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 cringe at the ugh of it all.
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:
27 thoughts on “pretty is not good enough”
WOW. This is powerful Lorretta. I want everyone to read this. So, so good. The lie of being pretty… yes.
Thanks Emily. Don’tcha wish we’d all gotten the memo like maybe YEARS ago? (sigh) Thankfully, God is sovereign over time too.
You are lovely! Spread the word. Too few of us women believe it or know it. And we all wrestle with lies that tell us otherwise. Me too. 🙂
Linking up from Emily’s Dare,
Bless you right back Jennifer….it’s a sweet day in our lives when God allows us to see ourselves as He sees us and then gives us sweet people to walk with. 🙂
Love your words of affirmation today! Your post reminds me that God made us all Masterpieces, we are his workmanship. What can be more beautiful than that?
I love this! So true and a struggle we all have. I am just moving out of the pretty and into the beautiful. I admit I do mask the insecurity with makeup still, but I have come a long way. The book Captivating was the first to start me on this journey. Blessings to you and thank you for the gem of a blog post! Love, Rachael at Inking the Heart (linking up with you at Lost in the Prairies)
Yes…Captivating is a MARVELOUS book and so is another one written by her husband, John entitled “Journey of Desire”. That is one of the books which changed and shaped my life for this new season. Thanks for stopping by….so nice to meet you!
I’m with you. Beautiful is so much more fun to find than pretty. You’re beautiful.
Awww thanks Brandee. I only truly wish I’d settled down sooner. Spent too many fearful years not feeling “enough” in all areas of my life. Sad but true. However, I know the ONE in the business of redeeming the years the locusts have eaten and in His hands, nothing is wasted. Thanks for the visit!
I am following you from Tell His Story. Great post on what is important. We are special in His eyes just as we are.
Janis http://www.janiscox.com Author of Tadeo Turtle
And thank you for stopping by! Blessings!
Hello, Beautiful! we need more self talks like this and reminders that He made us all individually beautiful for His purpose!
I just wish I’d had this little “chat” with the girl in the mirror a long time ago! I love you Nancy…haven’t heard much from you lately–hope you are feeling better!
The Apple dictionary definition is really interesting. I’ve always felt like that should be the way “pretty” is defined, but I never thought it would be put in black and white! 🙂 I’m so glad it is and that you’ve spoken to this lie that so many of us are enslaved to. As I get older, I want to grab hold of that inner beauty since my outer beauty is fading fast! It’s still hard to look in the mirror and see another wrinkle or a deeper one, but I’m encouraged by your words, Lorretta. You are sharing some very wise and encouraging advice. I will remember that the “King is enthralled with my beauty” today! Great post and thanks for linking it up with Wedded Wed!
Every time I feel that I am “so over it” I find myself playing the comparison game again and measuring myself by some of the world’s many yard sticks…ick. Loved it – your honesty is beautiful!
Oh Michelle…you know I love you and I think you are doing just this very thing. All things considered, if anyone can make beating breast cancer look fashionable it’s YOU. You are my hero, girl.
I love this! What a testimony to what is really important. As a person who grew up her whole life being told she as “pretty” but never beautiful, I have made it a point to tell my daughter she is beautiful – every day. I cut and pasted your definition of pretty and put it into my running document that contains all the things I want to tell my daughter as she grows up. That was a gem. Thanks for sharing!!
And I have to say that I envy you Debi only because I wish I’d learned so much of this sooner–at least before my own daughter turned 21! But it’s all good. God’s timing is 100%. And you are beautiful.
Beautiful words friend! If I’d have known you when you were 15 we cold have formed a club! Oh the lies we believe! I haven’t read the book as I assumed it was geared towards young moms but I may have to give it a try!
Yes Katharine…I wish I had not been so SELF centered so I could have seen the treasures all around me in others. Thankful this day for the sovereignty of God! And I do hope to get to meet you soon! OH…the book is somewhat geared towards the young mom set but we all have women in our lives who could benefit and there’s that wee girl locked in our own hearts who needs a pep talk every now and then as well. 🙂
Love this!! Good for you!!! 🙂
Thanks Christin! It’s good to be on the other side of that dark deception. Just wish I’d found my way through the forest a bit sooner, kwim? However, there is a world full of hurting souls who can benefit from our journey and that’s why we’re here. Glad to meet you!
Such good words from a beautiful woman to the world. cannot wait to meet you in real life and throw my arms around your beautiful neck. i may have to go.read this now. i have been on a thing about beauty for quite some time.
It really is a sweet little read Lani– practical and achievable. And YES! We are going to have such a great time at Allume; I can’t wait! Notice my really cool Canadian boa? 🙂
This is an awesome post. And an awesome review. I love how you explain the difference between pretty and beautiful. I actually feel beautiful after reading this post. No make up, roots showing, scruffy clothes….but inside, the work of God, its working beautiful from the inside out. Love this, Lorretta! And I think you are BEAUTIFUL!
Takes one to know one girlie! Thanks!