This Is What Makes You Beautiful

Growing up with a mop of wild, unruly curly hair, a wide yet crooked smile, and a build that was more solid than dainty, I felt like an outcast. I wished more than anything else I could be beautiful like all of the other girls. I wanted shiny, straight hair that glistened in the sunlight. I wanted teeth that didn't buck out. I wanted to be petite and slender. Every time I looked into the mirror I grimaced at the reflection looking back at me. I was embarrassed of who I was. I believed I wasn't enough.

Beauty is such a complicated thing, especially for us women. A desire to be seen as beautiful seems to be something that's engrained in us. Most of us played dress up from the time we were little girls. We put on our moms' high heels and jewelry and danced around the house, all in an effort to have our beauty acknowledged.

The desire to be beautiful increases with time. Only, as we grow older, our longing to be seen as beautiful becomes tinged with fear, and the world knows it. It's impossible to flip through a magazine or watch TV without advertisements preying on our anxieties about grey hair, muffin tops, wrinkles, and crepey skin. Did you know the beauty industry is projected to make 62 billion dollars this year alone? (source

Now, hear me out when I say I love mascara and think that any day is better when I'm donning my red lipstick, so I'm not here to bash the beauty industry. But a number as big as 62 billion dollars should at least make us wonder:

What is beauty, anyway? 

When I go to a museum, one of my favorite things to do is watch how people react to art. One person can have a very visceral response to a painting that their best friend may walk right past. Why is that? What does that tell us?

It tells us a deep truth: there is no one definition of beauty.

And yet, somewhere along the way we've bought into a lie, a lie that says if you don't look a certain way, you're not beautiful.

But if there's no one definition of beauty, what is it we are chasing? If there is no one true definition of beauty, does that mean we are chasing something that doesn’t even exist?

I think what is really happening is that we are being chased. We are fighting in a battle against a world, an industry, an enemy, who wants us to believe if we do not look a certain way, we are obsolete. The truth is, we've all encountered some sort of wound as we've walked through life when it comes to our beauty. The enemy of our souls knows exactly how much we long to be seen as beautiful and attacks that desire full throttle. And oh, how it aches.

"Let the king be enthralled by your beauty." {Psalm 45:11}

Whether we, the world, or the beauty industry acknowledges it or not, we each have an individual beauty that points back to our maker and reflects the very image of God. Even if we never recognize it, it changes nothing. God is forever wild for you and your individual beauty.

Which is exactly why I’m so entranced by one word in Psalm 45:11: LET. 

The word let in this Psalm is there for our benefit alone. Whether we "let" him or not, God's going to celebrate your beauty. What it all boils down to is this: are we going to let ourselves see what he sees? Because if God – the maker of all things seen and unseen, the first, the middle, and the end - is enthralled by our beauty? Well, that changes everything. Because God finds us beautiful, we can tag out of the chase.

The truth is, my friends, we are all beautiful. Maybe you don't believe it. Maybe you're like me, with a mop of hair that through the span of time has only gotten even more wildly curly, a smile that even after braces is still slightly crooked, and after trying every diet known to mankind, you still weight more than you'd like. Maybe you have your own "thing" that the world says isn't beautiful. 

But He's still enthralled with our beauty. Not when we "get beautiful,” not when we style our hair perfectly, whiten our teeth, get a tan, or lose 20 pounds, but He is enthralled with our beauty. Right now. Just as we are.

And that's what makes you beautiful.