Wednesday, April 22, 2015

True beauty?

There was a time where I would have wallowed in self-hate and disgust when I saw an unflattering photo of myself (or at least what I think is unflattering). I believed that what I looked like determined how I lived because honestly, we all know physically attractive people get dibs for everything. And I made that my excuse for not doing the things I loved doing, because I rationalized that I wasn't cut out for anything anyway with my thunder thighs and my meh facial features. I decided I wasn't cut out for mass comm from an early age because I believed that you needed to look good to make it there. But that wasn't the most damaging thing.

When I was insecure, I'd look at other people and I'd see their flaws. I began seeing how imperfect other people so I'd feel better about myself. And for those who I couldn't see anything wrong with, I mentally destroyed their character. I rationalized that maybe they had a horrible personality, or that their good looks meant they lacked substance. I was angry at the world for being so unfair, and I was angry at the people who had won the genetic lottery and were beautiful. When my feelings for a guy weren't reciprocated, I looked at myself in the mirror and figured it was my fault, because I wasn't attractive enough. But I never talked about it. I avoided dealing with it like the plague, always pushing it aside or distracting myself by petitioning for other things I also cared about. I chastised people when they talked about it, thinking it was shallow. So unbeknowst, I let myself fall for the belief that I just wasn't cut out for it, but I masked it with the notion that I couldn't care less. But I did.

But over the years, I've come to realize that all of it is bogus. By blaming society and its insistence of my physical worth, I bought into the idea that beauty is everything. By telling myself that I am still beautiful in comparison to many others and bashing others who fit the criteria of beauty, I became a disservice to the very principles of love and humility that Christ embodied. By judging and ignoring the open conversation of beauty, I don't find liberation, but stagnation. And hey, I won't lie, I still struggle with all of the above.

But what if I don't need to be "beautiful" to make a difference? What if I accepted the reality that I'm not physically attractive as society dictates, but that it's still okay? What if physical beauty is just a part of life that stands out, but is not life itself? What if, my worth is in Christ alone because I am made in His image and that constitutes a beauty that the world may never learn to comprehend?

Isn't that beautiful?

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