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How to Never Feel Like the Ugly Girl Again

By: Kristen Clark

I was driving down the road the other day and saw a billboard with an advertisement for a cosmetic surgery office which featured a seductively dressed model and the statement, “Enhance your beauty.”

The message was loud and clear: If you want to be beautiful you will need a large chest, plump lips, luscious hair, a skinny waist, and long eyelashes.

If you’re a woman alive right now you know exactly what I’m talking about.

You’ve seen the commercials, the ads, the music videos, the billboards, and the magazines like I have. You’ve stared into the mirror when nobody else was watching and wished you were a lot prettier. You’ve compared yourself to other girls and secretly cried at night because you felt like the ugly girl.

You’ve questioned God’s goodness and asked, “Why God!? Why didn’t you make me as pretty as her?”

I know exactly how that feels because I’ve experienced every one of those things too. I’ve felt the same way you have.

According to recent research, the cosmetic industry in America alone brings in roughly 40 billion dollars a year.

If you added up the rest of the world, we are spending roughly 170 billion a year on cosmetics alone. According to www.economist.com, it is estimated that, “Americans spend more each year on beauty than they do on education.”

A study was done on a college campus by the National Association of Anorexia and out of the girls they surveyed, 86% of them reported the onset of an eating disorder by the age of 20.

The most shocking part of our culture’s attempt to redefine beauty is how it has affected the supermodels. If being stunningly gorgeous is supposed to make us happy, then why do supermodels oftentimes feel ugly? Right before the tragic suicidal death of a successful 20 year old model, she wrote on her blog, “The more I gain the more lonely it is… I know I’m like a ghost.”

Even the supermodels can’t measure up because they’ve been photoshopped and chopped a hundred times to make them look “perfect.” Their beauty, makeup, and fake tans still aren’t enough.

So what is enough?

How beautiful do we have to be before we will be happy? How much makeup do we have to wear before we’re totally satisfied with our appearance? How skinny is skinny enough?

The answer? It isn’t found in our culture. It isn’t found in a new makeup product. Is isn’t even found in being as “flawless” as a supermodel.

True satisfaction is only found in the One who loves you more than anyone has ever loved you before. It’s found the from the hand of Your Creator who gave you life and designed you to carry His Image (Genesis 1:26).

You have a Father in heaven who doesn’t judge your outward appearance according to Hollywood’s standards.

You have a Father who doesn’t value you based on how “attractive” our culture says you are. You have a Father who loves you and calls you one of His children (John 1:12).

The reason you and I often feel like we’re “ugly” is because we’re looking to someone or something other than God to define us. We’re basing our value and worth on whether or not other people think we’re pretty. We’re basing our value and worth on whether or not guys think we’re attractive. We’re comparing ourselves to our friends.

Whether we realize it or not, we’re believing the lie that our value and worth comes from how we look and from how much others look at us.

This kind of thinking is a guaranteed dead-end road that will lead us right into discontentment and ingratitude.

When we place our identity in something as fleeting as a perfect outward appearance, we will never be content. Even if we think we’ve achieved it, it won’t last. It wont satisfy.

There is only one proven solution to combat this heart issue. 

There’s only one proven antidote to never feeling like the ugly girl again:

Humble gratitude to the Creator.

The most joyful girls in the world aren’t the prettiest ones…but the ones who have learned how to have genuine hearts of gratitude to God for how He chose to make them.

The winning strategy is to focus on who we are in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17). To focus on our Savior who died on the cross and gave us eternal life because He loved us (John 3:16). Our identity isn’t from this world, but in the powerful work of the gospel that transforms us.

Our heart’s cry should be praise and gratitude to God like David had, “For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well” (Psalm 139:13-14).

When was the last time you actually thanked God for how He made you?

When was the last time you praised God for the fact that He loved you so much, He was willing to die on a cross for you?

On this earth, you may never be considered beautiful to the modeling industry. You may never be considered pretty to your peers. But you are fearfully and wonderfully made and your Creator sees this as beautiful.

God is looking for girls, like you, who are willing to courageously go against the grain of modern culture. Girls who are brave enough to set a new trend and a new standard for beauty. Girls who are done standing for the applause of this world, and instead stand for the applause of their King.

Girls who will declare the praises of Psalm 100:3-5:

“Know that the Lord, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name! For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.”

You don’t have to wake up each morning feeling like the ugly girl anymore.

Choose to turn your eyes heavenward and begin praising the Creator for how He chose to make you.

I’d love to hear from you below.

  • In what ways do you struggle with feeling like the ugly girl?
  • How have you practiced showing God gratitude for how He created you to look?

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  • Rocio

    Kristen, Thank You so much for writing this. I know this is a big topic for several of us. I also went through stages believing this lie. But I thank The Lord that He changed my way of thinking, and it’s my desire that other girls would let The Lord do the same for them. Can I repost this?
    Thanks for sharing 🙂

    Btw… I’ve been enjoying every article you ladies write. Keep letting God use you 🙂

    • Thanks for the encouragement Rocio! Please feel free to re-post any of our blogs. 🙂 We would love that. Just be sure to include the girldefined.com link when you repost. Thanks for helping us spread the truth of God’s Word!

  • Jamie

    Love this article! Such a encouraging message for all of us! Dove beauty campaign has been doing an awesome job of breaking down the lies of society as well! This is one of my favorite videos: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IHqzlxGGJFo. Keep on spreading the beautiful truth of God!

  • Jamie

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=litXW91UauE Here is another powerful video;-)

    • Thanks for sharing Jamie! We’re so grateful for women like you who are fighting for God’s truth as well.

  • Anna

    Thank you SOO much Kristin! Everything you shared is stuff I know already, but how quickly I forget!
    God’s love for me is unchanging!! If my face breaks out, or my hair is having an awful day, He still loves me.
    I loved the reminder about the Creation story, when God says that His creation is good. That is what we are in His eyes. Good. No amount of makeup or hair gel, will change His view of us! Our value is in our Redeemer, not the world.

    • You’re welcome Anna! I agree – it’s always so encouraging to be reminded of God’s truths. So glad you found this blog helpful!

  • Lu & Isa

    Hi,

    My name is Luiza and I am a leader of a youth group ministry here in Brazil, me and my friend Isabella, she is a leader of a teenager small group, we want to create a blog that help girls to know what God wants to their lives and understand how precious they are. Our sense are help they how be not molded by the world, in everything (in the way that she dress, in her relationships with their boyfriends, husband, relatives, and parents)… We want to show them how to be a proverbs woman (proverbs 31).

    Therefore, we was looking for references when we found out your blog, and we really love it. You girls have the exactly same propose that we want to share. For that, we want to know what the procedure to translate, and share some of your videos and devotionals.

    We will not do anything without your authorization. We are anxious waiting for your answer.

    God bless you!

    Lu & Isa

  • Catrina

    I have always known beauty is within which is why I love 1 Peter 3:3-4 so much but i still tend to dislike my outward appearance sometimes. I never realized gratitude to God could take that away. Thank you!

  • Marla Erika Suan

    I would love to share this. A priceless gem I found. Thanks

  • Elizabeth Williams

    Everywhere I go, I see ads like this. Whether it’s a commercial on tv, an ad in a magazine, a magazine cover, pictures on the internet, etc. I think to myself “Yeah, I don’t pay attention to that stuff” but I think I do more than I realize it. My mind takes in all those ads and pictures that I’m exposed to every day, even without my realizing it. And I think most girls can relate to feeling bad about themselves. I know I can! Something I have to work on every day!

  • Elizabeth Williams

    That is such a kind thing for you to say! And yeah, I’m sure it’s hard to think of the right way to say it without a girl being like “Ooh, he must like me.” lol I wouldn’t take it the wrong way if it was a Godly guy I knew who maybe just told me how much he appreciates my modesty or whatever.

  • Audra

    i’ve always struggled with accepting how i look. just recently, i’ve been able to start truly being thankful for how God made me. if i don’t like what i look like, i am basically saying that i don’t like how God has made me. i am trying to work on being content and thankful for how God has made me and to accept that He designed me exactly how He wanted.

  • Jewell

    I recently started to struggle with how I looked. Mostly because a lot of my friends are more athletic, taller, a little bit skinnier. I mean I’m kinda skinny, but two of my friends are thinner, and it makes me compare myself to them. I’ve tried not to think about it, but it’s hard. I’ve even started going to the gym to make myself smaller.

    • Ana Castro Yanez

      Exercise isn’t bad. Don’t focus on getting smaller, but on stronger and healthier. You aren’t your friends and your body carries weight differently. For me it isn’t about being skinny, but about getting the right nutrients and gaining muscle. Comparison is the thief of joy!

  • Wow! Thank you so much Kristen, this post helped me so much. I always felt like the “ugly girl” and now I feel like I can move past that and into the light. Thanks for another great post! 🙂

  • medlincz

    there is some verse in old testament that God is looking to the heart,not on how we look,that helped me,we are loved and accepted by Him,i will try to find it,when i was younger i was sad about my nose,it seems to me big and i dint like the shape,but wasnt problem for men at all,also very beutiful guys were interested in me,even when in the time when i gain the weight,now i am again slim,dont compare with others,and live for Jesus ,God not for people

  • medlincz

    it is 1Samuel.16.7

  • Brooke Mazyn

    Thank you for this encouraging and inspiring post, Kristen! We should be content with the way God made us. If we don’t honor that, and others don’t honor that, we are ultimately telling God that we are angry with looking like Him. We are made in His image and are beautiful no matter what!

  • JustBabs

    woow – this is encouraging – may God’s love and beauty standard be enough for us. Thanks for sharing!

  • Allison

    I love this! Thanks for the reminder!

  • Abigail

    Very Good! Our beauty is found in the One who created us! <3

  • Julia

    I don’t always want to feel pretty for the world… that’s ok. I struggle with wanting to be pretty for MY future husband. I don’t want to be ugly. I want him to think I’m beautiful. I try not
    to get down on myself but it’s hard. I struggle daily with my self worth. I Try to feel comfortable in my own skin but I don’t! I try to find my self worth in God but it’s like it’s not enough! I need prayer please! It’s so hard in this day and time. !

    • Rachel M.

      I am praying for you Julia! I know how hard that can be from experience. Keep leaning on Jesus!

    • Stephanie

      I feel the same way! Don’t worry, if our future husbands are devout Christians, then they will love us most importantly for our hearts and our inward beauty. Who knows, our future husbands may be struggling with the same problem!

      P. S. I have a blog on praying for our future husbands! It’s called (Praying for my future husband blog . wordpress . com) (just type everything together, including the periods…it won’t let me post a full link)

      Hope this helps!

    • medlincz

      i will try also pray for you,1Samuel.16.7,that helped me,something can be solved,i mean if someone has problem with acne or with weight ,God can give healing or help with eatings habits

  • Ivy Cooley

    I found such a great book on this, it’s called “I’m No Angel” by Kylie Bisutti who was a former Victoria’s Secret model, winning one of their runway shows. It’s her views on Christianity and the modelling industry, a must read and it has a devotional in it too!

  • Sage

    Wow this is great! As always, the content on Girl Defined is awesome. I just have an overwhelming concern that your pictures and and sometimes overall general perspective is simply not inclusive of all cultures and races. There are literally only pictures of White women on this blog. I wish the people of other races could feel more comfortable on this site by not exclusively seeing one group of people, but also people who look like them as well. Please consider adding a more diverse perspective and feel to this blog to make it a comfortable learning space for everyone. Thanks so much for sharing what God places on your hearts. May God bless Girl Defined ministries continually!

    • Evelyn

      I love Girl Defined and their messages about true biblical womanhood, but I do wish they could be a bit more inclusive too. God’s truth is relevant to everyone of every race, but sometimes it is hard to relate to what they’re saying. Girl Defined is amazing and such a blessing in my life and the lives of many other young women! Thank you for your ministry!

  • Shanice Harris

    I love this article! My ex-boyfriend actually constantly criticized me about my looks. He told me I was bloated and that he liked me when I was more petite. He yelled at me telling me I needed to run. Now that I’m not with him anymore, I’ve been praying to God to bless me with a clean heart to help me have better self-esteem. I am still struggling with being happy at my size and with my appearance. I know the eyes of the world are less important than how God sees me. I have to trust Him. Trust Him to keep me strong and help me to love myself. Though I get down and depressed about it consumed with negative thoughts daily, I know the truth. It’s nice to have this issue brought to light for support.

    • medlincz

      God can help with weight,with eating habits,or give healing,when there is some problem,i never saw someone who was smiling,positive,lover of Jesus,who loved himself,who was ugly,,sometimes when looked on some my photo see such beauty in my eyes,i also experienced criticism,when i had too much weight,now i am slim and i feel better,God helped me with food addiction,this verse also helped me 1Samuel.16.7

      • Shanice Harris

        Thank you very much medlincz! That was a very good scripture. I’ll try to remember that one and recite it aloud and post it somewhere. Maybe on my treadmill when I get one. 🙂 it’s hard, but i will get through this.

        • medlincz

          thank Jesus,God,yes you can say that scripture aloud,you can say aloud In the name o Jesus Christ i refuse the bad thinking about myself,,,i did similar thing with worrying about something(in the name of jesus i refuse to worry)it helps me, fill your mind with good things,speak good things from Bible,

          • Shanice Harris

            Yes yes amen! Fill my mind up with positive things to speak positive things.

  • Adelina

    I have severe acne and struggle with feeling ugly, insecure and worthless every day. Does anyone have any advice for how to handle this??

    • Veronica

      I’ve definitely struggled with feelings of insecurity as well as believing I was extremely ugly. I can tell you with certainty you are definitely not ugly but very beautiful! I think one way you could combat insecurity and feelings of worthlessness is by looking in the mirror and imagining how not you view yourself, but how God does. Hope this helps you 🙂 <3

      • Adelina

        Thank you so much Veronica! That’s a beautiful idea, I will try and remember that xx

        • Veronica

          You’re very welcome! :))

    • medlincz

      1Samuel.16.7,this verse helped me with my struggling,i advice to pray for healing,acne dont belongs to you,i recommend prayers in your church,or visit healing rooms,

      • Adelina

        What do you mean acne doesn’t belong to me? I hope you don’t mean that acne is a sign of sin or separation from God or something 🙁 I’m definitely not perfect but I do try my best to be good. I have prayed and prayed so hard (for about 2.5 years now) for clear skin, but the acne is still there. I know that faith in God means faith in His timing though, so I believe that God will heal me when He feels it is right to do so. Perhaps this acne is God’s way of blessing me in ways I can’t possibly understand. I will keep praying for healing, but right now I just really need help with how to deal with the pain of feeling disgusting. Thank you for that bible verse! I will do my best to remind myself that God looks at my heart <3

        • medlincz

          i think you need healing from the acne, the acne is not you,it is not a part of you,i was healed from the depression,after i was praying for others,and my mother was healed from the serious sickness,it is also good other people to pray for you,never give up,try to look on Jesus,not focusing on yourself,be interested in others,try to help others,i wish you the best in life,know Jesus,God and His love ,you can try reading aloud verses about Him and His love,i do it when i need it,be follower of Jesus,Jesus loves you.

    • Amaris Lancaster

      I also have bad acne. I always struggled with how I looked. About a year ago God did something for me that completely changed my mindset. I was on a road trip with one of my friends, it was a long overnight trip so we ended up staying overnight with some of her friends that lived on the way. They were a really lovely christian family, they were very very nice and welcoming towards us. One of the girls in particular I will never forget. She had very bad acne, but she is honestly one of the most beautiful girls I have ever met. She literally radiated in beauty. It wasn’t because she was particularly pretty on the outside but she had such a close relationship with Christ that it shone throughout everything she did. I realised right then and there that I didn’t want to put my worth on how pretty I am on the outside, but I wanted to radiate with God’s beauty from the inside. I still have acne, and I will probably never get rid of the acne scars, but I don’t seem to mind anymore. I know that Christ can give me more beauty than I could ever imagine. I still sometimes have times when I fall into the old trap, but It helps me to remember that Christ has an amazing and beautiful life planned for me, If He gave me acne scars, I must be able to live for Him with acne scars. (Besides, one day in heaven, I’ll have a perfect body, so no more pimples ;p :D) Sorry for the long post. I really wanted to help because you remind me so much of how I was.

    • Cecilia

      Acne can many times be caused by the kind of food we are eating. Cow milk for example is very inflammatory, have you tried to stay away from dairy products? Also gluten and sugar can cause acne. I would recommend you to see a dermatologist, there are medicins that might help you!

      God bless you!

    • medlincz

      reason for why you didnt recive healing,i think can be a bad thinking about yourself,not loving yourself,(second commandement,love others as yourself),also is important the forgiveness to all people who do something wrong that efffects you,even to people you dont know,who do evil things,forgive yourself everything,when bad thougts are coming,you can speak aloud :I refuse bad thinking in the name of Jesus Christ,and think on Jesus,God,think on good things from Bible,you can speak aloud good things from Bible,there can be things that you will need to change in life,so you could recieve healing,also our life should be about Jesus,God,knowing Him,follow Jesus because of love,not because to get something from him,Jesus heals,He suffered so much,so we could be saved and healed,and have freedom,i have send you two replyes,i hope you see both,sorry if i made any grammer mistakes,i am not a native speaker,I am from a small country in Europe

    • Elisse Tirian

      God created you, he knew who you were even before you were born. He loves you more than anyone could ever say or know, and to him you are immensely beautiful. His opinion is the only one that matters.
      I know a lot of women who wouldn’t be considered “attractive” by today’s perfectionist standards, but they have a good relationship with God. They are loving, and prayerful, and to me they are the most wonderful women in the world.
      One woman, who was a mentor to me for a couple of years, has both acne and really short hair (not styled to be fashionable or anything) and last year she got married. Everyone who knows her knows how beautiful she is, not because she looks like a supermodel, but because we can see that she is a godly woman and that makes her more beautiful than makeup or photoshop ever could.

  • Great post! It’s always helpful to hear this over and over again, because it’s simply too easy to get caught up in the culture’s lies EVEN IF you know they’re lies! Thanks for this post so much!

    P.S. If you don’t mind me asking, where did you get the watercolor flowers for your website? 😛

  • Is this post missing? When I search for it or click on the link, it says the page doesn’t exist. 🙁

  • Britts

    the objectification is disgusting. Guys think girls have to be a certain way and so do girls. Its of the devil and causes men to lust after fake women and cause us girls to feel like dirt, because we don’t measure up. Girls and guys aren’t supposed to fit into a mold, we are all different and it’s awesome.

  • Sara

    I was struggling for YEARS with how god made me. Then God taught me to be thankful and trust his word more than the worlds word. So in this process God led me to an old man in africa (I am from europe). Everybody in the area wanted to be white like me. Except this old, skinny man. My friends asked him, he said “no”. We were surprised. “Its because I appreciate the way god made me!”, was his wise, wise answer, before he disappeared in the bush again. I had to hug him and I often think about this man. Oftentime I go to the mirror, look in it and say “God, I appreciate the way you made me!”

  • Octubre

    I’ve struggled my whole life with my apeareance. I remember being five and getting ready for school and suddenly being attacked by an overwhelming feeling of uglyness. My school years were filled with the same feeling, I used to always think that I was ugly, that I wasn’t pretty as the other girls. I am still struggling with that and with my weight even though it’s ok for my heigh. I don’t have an eating disorder but I can’t stop thinking in how much I want to loose some pounds. Besides, I have never have a boyfriend and not a single guy has show any intereset in me. I don’t think in myself as beautiful and I don’t like to look at the mirror. I try to use makeup and other products but it seems is useless. That would answer the first question.

    For the second one… being honest, I haven’t do that yet. I hate so many things about myself that I cannot accept how I look. It’s a difficult task for me and I just can’t do it. I don’t have the strenght… Praying would be really apreciated. I don’t have anyone to talk about these things so I am alone in this fight. Thank you

    • Barbara le Roux

      I understand exactly how you feel, I often feel the same. Praying for you* May God give you the strength to fight against any lies about your worth and your appearance. And may you see the beauty He created in you and find contentment and joy in Him.


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