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When Looking Hot Gets You More Attention

By: Bethany Beal

I was thirteen years old and heading in for my first experience with the well known photography company Glamour Shots. My mom and I were on a special girls trip to Dallas, Texas to celebrate my birthday. Obviously getting my hair highlighted, nails manicured and pictures taken was a must for this girly girl.

I loved every minute of the Glamour Shot experience. The makeup. The hair. The clothes. The looking at pictures. The compliments. I felt beautiful and accepted.

After the shoot I looked through the pictures and picked out my favorites. We ordered a package and then left the store to continue on our trip.

When the pictures arrived I started handing them out to my friends (I’m not sure why I gave them out to friends. I guess it was the Instagram of the early 2000’s?)

Then I noticed something very interesting.

I had three different pictures in three different outfits and poses. Two of the poses were sweet and smiley and all around beautiful. The third picture was the one I considered more “grown up.”

In that picture I had a bright blue shirt on that made my eyes pop. I was laying my head on my arm with my hair laid out to the side. I was looking directly into the camera with my best thirteen year old model pose.

That picture, above all of the others, got me the “wows!” “you look amazing” “you are beautiful girl” “you look like a model” comments.

Looking back I realize that that was one of my first run-ins with the idea that looking hot gets you more attention. I didn’t consciously take note of that experience at the time, but I slowly began to realize that looking “hot” truly would get me more attention.

It’s been quite a few years since that photo shoot at Glamour Shots, but the problem I encountered has only worsened.

Just a few weeks ago we received an email from a young lady explaining to us that she gets SO much more attention from her friends when she posts “hot” pics. She said that when she posts a normal, non-hot picture, she gets way less attention.

The sad part is it’s true. I’ve experienced it and I’m sure most of you have too.

You may be thinking, “not another post talking about purity or modesty.” Don’t worry! I will write about that again in the future, but not today. Today I want to stand up for girls caught in the “hot pic trap.”

The “hot pic trap” is the trap we girls get in when we measure our worth as females by the approval, attention and compliments from others. It’s a horrible downward spiral that never satisfies and only leaves us empty and in need of more.

It works like this. Monday morning you post a pic where you are looking like one hot chic. People praise you, tell you how beautiful you are and make you feel like a million bucks. Tuesday evening rolls around and your comments are dying off. You notice that your friend, Sandra, posted a really great pic and she is now getting loads of attention.

Soon everyone forgets about you and your hotness and you’re actually feeling depressed and worthless. So, what do you do? You come up with the solution. Post another hot looking pic. As usual the praises come in and you are feeling great…at least until the pic gets old and the comments die down.

I’ve been there and it’s not a fun way to live.

I know how tempting it can be to find my worth in other people’s praises of me and it’s an empty place to be. It always dies down and it always requires doing more. There are always “hotter” girls to compete with. There are always ways to improve. It’s a constant battle of working to get the praise that you so desperately desire.

I want you to know that you are worth so much more than the compliments and opinions of those around you.

Your friends have no right to define your worth and you shouldn’t let them. You are going to become (or are) an insecure and hopeless girl if you do. You will always be fighting, competing and in need of more. Never confident and never satisfied.

Confidence in Someone outside of yourself.

I want to challenge you to become a confident and secure young women who is focused on finding her worth outside of herself. When you realize that your worth is found in Jesus Christ, His death and resurrection on the cross, His perfect love for you and His intentional design of you as His creation, you can have security and value despite what others say.

I want you to take some time to think through these questions:

  1. Why do I want the praise and attention from those around me?

  2. Is my security and confidence as a girl wrapped up in other’s opinions of me?

  3. Do I want friends who love me more for my outward beauty or for my inward?

  4. Do I have confidence and security that my value is defined by God?

  5. How can I live in a way that points others to Christ and not myself?

If you are struggling with this concept I would highly encourage you to take the time to read through some of our past blog posts on this topic. I would recommend:

Are Pretty Faces Worth More?

4 Ways Our Raunch Culture is Lying to You

Why Christian Girls Should Be Beautiful but Not Seductive 

I am cheering for you and want you to have the freedom and confidence that comes from looking to Christ for your identity and not your friends. I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below.

Photo credit: / | Victoria Nevland

When Looking Hot Gets You More Attention

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14 Responses to When Looking Hot Gets You More Attention

  1. Haley says:

    Because of the vanity on Instagram, I refuse to get one for fear of falling prey, but this makes a lot of sense. Even when you curl your hair a different way or lose a little weight people start to give you more attention. When you gain some of that weight back, of you take a shower and your curls fall back to a frizzy mess (if you’re anything like me), you don’t get as many “you look amazings!” I realize you stand out more when you put effort into yourself, and I’m a firm believer in that. But especially in Insta photos where you’re photoshopping every last freckle, you lose the balance. Great article. It really made me think 🙂

    • GirlDefined says:

      Haley, I think not getting Instagram to avoid that temptation is a great idea. I’m glad they didn’t have Instagram when I was younger because I think it would have been too big of a temptation for me as well. Thanks so much for sharing with us 🙂 Love having you as a reader <3

      • Haley says:

        Thank you! You both are very inspirational and I look up to you 🙂 You continue to remind teens like me of the important things when it’s so easy to forget.

  2. A Mom says:

    Thank you for what you do with this blog. My daughter enjoys reading these e- mails and a subject like this….you know, sometimes it is easier to hear someone else besides Mom & Dad. This article is excellent and right on time! ~ a Mom

  3. Briana Soto says:

    Thank you so much for this post Bethany. So I have been wanting an Instagram but this really made me think because on Instagram it’s main focus is me me me. Don’t get me wrong Instagram isn’t entirely bad you still share the gospel on there but not many people do. I think people get social media not only to keep in touch with people but to get a personal satisfaction. They seek the approval of others. I don’t think I will be getting an Instagram anytime soon. I just don’t want to put myself in that situation.

    • GirlDefined says:

      Briana, I think not getting an Instagram account is a great idea. The temptation is definitely there to make it an “all about me” show. I personally have an Instagram but do have to be very very careful to make sure that I’m not using it in a self-focused way. It can be hard and it takes intentional effort to do that. I have younger sisters and I’ve encouraged all of them to hold off until they get older, like you are doing. Wise choice girl!

  4. Elizabeth Williams says:

    I love this and I think it is so timely. I say that because you just posted that article about Taylor Swift, even though it wasn’t JUST about Taylor Swift. But this goes with what the writer was talking about, buying into those lies. You see so many celebrities who are so popular today and have die-hard fans, but in a couple of years, somebody else is the big thing, and no one hardly pays attention to them anymore. I can totally relate to this in my life, too. I’ve seen girls who post selfies with all kinds of poses and they get such great feedback on it. It does drive you crazy.

  5. Rachel says:

    Amen sister! Satan tricks us into believing we need the approval of people to be happy. We aren’t here on this earth to please others, but rather to please Christ. Thank you for addressing this and sharing your story! God bless you! 🙂

  6. Carole says:

    Wonderful post Bethany. Interestingly enough in my study this morning I read, “Our purpose in life is to put God on display – to reflect His glory in ways we as women were uniquely created to do.” We are not on display, but God is, through us. In this we are secure and valuable to an Almighty God!

    • GirlDefined says:

      I love that quote “Our purpose in life is to put God on display – to reflect His glory in ways we as women were uniquely created to do.” Thanks for sharing 🙂

  7. Phoebe Saywell says:

    So this will probably sound stupid but last year I went from valuing modesty to almost giving up on it, here’s why; when other Christian girls at conferences and church don’t dress modestly all they guys like them, even the godly ones, and modesty seems to get you nowhere , but then I realised that it doesn’t matter if all they guys like you or not, it doesn’t matter if no one noticed your intense daily battle to choose the modest outfit, it only matters whether you are honouring God! If God chose he could bring a man along who upheld modesty and admired modest girls for it, but in the meantime we should all be content with our choices, thank you for the inspiring post Bethany! – from England

  8. Mikayla G. says:

    You are so inspiring, Bethany!

  9. Pingback: How Much Clothing Can We Really Take Off?

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