If all the flowers in the world were one color, or if there was only one type of tree, it would get boring after a while. Beauty is found in variety—the varying types and textures, hues and shades. I don’t understand why people try so hard to all look alike. What’s the beauty in that? I look at these models walking down the runway, and while many of them have symmetrical chiseled features‚ great skin, and what the media and fashion industry promote as “perfect” bodies, most of them look similar. They’re perfect examples of cookie-cutter beauty.
I’m all for people taking good care of themselves and their appearance. I think it glorifies our Maker to dress neatly, be clean, stay fit, and make an effort to look nice. I don’t believe in just “letting yourself go.”
What’s disturbing, though, is when people try to change the way God made them in order to meet someone else’s definition of beauty. When they do that, they’re giving someone else control over them, over how they think, over their happiness. Who decides that one thing is better than another—hair that’s dark or light, curly or straight; bodies that are lean, muscular, or rounded; noses that are large or small; lips that are thin or full? Would you give someone else control over you like that?
When you try so hard to fit a certain mold of beauty‚ whether it suits you or not or is realistic or not, you’re giving up your uniqueness. What’s the attraction of looking like everybody else? The first thing you notice about some people is their hairstyle, or their clothing, or their new nips and tucks or enhancements. You notice the “look” and whether it fits the latest trend. In some cases, the look isn’t attractive or flattering; it doesn’t match the person’s anatomy or personality.
One of the many problems associated with comparing yourself with others or trying to fit into the fashionable standard of beauty is that you’re never going to be truly happy. You might feel a sense of satisfaction that you changed something you didn’t like or kept up with the latest trend, but even if you do manage to achieve the level of beauty that you’re hoping for, even if you finally become the most popular person in your circle of acquaintances, how long do you think it’s going to last? You’ll eventually run into somebody who’s higher up on the physical-beauty ladder. What will you do then?
If it’s happiness you’re looking for‚ you’re not going to find it like that. The constant need to meet the world’s standard of beauty leads to obsession—first the physical makeover, then the molding of your personality to fit the new you, then the struggle to keep the look or to keep up with the changing looks as each trend gives way to a new one. What kind of life is that? Do you think you’ll ever fit the world’s idea of perfect beauty? Not even worldly celebrities can reach it, and they have plenty of money to change anything they want. And change they do, because the trends in what’s beautiful keep changing. Even the rich can barely keep up.
It’s human nature to want to be thought attractive, but true beauty is not only about physical appearance. It’s also about inner beauty, that spark that sets a person apart from the millions of others who are dressing the same way, getting the same haircut, and trying to achieve the same body—the interchangeable masses who desert their individuality in an attempt to keep up with the latest trend.
Save yourself a lot of time, trouble, and grief. Clear your mind of everyone else’s perception of what is beautiful. Set aside everything you’ve thought or seen or been told, and ask God to show you what specific qualities or features He gave you that make you unique. Enhance those, and you’ll bring out the best, most beautiful you.
Always be a first-rate version of yourself instead of a second-rate version of someone else.—Judy Garland
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