“For You formed my inward parts; You knitted me together in my mother’s womb” (Psa. 139:13). During my time as a youth minister, more than one teen would come to me for help with self-image problems. I recall one particularly distressing conversation when a beautiful young girl was sitting in my office. As often would happen, one of the teens would come and visit with me just for the sake of doing so. We would speak about their families, school, a crush, youth ministry, or whatever else they wished to talk about. It was during one of those treasured, unannounced visits that she suddenly blurted out, “People think I am ugly!”
I remember being shocked as she uttered those words, and I will never forget the look of sadness on her face. It was evident that this issue was causing her a great deal of pain. She was not unpopular and had many friends, so it was surprising that she thought people viewed her as ugly. As I looked at her sad face, trying to decide on the best way to respond, I realized something; “There has never been an ugly woman, just a man with bad taste.” For someone to even consider a creation of God ugly is to say that He made a mistake. We all know God does not make mistakes, so why do we think one person is ugly while another is beautiful?
The young, perturbed teen sitting in my office was certainly not ugly, but she was making the mistake we all so often do. She was viewing herself through the lens of society instead of God. We are conditioned to label someone “beautiful” or “ugly ” from a very young age. Hollywood, Television, and other forms of media like books and magazines all play their part in developing our misguided views of what constitutes the “perfect” man or woman. When we meet someone beautiful, we hear, “Wait until the first morning when she has no makeup on…lol.” Few people doubt that makeup smooths out blemishes we consider ourselves to have, and there is essentially nothing wrong with that.
But often, that is taken to the extreme, with liberal amounts being used to try and “fit” Hollywood’s picture of health and beauty. With the advent of “filters,” we can use apps to transform ourselves to look like someone society deems perfect. I powered up my computer and searched “Movie stars without makeup.” Together we looked at the images of one star after another who was brave enough to be seen without any makeup on. “They don’t look the same as we see them in magazines and movies, but they still are beautiful, aren’t they?” I asked. She agreed. You see, most people laugh at those “untouched” pictures because they fail to see the natural beauty of God’s creations.
Who cares what all the world thinks? Allow yourself to see your God-given beauty and find your happiness in that person. Don’t try and be beautiful for the world and seek their adoration; be beautiful for yourself, and someone out there will find you “gorgeous.” When He formed you, He also formed someone who will think you are the most beautiful person in the world.