Christ & Culture – Beauty

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★☆★ The Dove self-esteem Fund

The way beauty is defined over time and across cultures varies dramatically. We look to the arctic and to Fiji to find ideal body types that are much more robust than we find in Western cultures of today. We look to the past to the painters of Western Europe several hundred years ago and find pictures of the ideal woman being far more full figured than is often pictured as an ideal in America today. Beauty is not as much romanticized today as it is advertised and commercialized. There is a push to see beauty as extremes and unattainables in an effort to make people uncomfortable with themselves and unsatisfied that they never measure up to what they see on the magazine rack or on television. Dissatisfaction is the key to good marketing and the result is two-fold. The first is that clothing companies, diet companies, and perfume manufacturers all go to the bank with big smiles on their faces. The second is that the typical American woman is totally dissatisfied with their own bodies and can actually end up with psychological problems due to poor body-image and depression.

The methods that we have pushed to attain beauty are potentially harmful and extremes are gone to in order to achieve ultimate beauty but satisfaction is rarely achieved through such means (implantations, augmentations, tucks, staples, lifts, you name it). When you watch the video clip above you realize that even the image they are presenting is a lie. The people we see in the magazines and on the billboards don’t even look that way themselves! Yet we try our best to measure up to the brushed up fantasy world of fashion and walk away even more dissatisfied with ourselves than ever.

God’s definition of beauty:

You can compare yourself to all sorts of images and input from others but they can never define you. God is the only one who has the right to define you as beautiful or not because he created you and in the end it is only his opinion that really matters. Here are some verses to read as you consider how beautiful God sees you!

  • Genesis 1:26-27 – You were made in his image. By definition you have value and beauty because you resemble God.
  • Psalm 139:13-16 – God knit each part of you in place for a reason. God did so with a purpose and he thinks you are beautiful.
  • Ecc 3:11 – Everything is beautiful in its time!
  • Revelation 21:2 – The church is a spiritually beautiful bride being prepared for Christ.
  • 1 Tim 2:9-10 & 1 Peter 3:3-5 – True beauty does not come from outward adornments (name brand fashions) rather from character and actions. We have an inherent values that comes from God.
  • Matt 23:27 – Jesus calls the Pharisees whitewashed tombs. They are pretty and all dressed up on the outside but everyone knows what is inside a tomb.
  • Psalm 45:11 – This psalm talks about the wedding of a daughter to a king and how beautiful he sees her to be.

Child of God, know that God sees you as beautiful. No matter what lies society tries to get you to buy into in order to dissatisfy you, God loves you and he made you beautiful! You are beautiful inside and out because God made both. Have a look in the mirror and maybe for the first time in a long time, be satisfied with who God made you to be!

0 Responses

  1. Matt, what a great video! Finally a company that understands the unreality of our fashion and beauty industry. I’ve seen commercials in the past few months by Dove that does emphasize a different kind of beauty than what Madison Ave or Hollywood does. Ah, but one day we will see the real beauty, the beauty of eternity and our inheritance.

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