He likes pretty girls; not me. He likes sexy girls; not me. He likes those busty, bronze-skinned babes Who turn a guy on with the tap of a nail… Not me. He likes a somebody; not me.
I wrote that lovely piece of (ahem) poetry at the ripe old age of 15. I don’t know who the guy was at the time but I was certain that I was anything but pretty and therefore, of little value and unworthy of love.
I was an awkward, insecure and friendless freshman in high school at the time and deep in the throes of “I hate me-hood”. And for a variety of reasons, I have sorta stayed in that neighborhood for a long, long time.
But I don’t live there anymore. In fact, I exited that place, shook the dirt off my sandals, packed up it’s baggage and sent it back to the pit of hell with all the other lies that somehow have had a hold on me for so many years.
And I want to go on record today with the following statement:
Pretty is not good enough for me.
Furthermore, I’m not interested in settling for the lesser life of striving to be “pretty” according to the world’s standards.
I was made in the image of Someone more
..for something better.
And so were you.
My handy-dandy built-in Apple dictionary defines the word in the very way I’m thinking:
- “attractive in a delicate way without being beautiful or handsome.”
- ” an attractive thing; typically a pleasing but unnecessary accessory.”
- “used to refer in a condescending way to an attractive person; usually a girl or a woman.”
Here’s the thing: I firmly believe that the quest for pretty kills a lot of truly beautiful people. Or, at the very least, it distracts us and stunts our growth for a long, long time.
Because pretty never satisfies; it was never meant to.
Somehow we find ourselves selling our souls to the proverbial devil so that an external and outwardly based view of ourselves and others becomes a reasonable substitute for deep, abiding and true beauty. Sin has distorted the way we see everything, fear and doubt have crept in and
we strive and settle for less.
We buy the lie because pretty is what sells..and it’s what’s being sold to us through advertising every day. It’s shallow and superficial–about an inch deep and a mile wide and often consists of very little substance.
Pretty has no choice but to be SELF-ish, self-focused and fear-based with make-up masking as confidence. Pretty is typically very insecure and has to work hard to draw attention and keep up with the changes. As a result, pretty is in a constant state of anxiety; depending heavily on what others think….or what it thinks others are thinking. Always fearful of being too
Because the definition of pretty changes with the latest fad….so that what might have been pretty yesterday is definitely not today and tomorrow it might even be considered ugly.
Why do we do this to ourselves?
Why are we allowing lies, whispers and “others” to define us?
I’m here to say NO MORE.
I’ve finally come to this place of peace and gentle resolve: I am beautiful. Specifically,I am the beautiful woman of God I was created to be. At any age, at any stage…and I choose to see others the same way. So, in case you didn’t get the memo:
Pretty is out and Beautiful is IN!
I know it sounds simplistic and rather clichè but take it from someone who has spent over half her life trying to dance to the beat of every other drummer but her own: the King (God) is enthralled by my beauty …a beauty defined by Him alone which grows as we walk together.
This beauty is within and it’s what I am because of Whose I am.
The difference between pretty and beautiful is ETERNAL and EVERLASTING.
Beauty is rooted deep in the bedrock of it’s Source, the creator of all beauty; God, who created all manner of color, shape and size and gives depth and dimension to all of His diverse creation. Beauty bubbles up from here and is life-GIVING. This is the place I will live from.
But, let’s get real; in this world, it can still be a struggle to see and love ourselves honestly.
I’m a loooooong way from 15 and the days have come when I look in the mirror and simply wish I’d embraced these truths and rested here sooner.
One thing that helps me keep my focus is to surround myself with others walking in the same direction, seeking only to follow the voice of Truth found in God’s word. And there are some beautiful and encouraging writers and resources out here today.
Which is why I’m really rather excited by my new friend, author Trina Holden, who’s just spent some time wrestling with these same issues and has written a wonderful and HONEST resource guide entitled: Embracing Beauty; A Style Guide Just For Moms (on sale NOW)
I’m well past the “New Mom” stage…I’m quite the “old” Mom now but this is some sound and sweet advice for any woman at any stage of life who’s striving to break free of the stronghold of “pretty”. For the one ready to embrace and relax into the beautiful woman she truly is in the eyes of the Lord.
Trina shares her self-image testimony which inspired me to take another long look in the mirror and ask honest questions about why I believe what I believe about myself and ask, who am I listening to? I’m learning it’s important to keep a balanced perspective on this issue and to embrace beauty the way God does.
Embracing Beauty is not a simple pep talk book for “ugly ducklings” who want to become “beautiful swans” someday. Trina helps us sort the lies from the Truth so we can “come out of the closet” so to speak and “Rock our personal style” with full confidence no matter what age or stage of life we find ourselves in.
Embracing our true beauty is not simply the gift of confidence we give to the girl in mirror;
- it’s the gift we give to those around us…our daughters, our sisters, the girls we may mentor…our friends.
- It’s the way to living a Beauty FULL life.
- It’s the gift of seeking and finding our identity and confidence in Christ alone and the beauty of living with all these things redeemed by Him.
So I can honestly say to you today…don’t settle for pretty; embrace beauty because you need to know:
the King is enthralled with YOUR beauty
and so am I.
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Some of the Beauty-full people I hang out with on occasion: