Photo

Is a Perfect Body and Pretty Face Enough to Satisfy?

By: Bethany Baird

I recently met Jana, a girl from Germany, who is living in America as an au-pair nanny. She told me that, “getting a chance to live in America was like a dream.”

Now that she has been here for a good 8 months, I was curious what her perspective on America was.

Jana described America as a place where, “everyone appears to be living in a fantasy in the public eye, but they are depressed and unhappy when they are at home.” She continued, “all of the girls, old or young, seem to put so much focus on their outward appearance. I feel like I am a normal dress size when I am in Germany, but when I come here, even the moms with two kids are skinnier than me”.

Obviously, not everyone is that way, but from her experience in America, that’s been her perspective.

Jana wanted to fit into the typical “Hollywood girl” stereotype, so she had her hair bleached blonde right before she came. She wanted to feel pretty and from her perspective a “pretty girl” had bleach blonde hair.

Jana confessed that she surprisingly wasn’t any happier and didn’t feel any prettier with her bleached blonde hair.

Throughout my time of getting to know Jana, I was sadly reminded of the reality that American people (as a whole) are completely obsessed with themselves and their outward appearance.

In order to be happy and fulfilled we, as girls, are fed the lie that we must have the whitest teeth, tannest skin, perfect hair and most toned body. Jana felt the pressure to measure up to the impossible “beauty” standard when she first arrived in America, but quickly began to question its depth after getting a sneak peak behind the scenes of several American women.

Jana started to question if the “pretty face and perfect body” was really all that it was cracked up to be.

I was so privileged to have the opportunity to explain to Jana that as a Christian, I don’t find my security in my outward appearance, my wealth, or my accomplishments as a woman. I described what Jesus did for me on the cross and how I strive to find all of my worth in and through Him.

I shared with her Proverbs 31:30 which says, “Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting but a woman that fears the Lord shall be praised.” I explained to her that humans tend to look at the outward appearance but God looks at the heart.

I explained to her that my worth isn’t found in my outward appearance, but that my worth is found in Jesus Christ. He is where I find my satisfaction.

I explained to her that even if I was the skinniest, tannest, tallest or the sexiest, I would never feel totally satisfied. God is the only one who can fully satisfy our deepest longings long term. He, as our Designer, is the only One with the authority to define our worth.

Jana left America with an entirely new perspective of her worth and value as a woman and a totally new perspective of God. She took her very first Bible back home and promised to read it on a regular basis.

I was personally super convicted by Jana’s perspective of American women.

I began to question if I was guilty of the stereotype that Jana described to me. I wonder if you are guilty of the stereotype that Jana described above.

Each of us needs to search our heart and honestly ask ourselves where we are looking to find our worth and value as women. Are we allowing Hollywood’s version of beauty define our standards? Are we looking to our outward appearance to give us worth and satisfaction?

I want to remind you of the verse that I shared with Jana.

I want you to search your own heart and make sure that your definition of beauty comes from God’s Word and not Hollywood.

“Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting but a woman that fears the Lord shall be praised” (Proverbs 31:30).

In what ways have you believed the lie that your worth as a woman is found in your outward appearance?

How can you realign your heart with God’s truth?

Photo Credit 

Girl Folding up Pants Hem

images images images
  • Rodricka

    this is very encouraging! Great reminder girls. I’ve been trying to ask you all this random question for a while. What is your take on heels? Solid heels that don’t have loud colors that draw attention?

    • Jade

      Well, I have a few thoughts…. but correct me if I’m wrong.

      There is nothing in the Bible that says heels are wrong. Therefore, no Christian should make a blanket statement “Heels are sinful”. But, like any other complexity of our modern age that the Bible doesn’t speak to specifically, we need to apply general biblical principles, right? Ones that come to mind are modesty, decency, propriety, holiness, orderliness, and the idea of not being SO dressed up (except for your wedding or something) that we can’t help others.

      The way we mostly see heels being worn in our culture is very immodest… like, with the intention of attracting attention to the woman’s behind. We need to not look at this and think “well then, heels are bad!”. I’ve personally chosen never to wear massively high heels, but have nothing against a few inches high – but the thing is, it really depends on the outfit you’re wearing them with. If it’s a super modest skirt and whatever, than it would seem sometimes nice, but if it’s already a “pushing it” outfit, well, maybe not.

      Sorry for this whole essay!!! In conclusion: I don’t know exactly the type of heels you’re talking about, but just look at the whole outfit together and see if it lines up with the biblical principles I mentioned before, plus any others you can think of, like loving our brothers. Or, ask your Dad or brothers (or mother as well, but I think that’s a given for most girls).

      I always end up writing waaaay to much…. I’m so sorry 🙂

  • Great reminder for all of us! And how cool that God allowed you to minister to Jana like that.

  • JustBabs

    I have been searching myself – and praying that God would purge of this type of thinking. We have to really renew our minds and know our worth comes from the Lord not how we look. Even those of us single and waiting – may know – beauty is vain and not use our bodies to draw attention but our inner beauty.

    At Rodricka – I think heels are ok as long it is for the right reasons – not just to draw attention. I have sisters string in faith who love heels/stilettos…run in them. I don’t see any problem with shoes/clothes as long as they are decent. The key is our hearts – there’s a scripture that says – to the pure everything is pure…I live in S/Africa and rlly heels mean nothing to us – just nice shoes that enhance your posture. Our goal should be to worship the Lord alone and put our confidence in Him – He is the safe/sure constant/unchanging God – all else is vanity and it is fleeting

  • Great post! You are so right about this. It’s good to look nice, good clothes and grooming, to show respect for yourself and others. But true beauty comes from the Lord, and true joy is found there.

  • Seeking truth

    “Jana wanted to fit into the typical “Hollywood girl” stereotype, so she had her hair bleached blonde right before she came. She wanted to feel pretty and from her perspective a “pretty girl” had bleach blonde hair. … Jana confessed that she surprisingly wasn’t any happier and didn’t feel any prettier with her bleached blonde hair.”

    I’m glad Jana realized this–and I trust delighted and felt confident in her hair’s natural color.

    Women are beautiful as they are–as God made them to be. Coupled with a heart that wants to honor God, each one of their intricate differences from men (physically and physiologically) are what’s so very attractive and enviable.

  • Kristen P

    Amen!!! I couldn’t stop nodding my head through the whole post! Thanks so much for this! I guess I have believed that lie through the other girls that I see that get all the attention from guys. I see them and I wonder why they get attention and not me. I believe I can realign my heart with God’s truth by studying verses about Christ and my life in Him. Thanks for this post!!! 🙂

  • Hannah

    Thank you girls so much for reminding me of this very valuable lesson that lately I’ve been forgetting. Lately I’ve been feeling unsatisfied with the way my body looks- not that I’m overweight or anything, but just like you said, not “toned enough” (in the worlds standard) and I’ve been wanting to change that. Thank you so much for reminding me to look to God first for worth and satisfaction and not to look at the world for my worth. Definitely needed this today!

  • Ashley

    is it still ok if I have a workout routine and eat healthy?

    • Anonymous

      It’s not okay to be obsessed with the outward appearance … for the Bible says in 1 Timothy (2:9) to “adorn ourselves in modest aparrel.” To live a healthy lifestyle is not a bad thing. 😉 Working out and eating healthy is a good idea, and I think God would be pleased with that. The Lord doesn’t want us to be lazy, or over eat. 🙂

      • Ashley

        thank you! it helps me more than you think

        • Allison

          Our body is the temple of God and He wants us to take care of it! So I would say that working out and eating healthy is absolutely okay. In fact, those are really good things to do!

  • Great post! Thanks for the wonderful reminder.

    God bless,
    Tatiana

  • Elizabeth Fry

    “Let not your adornment be merely external… but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God.” 1 Peter 3:3-4
    Thank you so much for this reminder Bethany!

  • G

    Hey Kristin and Bethany,
    Thank you for always writing such encouraging posts! I love it!
    I have a question…what is a wise decision if a person was completely in love with a guy who was a Christian and loved the Lord, but her parents did not approve of him and do not give their blessing for a relationship or marriage? What would you do? Is it a sin to continue the relationship regardless of what your parents think about him? Like for me, they have given permission for me to go off and get married to him, but they don’t give their blessing for it. What should I do? What do you think the Lord would have me do?

    • Amy

      I think it strongly depends on why they don’t approve. Depending on why, that could be the answer to your question. If it’s because of something they’ve seen in him, maybe they are just seeing something that you can’t because you are involved emotionally. I would really talk to your pastor (or his pastor, if you go to different churches) and seek advice from others as well who know him. Pray a lot and wait until God has shown you clearly that he is the one that God wants you to marry. Remember, it is a permanent decision. As Christians, we have to mean it when we say ‘I do’. God bless! I hope you find wisdom and discernment from God in this big decision.

  • Elisabeth

    To I know to have great standards,but I think a handsome girl will only care about outward beauty which has left me scraped.I once thought I change me by redoing how God made me,It didn’t work I just made a bigger mess.Guys and getting rid of my loneliness some to be all I live for, but it has left mesoo empty.

    • Allison

      I’m praying for you!

      • Elisabeth

        Thank you

  • Grace

    Quick question- what if you are naturally beautiful by the world’s standards? I mean, just born that way. (minus the bleached hair, haha)


Free
e-book img
img

Sign up to receive our blog posts via e-mail and get a copy of our free e-book:
Reaching Beyond Myself
30 Day Devotional

Privacy guarantee: We will never share your e-mail address with anyone else