Expanding the Definition
Beauty: a combination of qualities, such as shape, color, or form, that pleases the aesthetic senses, especially the sight.
God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. – Genesis 1:31a.
You tell me. Is this woman beautiful?
I am weary of constantly to fit myself into society’s definition of beauty. If I am going to walk around claiming to know the truth about God, then I’d better actually know it. He looked at the world He made and said it was very good. That means God thinks a platypus is beautiful. That means alligators are works of art. That means spiders bring Him delight. Wrinkles make Him smile and the changing shapes of our bodies point to the mastery of His creativity.
A woman is not meant to retain the straight, skinny form of childhood. She has been designed to soften, to round out, to expand. Lines form around her mouth and eyes, evidence of a thousand smiles and a thousand tears. She is not meant to always have the perfect tan, the perfect hair, the perfect skin. There is more to woman than her physical form. She thinks deeply. She feels intensely. She is driven, gifted, passionate. She has a high and holy calling.
Society’s definition of beauty is totally arbitrary. I love fashion and make-up, but I don’t want to sacrifice myself on that altar. I don’t want to spend all of my spare time at the gym trying to get this body of mine to fit into a certain mold – an impossible mold. I don’t want to hate my pale skin that reflects the sun rather than tanning. I don’t want to despise the ever-so-slight crookedness of my two front teeth. I don’t want to long for blonde, straight, thick hair.
I am so frustrated with my insecurity! How entirely pointless it is to look in the mirror and want to change everything. I have short hands. I have long toes. No amount of wishing will reverse the two. Why torture myself? Who said that was a good idea?
To exist is to be beautiful. There really is no definition beyond that. God looks upon me, upon you. He sees past our sin and our frailties. He thinks we are gorgeous.
Think about this with me: God, the infinite and masterful, knows and says that we are beautiful. We don’t have to apply any make-up or any kind of moisturizer. We don’t have to be a certain jean size. He tells us that we valuable and special, holding a unique place in His heart and kingdom for all eternity.
Meanwhile, society says that we are useless after, oh, 35 years of age. We are trash if our thighs happen to touch. We’re nothing if our hair begins the shift toward gray and white. We are ugly if stretch marks line our skin or our stomachs sag. We are only beautiful if this or that product covers our faces, if this or that brand is splashed across our surgically-enhanced chests and if we are absolutely up to the minute.
Why is it so difficult to believe God? Why on earth do we buy into these lies? Why do walk into the trap? I don’t understand this insanity of ours.
Our definition of beauty needs to expand, in keeping with the wide embrace of God.
Grace and peace,