The beauty pendulum swings both ways for young Christian girls and women.
To one side is a woman’s God-given desire to look and to feel beautiful. That pursuit usually involves some combination of exercise, hair style, cosmetics, and clothing choices, all of which must work together for a woman to feel attractive.
The other side of the pendulum diminishes outer beauty. Women are told that how they look or feel is inconsequential. Real beauty is only on the inside.
They’re left twisting between two extremes.
We live in a sex-saturated, beauty-obsessed culture that has redefined true beauty into airbrushed, digitized, unreachable perfection. Women and girls are bombarded every day with unhealthy messages that convince them they don’t measure up.
Clearly those messages are harmful. But dismissing outer beauty entirely denies a woman’s inner wiring.
Young Christian girls and women long to feel beautiful, but the efforts they put into hair, makeup, and clothing can become a moving target that’s impossible to hit.
My wife Jean has told me, “When I was in my 20’s, I felt guilty on both ends of that continuum. When I really felt pretty, I felt guilty because it took me effort to get there – the exercise I put into it, how much time I put into my hair.”
When she wasn’t taking care of herself, she felt like she was letting herself, me, and our boys down because she wasn’t doing what she needed to do to feel beautiful. But when she pursued beauty, she felt guilty that she was creating an idol out of it. So even when she felt good, she felt bad. That’s a terrible cycle.
It’s one that’s familiar to many women and teen girls. They struggle with both sides of the pendulum. But there is middle ground. There is a way to both desire beauty for yourself and to honor God through your outer attractiveness while not allowing those desires to overcome you and your relationship with Him.
Our guest on today’s and tomorrow’s programs is author Jessie Minassian. She’ll discuss how women can feel beautiful, oddly enough, by offering “10 easy steps to feeling ugly.” You and your daughters won’t want to miss this conversation.
Listen together to “Navigating Beauty and Body Image with Teen Daughters” on your local radio station, online, or on our free phone app. And check out Jessie’s book titled, Backwards Beauty: How to Feel Ugly in 10 Simple Steps. Her book and other helpful resources are available in our online bookstore.
Women have a love-hate relationship with beauty. God created them as the crowning stroke of His creation. He created them to be beautiful – inwardly and outwardly – but they can’t help but pick out all the flaws they see in the mirror. Join us for our programs and learn how to see your beauty the way God sees you – in body, in soul, and in spirit.