She stands in front of the mirror slowly brushing her hair. With each new stroke her smile seems to grow. Although I stand at a distance, she catches me in her peripheral vision and happily professes, “I like my hair pretty, but even if I didn’t have it I’d still be pretty, mom, because I have a pretty smile and a pretty face.”
Aren’t you confident? I think to myself.
That is the way it should be. God immediately replies, piercing deep.
I am guilty.
The last time I studied myself that intensely in the mirror I was at Ann Taylor Loft. Between the great sale and my birthday coupon, everything seemed right for a sale. Quickly spotting a trendy yet simple enough for the everyday top, I removed one from the wall and headed for the dressing rooms.
Once I had it on, I turned around to face the mirror. Cue the negative self talk tape: This looked MUCH cuter on the hanger than it does on you. Perhaps melting a few more pounds through the midsection would help…and on and on.
This comes as no surprise. As soon as one enters peer culture, they are quickly tainted by our society’s standard for beauty (or cool in the case of the guys) – from having the right shoes, to correctly styling bangs, to choosing the right clothes, to having ripped muscles, to having the perfect waistline… whatever that is.
And, yet, these standards are transient (which I think we can all agree is a good thing. I mean, do we really want to revisit the days of feather bangs or pegged jeans?). Despite this, we tie emotional value into our ability to “measure up” to the people around us. A societal springboard for self-esteem becomes a changing unknown, leaving people chronically dissatisfied.
And then we read this, “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I now that full well.” Psalm 139:14 Gulp.
Gone are the looks in the mirror. The way the shirt fits, having the perfect complexion, and making sure every hair in place is of no value. We are given a new frame of reference – the eye of our Creator.
God took great individual care in His craftsmanship of each us. When He knit us together in our mother’s womb, He made us PERFECT in His eyes. We were given the perfect hair type, body shape, and look to be who He wanted us to be. You and I, as different as we may look, could not be more beautiful.
Because my little girl is not old enough to have been emotionally skewed by society, she innocently trusts that she could not look better. And, every morning as I style her hair I say, “You are so beautiful, honey,” reinforcing that message. Of course she is confident.
And we all should be too.
You were not made for the world around you. You were made for God above, and He looks over you each morning just as I do my little girl saying YOU are beautiful.
So right now I pray that you would see the beauty that God sees in you. (For those that are parents, this is particularly critical because we pass our perception of beauty on to our children.)
And soak in this from Nichole Nordeman.
I cry every time I watch it. True story.