I’d like to address beauty today from the standpoint of faith. I grew up in a religion that taught me that I am a daughter of God, of infinite worth, that he created me as a spirit daughter and then sent me here to this earth life, mortality, for a time to gain a body and learn faith while not in his presence. I hope to return to him someday. I am now teaching those same truths to my own four daughters, on loan to me from my Heavenly Father.
I have been struck many times by how much we as females are worth, how amazing we are, how much we can do, how strong we are. If we are truly created by God, and he loves us as children, we must be pretty wonderful and worthwhile.
But here’s the kicker: I also believe there is an adversary out there, a fallen spirit son who chose to rebel, and now this evil one is out and about trying to make us all miserable, just like he is. And he is pretty smart and very determined to bring us all down. He’s quite successful at what he does, too, sadly enough.
He knows just how amazing women are. He knows our potential, and he knows what we can do right now. He knows our power, strength, and beauty. So he is working really hard to fool us into believing that we are ugly, weak, unloved, and unimportant, that we don’t deserve all the best that God can give us. And many of us are happy to let his pernicious lies enter our ears and our thoughts and affect how we feel and how we act and live.
I think one of his tools in our society today is sending a constant message that we are not good enough unless we look good. We must have perfect bodies, perfect faces, perfect hair. We must wear the latest fashions covering (or barely covering) our perfect, thin bodies that sport flat abs and finely toned muscles and perky, full bosoms. If we have flabby arms or flat chests or a little bit of fat anywhere on our bodies, we are not good enough, not worthy of love. He whispers to us that we’re not even worthy of our own love.
In our society today, we are constantly steeped in images. Images of women who are impossibly thin, who have no flaws on their figures or skin. Images of women who wear scanty clothes that reveal every square inch of perfection. Those images shout at us from billboards, from magazine covers at the grocery store, from ads that pop up online, from movies and TV shows, from commercials. Even if we don’t watch TV or movies, we can’t avoid the onslaught.
And most of us are allowing the messages from those images to permeate our very beings, down to the very center of who we are. We are allowing those evil, twisted messages from a miserable being to convince us that we aren’t beautiful, that beauty is simply about being a size 2 and having perfect features. We are forgetting who we truly are, what our royal lineage is, and where we are bound.
In my interviews with women who have elected to have cosmetic surgeries, I have been moved by their feelings of insecurity before their surgeries. I don’t condemn them or want them to feel bad because of the message I hope to convey through this blog. I understand. I can’t look in the mirror without feeling, EVERY SINGLE TIME, that my body is ugly and fat, that it’s unacceptable. I used to be thin, and now I feel I’ve failed. I’m weak, I’m a disappointment. I do understand.
But I want to fight back. My purpose in writing this is to try to remind my fellow daughters of God who we are, and what our real worth is. It’s not about how we look. It’s about who we ARE, who we have always been, and who we are meant to be. We’re far from perfect, in looks or behavior or anything, right now. But we’re works in progress, and that’s OK. It’s more than OK. It’s exciting. We have so much ahead of us, and we’re on the path toward greatness.
We can spend a few hours a week at church, being reminded of who we truly are; we can spend half an hour a day praying and reading scripture. Those things are helpful, indeed, and crucial. But when during the rest of our days and weeks we are bombarded with messages telling us we’re not good enough, that we’re ugly and fat, and that our worth is tied up in our looks, then we must fight back. We must remind each other how important we are, how loved we are. We must take a stand against all those negative messages that are completely opposite of what the truth is: that we are truly of divine, infinite worth. We are daughters of God. Let’s do all we can to go out and spread these true, positive messages, to find ways to wallpaper our lives with them, to cover over those untrue messages.
Stand tall! Remember who you really are, and take the time every day to remind the women and girls in your life who they are, and just how precious and beautiful they are. We can make a difference.
I’m a book reviewer, editor, and writer with four daughters and tons of projects always keeping me hopping. I blog at Life and Lims and run the book review site Rated Reads.