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Our beauty ideals

Devotion or thoughts on beauty and on 1.Samuel 16,7

Men always assure us that they love a woman’s inner beauty – funny how they always look somewhere quite different.

Marlene Dietrich

Beauty through advertisement?

The advertising industry and our complete society are both simply crap. At some point in time, a stupid person said what is beautiful and what isn’t and then suddenly everyone directed themselves towards this. If you have a few spots, a normal figure or are simply differently dressed to the rest of the world, you are at the bottom of the barrel in our society. You do not confirm to the beauty ideal.

This is probably not meant to be so bad, but everyone has the beauty ideals so etched into their brains that they inevitably compare every person which they come across with this ideal. We do not actually realise that we act in this way but we often judge people who do not match up to the ideal on how they look and do not pay any, or very little, attention to their character.

True beauty is on the inside.

That is a saying which I keep becoming more and more aware of. How often, without wanting to, have I judged people on first sight because in this moment they seemed boring, unkind, or even in some case, have come across as completely useless. When I thought about it later, I was total disappointed in myself. Every person was made by God and God loves every single person. I too, must accept my fellow humans.

However the advertising industry makes it very difficult. I want to swim against the flow and fight against the society which can break a person down in time. It is very difficult to swim against the tide, you often stick out and are not so popular as beforehand. Should it not be more important what God thinks of us than what other people think? People are not eternal and we can lose good friends though arguments, death and other experiences. Why don’t we simply place our trust in God who would never leave us in the lurch, even if it seems like it sometimes?

I wish for a society in which everyone is accepted just like they are. A society in which no-one has to get dressed up and in which no-one has to wear a make-up mask. By applying make-up we try to improve how we look on the outside. Wouldn’t it be better to be truthful? To show people what we really look like? Lots of people might turn away because we no longer match the ideal but any real friends would stick around because they know what we are really like.

Why do we adapt and why can’t we be true to our fellow humans and why can’t we be true to ourselves? Why don’t we recognise the fact that we are beautiful just as we are and prefer to define ourselves through clothing and our complete “look”? I know that if someone made the first step, lots of people would follow because lots of people wish for a society just like the one I wish for. However I am too much of a coward to make the first step and receive ridicule and contempt. I am actually happy with myself. If I were allowed to choose to look like someone else, I hope that I would say no, because I am actually very pleased with myself. I have accepted myself as I am. A little bit of longing for the “perfect body” is normal. We should no, of course, allow reality to slip out of view.

Let’s assume that I am perfect and match the beauty ideals exactly. Wouldn’t I be terribly big-headed? Would I perhaps start to judge people who are “uglier” than me? I do not have the right to decide if a person is ugly: that is not my decision. In my opinion, every single person has something beautiful. Maybe it is only on the inside. True beauty really does show on the inside. Why don’t disabled people and people who have been in an accident have the right to be beautiful? Wouldn’t it be a boring world if everyone was perfect? Sometimes it is more appealing to wait until the real beauty of a person opens up to us. A person is often only truly beautiful when we have really got to know them.

Who sets the benchmark?

Who tells us what we should find beautiful and what not? In my opinion, only God is allowed to set the beauty benchmark, but he does not do this. Quite the opposite: he wants us to escape this pressure and this beauty illusion. We have so many thoughts about how we look and actually, if we spent more time thinking about other things, we would feel freer than if we always look jealously at the stars and starlets.

Most famous people are not/have not been happy and some of them suffer from depression. We expect them to embody to beauty ideals which we all secretly long for. They sometimes escape from this pressure by using drugs or alcohol. No, I do not have the right to judge someone on their looks but I do sometimes have the right to say that people are ugly. Especially people who seem “perfect” to us are “ugly on the inside“. Over time, they have become so big-headed and have put other people down so often, that they have become ugly. God find them ugly too. Obviously he still loves them, because he loves all people, but he wants to see changes. He is therefore prepared to forgive people who have injured other people with their behaviour. As a Christian, I must also be prepared to forgive these people. Even if such behaviour often hurts me, I must be prepared to forgive them because everyone deserves a second chance.

I have never experienced that someone has called me ugly and I know that I am not ugly, but despite this, I still have thoughts about the word “beauty”. Everyone is beautiful in my eyes, people can only be ugly on the inside. God created all people just like they are because it is part of his plan and because I believe in him, I am his child. This means that everyone who believes the same as me, are also his children, and therefore my siblings. Who really finds their brother or sister ugly?

God’s benchmarks are different!

Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.
1. Samuel 16,7

As Samuel had to choose the future King, he had chosen a big, handsome adult son of Isaiah. We would have probably done this too. However God said to Samuel that the heart is important and not how pleasing to the eye. God judges people differently and has quite different criteria on what is important. God does not allow himself to be blinded by the exterior, he looks into a person’s heart and the exterior does not play any role at all. Therefore we do not need to waste our time on our looks and run after every fashion going.

Sent by Hannah H.

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