Ladies, I'm sure you've seen before/after photo examples like this before. But seriously, I think we need to often and regularly remind ourselves and the precious women in our lives that the standards of beauty the media presents to us on a daily basis are big, fat LIES.
You ladies are smart. And our guys are smart too (Sidenote: I believe the same thing is happening to men in our media, but that is another post for another time.) Yet I also believe that our minds are impressionable. Our hearts are soft. And when we are constantly, daily, weekly, monthly, yearly exposed to airbrushed photos and unrealistic, impossible standards of physical beauty, it takes a toll. It truly does. Or at least, in my personal experience it does.
And from what I am learning, I am not alone. Lies scream at us from the perfect, airbrushed images - You're fat. You're not pretty enough. You're not good enough. You're ugly. In fact, no one will ever love you. Your skin is pasty and your thighs are huge. Your breasts are too small. Your waist is TOO BIG.
And on and on and on until we want to scream and run away. Or starve ourselves. Or cut our wrists. Or diet obsessively and take laxative pills. Or throw up in the toilet after dinner. Or spend hours upon hours in tanning beds under harmful rays (I am guilty as charged for doing that many times in the past...) It happens slowly, over time. Thoughts of self-loathing. That feeling that hangs over you like a dark rain cloud that makes you feel blah. That makes you feel like you will never measure up, never be quite good enough, never be loved, or wanted or desired. And sometimes, these thoughts are not even conscience. But if you're anything like me, they are there. Maybe to just a slight level - maybe you look in the mirror sometimes and kick yourself for not working out more. Maybe you roll your eyes at family pictures because you think your nose is way too big and your eyes are way too small. Perhaps you constantly tear yourself down with words of self hatred like I sometimes do: "My hair looks like a rat's nest! Do you see the bags under my eyes? Another pimple popped up last night, great. I look SO FAT!"
Lies, my friend. Lies from the pit of hell.
And so today, I want to remind you of some simple truth. I want you to know, to remember - that you are beautiful and you are loved.
You are OH so loved, my sweet friend. And you do not need to be skinner, healthier, prettier, sexier, more bronzed, highlighted, toned or plucked to be loved. You are loved - just the way you are. You are loved by God. The One who calls the stars into the sky at twilight. The One who created your heart. The One who made the world. He calls you beautiful, He calls you "Beloved." And He would know, after all... He made you!
Your worth is not found in how long and thick your eyelashes are. It's not found in how curvy your waist is or in the size of your chest. You are not worthwhile because guys turn their heads when you walk down the street. Or because you wear designer jeans. It's not because you have beautiful hair or sparkly eyes. Or because you have long legs or shapely arms. Your worth is not found in being pretty or skinny.
Tans fade. Hair turns gray. Fashion changes. Trends come and go. But nothing you can do can change what you are worth. Nothing can happen to take away God's love. Not acne, not wrinkles. Frizzy hair cannot take it away. And chapped lips do not matter to Him. He loves you no matter what. And you are beautiful because you are real. Because your soul is deep. Because you have dreams. Because of the way you love people, the way your mind works, the passion that bursts inside your heart when you think of all you want to do someday. That is real beauty.
Ladies, remember that you are precious, valued, and loved. Let's stop comparing ourselves to pictures of women that are NOT REAL. These lies we are force-fed. Don't get down on yourself because of something that does not even truly exist - airbrushed perfection.
And be on your guard, I urge you - do not let the Enemy rip you off! Stand firm and combat his lies with truth. That you are loved. Treasured. Valued. And that the images on magazines and billboards are fake.