“You are pretty.”
“You are gorgeous.”
“You are beautiful.”
Since the day most girls are born, they fall in love with the idea of being identified as beautiful (or some form of it). Whether they are being called beautiful by their mothers, fathers, grandparents, best friends, crushes, boyfriends, or even a random person on the street, most young women find comfort in hearing those words. Being called beautiful has almost become sign of reassurance that they are “doing something right.” However, for some girls, as they mature, coming by these words become more and more difficult. Every baby girl in the world is called beautiful by their parents and if not, by a doctor, nurse, surgical technician, or a woman passing by a delivery room that isn’t able to have children. As time passes on, most baby girls looses that constant reassurance because she learns she has to look, act, and talk a certain way to be identified as beautiful in the eyes of society, in the eyes of her world. For a lot of girls, this learning processes may be uplifting, but for some, it may be heart wrenching.
For example, imagine a young girl who constantly sees beauty presented as thin, blond, white, and long-haired from magazines, advertisements, commercials, her favorite movies, and even the dolls that she plays with. She too wants the world to see herself as beautiful because in her eyes, being called beautiful just doesn’t mean someone likes your physical appearance; it means someone values you enough to show you to the entire world either on a TV screen, a magazine, a runway, or even in a movie theater. To this young girl beauty is value. However, what if she looks in the mirror and doesn’t see what she sees on the cover of her favorite magazine. What if she sees a muscular, curly-haired, brown skinned, short, girl with plump lips and bushy eyebrows Does she too get to be beautiful? Does she too get to be valued?
The bible says “Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.” (1 Peter 3:3-4 ESV)
So, Dear World, I was once that girl who looked in the mirror and saw something different than what I saw on the television and in magazines. However, today, when I look in the mirror, not only do I see a beautiful God-fearing young woman, but a intelligent, generous, unselfish, kind-hearted individual who is going to change the world one day.
Beauty is something that can not be commodified–you can’t buy it in a store or pin it on your Pinterest. You are beauty. Period. That pin straight, thin hair you hate is beautiful. That fat nose that you think everybody is staring at is beautiful. That thick afro that you feel some people think is unprofessional is beautiful. Your love for calculus is beautiful. The way you play you tuba on the symphonic stage is beautiful. Your passion about baking is beautiful. No matter your size, hobbies, hair color, twitter @ name, eye color, shoe size, you, my dear, are blessed, brilliant, and beautiful and don’t ever think anything less.