Ooooh, ladies, the discussions we’ve had since my “Beauty vs. Uggo” post! I have heard from so many of you who are incredibly gorgeous women and I’ve carried on some pretty deep conversations with a lot of you, too. And here’s the conclusion that I’ve been forced to draw: We are all totally crazy. Certifiably nutso. Whacked right out of our ever-loving minds. Fruit Loop-de-loops!
Here I thought I was baring my soul, addressing the elephant in the room by bringing my revolting ugliness out into the open. I seriously (yes, seriously!) thought that everyone was thinking things like:
“Oh boy, Anita’s not wearing make-up today. Should we tell her that’s not okay? Someone should tell her.”
“Oh please, Anita’s wearing make-up today. Who is she kidding???”
“Oh no! Anita’s on stage today! How are we supposed to worship God when we’re distracted by having to look at that?”
And in reality, here’s what all of you are really thinking:
“My zit is huge. Everyone can see it. Everyone’s staring at it. Look away, people, I’m hideous!”
“I am so fat. Everything shakes when I walk: my arm flab, my thighs, my belly, my back fat…even the ground moves. I swear that old lady just steadied herself because I walked by and threw her off balance!”
“I missed a neck hair when I tweezed this morning. It’s sticking right out past my chin. If I get too close to someone, it’s going to poke them in the eye!”
We. Are. Crazy!!! And we’re actually listening to those crazy voices in our heads and they’re making us crazier!
Since I wrote that post, I took my daughters to a girls-only church event focusing on beauty and modesty. Partway through the evening, the speaker asked us to have a whispered conversation with our daughters, confessing to each other the lies that we label ourselves with: stupid, unloved, ugly… It was so hard to say that U-word to my little girl. And even harder to hear her whisper the same confession. Since then, we’re both way freer with the compliments to each other. I tell her when she looks pretty and she tells me. And you know what? I believe her! What a confidence boost!
You know in the Bible when Adam and Eve are naked in the garden and everything’s perfect and then they sin and they’re suddenly ashamed so they cover up? What did you picture just now? Gorgeous, smooth-skinned, voluptuous yet perky, toned and tanned Eve with flowing hair, sultry lips, mile-long eyelashes and the cutest little nose ever. And somewhere in your mind you’re thinking “What did she have to be ashamed of?” and you’re kind of mad at her. Well guess what! We only picture her like that because we know she was perfect and we have this ridiculous, impossible, Barbie-like image in our minds about what “perfect” is. And so do the people who illustrate Biblical children’s books.
What if she was perfect, exactly as God wanted her to be, but “perfect” looked somewhat like us? Maybe her hair didn’t behave, and her eyebrows were uneven, and she had big teeth, and her thighs had to squish around each other as she walked, and her fingers were somewhat sausage-like. And she wasn’t wearing a bra, ladies, so either she was not well-endowed or those girlies were flopping around all over the place.
And here’s the kicker: before sin entered the world, she wasn’t ashamed! However God made her was exactly perfect and she was completely confident walking around naked! The Bible doesn’t say she sinned and then suddenly got fat and ugly and then was ashamed. No, sin changed her perspective on everything. Once guilt clouded her vision, her looks suddenly became shameful to her. And those lies have been invading women’s minds ever since.
Now, I’m not suggesting we revert to our natural-born state of dress and head off to church that way. (Ain’t nobody so cute that we need to see all that!) But I am saying we have believed these lies too long. That crazy voice in our heads needs to shut up.
So I stand before you here and now – wait, I’m actually sitting – I sit before you here and now and proclaim you to be beautiful because that’s how God made you to be! He picked exactly which genetic traits to carry down to you from every generation before you.
You hate your nose? Too bad! He saw that nose on your mother’s father’s father’s mother and He wanted you to have it!
You think your hair’s too curly? Get over it! He never envisioned you with any other kind of hair because He knew exactly how He wanted your hair to be!
You are beautiful! I am beautiful!
But we’re all still crazy, so I wrote a little anthem for us: