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How Pretty is Pretty Enough?

By: Kristen Clark

How do you know if Hollywood thinks you’re pretty enough? I mean, beauty is in the eye of the beholder right? Well…apparently there’s a certain group of people who are trying to prove that beauty can actually be measured.

They call it the “golden ratio.”

The golden ratio is a number (1.62 to be exact) which these groups claim can be used to measure beauty. This number is used to measure everything from how far apart your eyes are, to how long your head is, to how much space you have between your chin and lips.

If you measure really well (basically perfect according to this group), your numbers might hit 10.0. Then you can relax, with the assurance of knowing that you are beautiful.

We live in a society where physical beauty is placed on the highest of pedestals.

As a result, some women will do anything to achieve the perfect look (whatever that is). Plastic surgery, lip enhancement, hair extensions, permanent makeup, tanning beds, fake eyelashes, etc. You name it, women have tried it.

Putting on basic makeup isn’t good enough anymore. We’ve been convinced that heavier reinforcements are what it now takes to look gorgeous. Our culture has convinced us that achieving the “golden ratio” is the ticket to lasting happiness and fulfillment. That’s why so many women chase after physical beauty to such extremes.

I have a question though. 

If achieving the golden ratio brings women so much happiness and fulfillment, why are so many beautiful women unhappy? Have you ever stopped to think about that? Some of the most physically beautiful women are also some of the most unhappy.

For example, Marilyn Monroe was pretty close to hitting golden ratio. She’s considered a famous American icon and had everything Hollywood upholds as successful. Outward beauty, fame, money, men, fancy clothes, fine jewelry, luxurious living spaces, etc. She had it all!

By our culture’s standards she should have been the happiest, most fulfilled woman on the planet.

But she wasn’t.

Despite her gorgeous looks and glamorous lifestyle, she struggled on a regular basis with depression, insomnia, and brokenness. She died at the young age of 36 due to a drug overdose. Marilyn’s tragic ending should be an obvious warning sign to us that beautiful looks aren’t the key to lasting joy and happiness.

Another prime example is the modeling industry. Some of the most beautiful women on the planet are also some of the most depressed, unhappy and insecure.

One famous model actually said, “The models I worked with were considered the most beautiful and sexy women on the planet. They were also the most insecure women I’ve ever known in my life.”

These examples send us a very clear message.

Being pretty isn’t the answer. 

Being physically beautiful isn’t what gives a girl her worth and value. No matter how close a girl comes to reaching the “golden ratio” it still won’t be enough to satisfy her deepest longings. Now, there’s nothing wrong with desiring to enhance your God-given features with tasteful makeup, feminine clothes, and nice hairstyles. That isn’t the root problem here.

The root problem is when we view “beauty” as our ticket to happiness, security, and fulfillment.

The problem happens when we see the Covergirl commercial advertising thick lashes and think, “If only I had longer eyelashes, then I would be beautiful.” The problem happens when we see an advertisement for hair extensions and think, “If only I had thicker hair, then I would be beautiful.”

The problem happens when we glance at the front of magazine covers and think, “If only I was as pretty as her….then I would be happy.”

Without even realizing it, we view beauty as our means to happiness. We somehow think that the pretty girls have the secret to life. We just assume that they must be completely happy and totally fulfilled.

But that’s not the case.

Physical beauty is not capable of bringing us lasting worth and satisfaction.

Yes, it can bring momentary pleasure and attention…but it can’t ultimately satisfy us. That is why 10 out of 10 women who pursue beauty as their ultimate means to fulfillment always wind up unfulfilled.

No matter how well we rank against the golden ratio, we’re all in the same boat. When it comes to our personal fulfillment, only one Person is capable of filling that role. No matter how pretty or ugly Hollywood might rate us, we’re all in need of the same loving Savior.

Jesus Christ is the only One who can fill the deepest longings of our hearts.

Having a personal relationship with Him through faith, prayer, reading His word, and worshipping Him is the only ticket to true satisfaction. He is the One who gives us our worth and value, not Hollywood.

He is the loving Savior who created you in His image and doesn’t judge you based on the golden ratio.

His standards for beauty are much, much different. “Man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7b). God doesn’t care if we have perfect skin, thick hair and long eyelashes. He cares about the condition of our hearts.

When we live our lives to please the One who created us, our deepest longings will always be filled.

Our hearts will always be full. Our lives will never lack fulfillment, purpose or security.

YOU’RE INVITED!

If you’re interested in learning more about God’s design for true beauty and lasting worth, I want to personally invite you to join us for our first ever LIVE online sisterhood event! This event is called Project Beauty: Discovering God’s Design for True Beauty and Lasting Worth and is taking place on November 11th. Click here for more info and to grab your tickets.

Now, let’s chat below: 

  • In what ways do you struggle with your outward appearance?
  • Do you believe that being more beautiful will make you happy?
  • Have you thanked God for the body and face He gave you?

Photo Credit

Girl with makeup

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  • Jesusfreak17

    Great timing for a great reminder. Yesterday I (finally) learned the basics of makeup. But Jesus is my fulfillment.

    • That’s great! So glad you found this blog post helpful.

  • Tammy

    My biggest struggle is comparing myself to others. I like what you wrote about thanking God for my face. I always thank Him for a healthy body, however never for my face!

    • We feel ya Tammy! There’s been many times we’ve complained to God about our outward appearances. Thankfully, God has been working on our hearts and shown us that His design for us is exactly what He wanted. We’ve learned that living for God’s glory is much more rewarding than living for Hollywood’s.

  • Elizabeth Williams

    I definitely compare myself to everyone else! God has really been dealing with my heart about that lately. I find that I can never be truly happy because I’m always thinking “Well, if only I had this or that or looked like this girl” when that is definitely not the right way to think. I have to be guarding my heart to make sure that I am letting Christ completely fulfill me, not pretty clothes, nice makeup, perfect hair, etc.

    • Thanks for being so open and honest Elizabeth! I think most girls can relate to you on what you said. Comparing ourselves to “other” girls is part of our sin nature. We’re tempted to take our eyes off Jesus and His perfect work, and instead focus on what we don’t have. As my sister-in-law says so well, “the grass isn’t greener on the other side…it’s greener where you water it.” 🙂

      • Elizabeth Williams

        You’re right, it is part of our sin nature, because God would never have us to be comparing ourselves to other girls like that. And I love what your sister-in-law says 🙂

  • Elisabeth

    Thank you very much for this , article!I have often compared my self with others and been insecure of how pretty I really was, or ways to fix my self up;but then I got a much closer walk with Jesus,and realized that in God’s sight, I couldn’t possibly be any more beautiful!!He made me just as pretty as he wanted me to be, and just as long as I take care of my self, and try to enhance my God given beauty.I’ll never need to be anymore beautiful!

    • Sounds like God has been doing an amazing work in your heart, Elisabeth! Keep up the positive attitude and Christ centered focus!

  • CaliMama

    great article!!! I have been told by several that i am a very pretty women, i of course dont see myself in that light and i could easily point out every flaw about me to everyone, but truthfully i learned a long time ago that my worth is not in that. I am now 43 and my face is changing, by body is definitely changing LOL, and i watch so many ladies around me freaking out, getting plastic surgery, you name it, etc cause they are “fading” in their words. I want to embrace my age with grace, realizing I’m not 20 anymore or 30 for that matter. That doesnt mean i let myself go, NEVER, just that having a few more wrinkles from laughing, and squinting my eyes cause we are beach goers living my life, having stretch marks for having my 4 beautiful children, and so on, doesn’t define my beauty…. i have people tell me i dont look 43,and truthfully, i like that, but what i want more is for my daughter to see my inner beauty, a gentle spirit, a lover of Jesus who tells others about him. etc. Hannah, Esther, Abigal were beautiful women of the Bible, Godly women! Jezzabel, Delilah, and Rebekka were beautiful but look at them…look at their storeis… who do i want to model my life after…. knowing my worth in Jesus Christ is a peaceful, restful, contentful (i know not a real word) place. There is nothing more sad to me than to see a women my age or older trying to look like they are 25 or 30….

    • Well said!! I couldn’t agree with you more. Your words are exactly what the younger generation of women need to be reminded of. Sounds like you’re a great role model to you daughters. They are very blessed to have you for their mom! Thanks so much for sharing!

    • Elizabeth Williams

      How encouraging are your words! I can’t relate to what you’re saying because I’m only 22, but I see a lot of women your age and it’s almost like they are desperate to be young again. And then you also see people take it to the other extreme and just completely let themselves go. I love when I see women like you who are embracing their age with grace! And your perspective on the wrinkles,stretch marks,etc. is really awesome because I’ve never thought of it like that before!

  • CT

    As an (almost) college aged student, do you think it is necessary for me to learn makeup? I’ve had somebody tell me that I should wear just a little makeup when I’m on camera, performing on stage, etc just to show that I take care of myself. But I’ve also had someone else tell me not to wear makeup because it will attract the wrong type of guys, those who don’t look at a girl’s inside character. I currently don’t wear makeup (although in my past years I dabbled a little in it when I was in rebellion against God). Any input?

    • Jesusfreak17

      You’ll only attract the wrong kind of guys with makeup if it’s obvious that you’re wearing it or you’re wearing it to get their attention. If you wear a little make up to highlight your best qualities, cover things like pimples, and it looks natural, you’re probably fine. I wore make up for the first time last night, and the only people who noticed where those who knew it had happened. (so definitely get a second opinion on this since I’m so new to it. 😉 ) Either way it’s your personal choice, and it doesn’t lessen or increase your beauty significantly either way.

    • Guest

      Makeup can be a wonderful and artistic form of self-expression. But, no, of course it is not necessary. What’s important is that you are wearing makeup because YOU want to. I notice you are considering this choice based on what other people have told you to do. I want you to stop right there and think “do I have this desire?” If you think it’s fun, go ahead. It’s your face! If not, then that’s perfectly fine too.

      But again, I want to stress that what you to do your own body/put on your body, is YOUR choice.

      And, as for those saying you’ll “attract the wrong kind of guy.” That’s ridiculous. Don’t listen to that because it’s based off of assumptions. I’m sure there are many women in your life who you look up to, who are in healthy marriages or relationships, and who wear makeup. A good man or woman (whichever you prefer) would appreciate your heart, even if you are wearing makeup. And if you do get attention from guys you think wouldn’t be good for you, then just decline their advances. It’s not as hard as it might seem. You’ll be fine (:

  • Guest

    What would you consider fullfillment and satisfaction? If the definition is contingent on the aspect of religion then that would be explanation enough, but if not, I’d be curious to know what you think about people who report life satisfaction and fulfillment without actively practicing a religion.

  • Anne

    As much as I apreciate the point you are making, I belive it would be fairer to the late Marylin Monroe to not support the lie that claims she committed suicide. Please googlle the evidence which proves that she was assainated.

    Did you know that before Jesus came down to earth people worshipped his father, Jehovah as the only true God. At that time people did not yet know Jesus, so ther was no confusion as to who God was. It was not until after Jesus death and after the death of the apostles that the “Trinity doctrine” (Council of Nicea 325 C.E.) was made up by man and introduced to the church in Rome, which has caused so much confusion as to who God is. But think for a moment about the words that were used by an Angel of God to announce Jesus’ birth. The Angel stated that this ne would be called “God’s son”, not God. (Luke 1:35). Rather than saying ‘God himself came to earth’ as some do claim,the scriptures in Galatians 4:4-5 and 1.John 4:9-10 show that “God sent forth his son”.

  • Claire

    The ‘Golden ratio” is not a way of telling women how they don’t measure up, it’s just a scientifically proven ratio to which we, as humans, have been shown to find the most aesthetically pleasing. We can’t help it it’s our human nature. It’s like saying ‘men like feminine woman’, it’s an undeniable fact of their human nature (not to say their aren’t out-lairs though), femininity shows men that this woman is in balance with her womanly hormones, that she has high estrogen levels, that she will be a good nurturer for children and be naturally inclined to take on “womanly” jobs. The fact that men like feminine women can’t possibly be offensive because it’s an unbiased fact. Facts aren’t offensive, they can’t be, just like they aren’t sexist, racist, homophobic, etc. they just are, regardless of how they make you “feel”.

    • Violet

      eeexcept those aren’t facts? I’m sorry to let the air out of your balloon, but there are no legitimate scientific studies proving any of what you just said. It is not, as you said, ” an undeniable fact of human nature” that “femininity shows men that [a] woman is in balance with her womanly hormones… [and] will be a good nurturer… and be naturally inclined to take on “womanly” jobs” and I could barely type that quote with a straight face. Honestly, what source are you looking at.
      Heads up; no source is unbiased. No fact is unbiased. Insisting otherwise will get you into a lot of trouble down the road.

  • Violet

    That’s…. not what the golden ratio is? This article is such a trainwreck? Please stop focusing on a woman’s looks and shaming women for trying to survive in a society that tells them they need to be pretty to be worth something? Geez?

  • Gracie

    Regardless of what others say. I think you both are awesome bloggers, and I like em a LOT 😀

  • Jana Weaver

    The thing women forget so often is that God made them the way HE thought they were beautiful! He wants them like that! And if your Maker thinks you are beautiful who else matters? When we try to change/alter the way we look we are telling God that He didn’t know what He was doing. How dare we, as the creation, tell our Creator what is right and what is wrong! And yet it is a very real struggle. There is a lot of social pressure and thats a shame. So girls, rest in the fact that you ARE beautiful! Each and every one of you – because God made you exactly the way He wants you to be!

  • Hi Kristen and Bethany! My name is also Kristen but i spell it “Christen”. I just wanted to let yall know that this was just what I needed! The past few days have been hard because I have been comparing myself/body to other girls and it really brought me down. I was starting to think that if i just lost 5 or more pounds than I would be happy. I was thinking that no guy would ever love me. I have always compared myself to others. God has helped me so much in the recent years but I still have those days like today. It makes me feel so much better to know that God loves me so much regardless of how ugly of beautiful I am and that He wants me to know that He loves me no mater what! And I praise Him for that! And btw, I love yalls YT channel and God has usewd it in my life so much! God is growing a passion in me to make a godly impact on girls my age and younger!

  • Aurora

    I really needed this too. I have severe chronic cystic acne over the majority of my face, caused by problems with my hormones. I have tried literally everything to get rid of it, including pills, topical treatments, dietary changes, natural remedies, you name it. Sometimes, I look at my sisters or friends who have clear skin, and get this painful longing in my heart. I don’t even remember what it feels like to look in the mirror and not be ashamed. I don’t remember what it feels like to just have smooth skin, not a face full of bumps and scars. It’s definitely a challenge for me to go out every day looking the way I do, because having a face covered in red lumps does not look attractive, healthy or normal! A lot of people say things, and a lot of people stare, and inside I worry that no man will ever love me because of how bad my acne is. But I have learned to offer up all the pain associated with my skin condition to God, so that He can use it to do better things. I also do my best to be joyful, because God has given me so many blessings, more than I deserve <3
    When I think about it, while I would love to be cured, I am actually truly thankful that I have had this acne. It made me reach out to God like never before, and bought me closer to my faith. I am also a lot more accepting of people who do not look "normal" or "beautiful" by society's standards, because I understand what they are going through more. I honestly think this acne has made me a better person.

  • Shanae B

    Great post!!! I thankfully grew up in a home where I was taught to focus on God’ Work in my heart and not on my physical beauty. It’s sad that so many girls follow the culture in this. This is a much needed message for today!

  • GuessWho

    How many times have you mentioned Marilyn Monroe in your blog posts in the last year? You’ve been yammering about her since I first met you, which is several years ago now. It is an insult to anyone with a brain when you suppose that the biggest challenge a woman can face is being pressured by “our culture” and “Hollywood” to get plastic, have tanning treatments, sleep with anything that has a pulse, and never pay attention to Jesus. You’re betraying your own smallness of mind when you write about nothing but guys, sexual purity, beauty standards, modesty, and serving, and pretend like that’s all there is for women. I remember the Baird family as all the tall (dyed) blond girls and an emasculated brother whose only function was to let Bethany know if her choice of clothes would end up turning guys on. You were and still are obsessed with your reputation. Every time I saw your family at least half of the females were on a diet, even though you’re all naturally slim. How is that not exactly what you’re condemning here? You’re trying to impress the set of people you surround yourselves with. You want to influence people to be exactly like you, regardless of where they come from. Your lives are very narrow, very white/privileged middle-class/fundamentalist Christian, and it is arrogant of you to suppose that everything about your convictions is good material to export to the entire world. I’ve been places in the world where everyone would just think you’re crazy for saying what you do, simply because it’s so irrelevant. Did you know that in many countries “Reformed Theology” does not exist? You shouldn’t present your views so confidently until you’ve studied many other things (a course on world religions doesn’t count), otherwise it’s just brainwashing.

    • Emmy

      That’s not even right though. They are focusing on the issues of the world, and exactly like you are saying, there are some pretty stupid topics. If you don’t believe in what they are saying then don’t listen and have a horrible life with out Jesus. kNOw Jesus kNOw peace. You want to go on about how horrible they are, then just stop reading There are no reasons for calling them about what you believe. Its not even right to them. They are trying to help genuine christian girls who have much more major problems than that, but they don’t need jibber jabber from people saying how bad they are. There are girls out there who genuinely have problems, but were too busy focusing on the junk.

  • Shalen Luz Calanova Peñaflorid

    That’s my issue for about 8 months already. That’s how far I’ve been through trying to be beautiful like other girls. And it consumes most of my time and MONEY. that cause me to do bad thing, to stole money from my mother and to pressure her to buy me this and that, things, possessions just to look beautiful and valued in this society like how most people and me value those beautifuo woman we look up to and idolize in tv and in streets. It’s crazy, many dissapointments and I just want to get over it

  • Emmy Smith

    There are many people who don’t even want to put their best foot forward, there are people who go WAY too far, you are kind of stuck in the middle. There are people both ways, so you don’t know which way to go. But even if you wear makeup, don’t go too far. I am only 13, and I bet you at least half of the girls in my grade are only focused on the boy part of it, and if there weren’t any boys in the world, then they would not even care. Nobody is perfect and I think everyone gets sucked up in the whirlwind at least a little bit, but it is not even necessary. I think the world is pushing the kids to grow up too fast, that they have to be perfect, and look flawless, and never have an issue, but newsflash– nobody is perfect, never has been, never will be. (Except Jesus obviously). The world is changing major, ever since I was in about 2nd grade. I have lived with my grandparents since I was in second grade, my father recently died of drugs, and girl defined has helped me get through the pressure of it all. It’s just everyone everywhere, and it is getting to a very critical condition. Girl Defined had really helped many girls in the world stay alive in faith even through the roughest of times. Keep going girls!


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