beautiful. The fact that your friend's nose is a little crooked does not make you beautiful.

The beauty that you posses is found in the Creator's unique display of Himself in you...unlike any other.

So stop spinning, comparing, wondering, worrying and striving. Rest. You are THE MOST beautiful you.

Let us stop looking to be "higher" or "lower" than others and instead, learn the true beauty of being the right size*.

 

*A concept articulated by David Powlison