Tag Archives: beauty

Do I Measure Up?

By Anita Martinz (originally posted to Flickr as Makeup brush) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

Do you ever play this game?  The one where you say to yourself, “If I could pick just one physical feature to change about myself, what would it be?”  I go back and forth between getting rid of my stomach pooch, making my teeth whiter, or having flawless (and tanner) skin.  To be honest, that’s probably just my short list.

But why do we as girls obsess over our looks so much?  Recently I’ve been reading articles on the beauty-body industry for one of my classes. We’ve discussed reasons such as wanting to impress a significant-other, transforming one’s outside to match the way they feel inside, or for self-worth and confidence.

And while I do think those things are part of it, I KNOW that any solutions we talk about in class will not get at the root issues.  We can blame the media, peer pressure, or men in general for the way that we obsess over our looks and the scummy way we may feel in comparing ourselves to others.  But that will NEVER change unless we find wholeness and beauty in the fantastic and mystifying way that God created each of us so uniquely.  Let’s consider…

Each of us are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14).

God created very good things (Genesis 1 & 2) including mankind and womankind.

The Lord delights in his people (Zephaniah 3:17).

Are you catching this?  The God of the universe who carved out the depths of the Grand Canyon and paints majestic sunsets and dreamed of hundreds of kinds of butterflies, also made you and me as the pinnacle of creation and in His image (Genesis 1:26-27).

You may have heard this stuff before, but I think it’s something that we need to frequently be reminded of.  We are God’s beloved children, and while it’s easy to get distracted by the world, that fact ought to change how we view ourselves.  Our worth is not caught up in what our society currently deems to be beautiful (have you noticed how fast that changes anwyays?!), but in God’s unconditional love for us.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that we can’t care at all about our bodies.  After all, He did make them.  I know I rarely leave the house without mascara because otherwise my eyelashes are practically transparent.  But I can’t let my appearance be my focus or I’ll be trapped in self-absorption.  Ultimately I know that there’s nothing I can do that will increase or change God’s love for me.  And really, His is the only opinion that matters.

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IdentityStorming: Erin Davis

Apologies for the mess-up earlier today, the video’s working now!


 

IdentityStorming is a monthly segment on Unfading, at least for the rest of summer. It’s like brainstorming, about identity. We ask questions, link ideas and get to know each other better. Sometimes we’ll feature famous people, sometimes they’re only locally known in our small town in Tennessee, but what they all have in common is some wisdom about how to find our identity in Christ. July’s guest (though yes it is technically August!) is author and speaker Erin Davis. We introduced her earlier this week, check out our earlier post. Also, be on the lookout as Erin has generously offered to give us some copies of her book Graffiti, and when she does, we’ll be doing a special giveaway here at Unfading! Totally exciting! Enjoy.

Also, sorry for being late posting this video. I know we said it would be up on Saturday, but I was sick all of last week and finally had to pause and take a break from sitting up at the computer. A big chunk of identity, I think, is knowing when it’s time to stop and take care of yourself! (hard one for me)

Many thanks to Music by Dan-O at DanoSongs.com and http://www.wordle.net.

 

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Teen Tuesdays

Teen Tuesdays are the days once a month when we publish a post written by special guest author … YOU! Like to write? Want to get published? Get started early by sending us some of your work! If you’re age 13-18, send us a piece to unfadinggirls@gmail.com with your name, age, the state you’re from and a couple of sentences about you. We’ll pick the best piece submitted by the first Monday 0f each month. Check the submission guidelines page for more information before you submit since it will help you have a greater chance of getting selected.

Beauty

by Meghan, 15, of Tennessee

Beauty has the definition: quality that is pleasing to the eyes. If I had to make up a definition for beauty, it would say: YOU, yourself makes up beauty. Beauty is a type of thing that lies within you. You may think your hair isn’t perfect or you may think you are on the chubby or tubby side, and just all kinds of other physical features. Even I think if I could just change this about myself, it would be great.

In Genesis 1:27 it says, “So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.”  Now when it said we’re made in his image, it doesn’t mean we have God’s eyes, hair, chin, eyebrows, or nose. No, it means we have God’s characteristics. In Psalm 8 it also talks about being made in his image:

O Lord, our Lord, your majestic name fills the earth!
Your glory is higher than the heavens.
You have taught children and infants
to tell of your strength,
silencing your enemies
and all who oppose you.
When I look at the night sky and see the work of your fingers—
the moon and the stars you set in place—
what are mere mortals that you should think about them,
human beings that you should care for them?
Yet you made them only a little lower than God
and crowned them with glory and honor.
You gave them charge of everything you made,
putting all things under their authority—
the flocks and the herds
and all the wild animals,
the birds in the sky, the fish in the sea,
and everything that swims the ocean currents.
O Lord, our Lord, your majestic name fills the earth!

Psalm 8 (NLT)

See, God made you the way he wanted to, and that is why beauty is so important. Just because you think you’re not beautiful on the outside, it’s the inside that truly matters. God made you and he put you on this Earth for a reason. He has a plan for you. In Jeremiah 29:11 it says, “For I know the plans I have for your,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”

 

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First Post Insecurities

Photos by Meghan

The first post for Unfading. It has to be stellar, brilliant, the perfect way to describe my feelings on a day when God’s allowing a dream that’s been in my heart for nearly two years to step toward reality. And what if it isn’t perfect? Will this wonderful place for girls and young women stumble before it begins? Will my dream die? Will our other fantastic writers glare at me, or turn away in shame when they see me next?

I’m hoping that this sounds as absurd to you as it looks to me. And that you’re not friends with this thought pattern.

Unfortunately, I am.

I’ve tried tracing it back. I think it starts somewhere in middle school, around the time my parents heard God’s call to move us to Africa. I was so excited for the adventure, but terrified of failing my warm, supportive parents, or worse, failing God at the ministry thing. The pressure grew from there. If we got a school assignment, I instantly had plans for an “A+.” If I didn’t get it … failure (even if it was a “B.”) If I planned to read the Bible through in a year, I was going to finish it early and write an expositional paper on the End Times. When I fizzled over the book of Leviticus … failure.

This made rough going in the friends and guys department too. My awkward, nerdy personality made it too likely that I’d fail at making friends who were obviously better than me (in my mind). There have been many days since then that I finished feeling worn, raveled, dirty, faded, like an old pair of jeans that’s no good for anything but to be tossed out.

"There have been many days ... I finished feeling worn, raveled, dirty, faded, like an old pair of jeans that’s no good for anything but to be tossed out."

 

But a few people fought their way through those feelings, some, mentors who patiently taught God’s opinion of me, others, friends who modeled it. Let’s just say it’s a 180 from the worn-out-jeans theory.

“Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes,” Ephesians 1:4.  “… For you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession … he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light,” I Peter 2:9. “But now, O Jacob, listen to the Lord who created you. O Israel, the one who formed you says, ‘Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine,’” Isaiah 43:1“Don’t be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God,” 1 Peter 3:3-4.

Let’s see … endless guilt over my numerous imperfections, both real and imagined, or … belonging as the personal friend, daughter and ambassador of a King who thinks all that about me. Hmmm… So why don’t we pick the second? Why have I spent a couple of weeks preparing software, plug-ins, taking pictures and editing other people’s fabulous posts, which will be coming to you over the next few days, and putting off writing this post, scared it would flop?

I have a theory. We’re bombarded all day long with words and images that cut down our identities. Some we can’t control, like bullies or well-meaning but rude authority figures. Others we can, such as watching TV shows and commercials filled with women who are defined by one or both of two things: the sex appeal of their bodies and their bold assurance they can do anything. Both are standards most of us can’t achieve, and they’re not what God wants for us anyways.

Photo by Bethany Brown

So we need a place where we can be bombarded with something else, right? With God’s opinions of us. With the truth. That’s my prayer for Unfading. We will try to live a lifestyle of identity grounded in Christ’s opinion of us. We’ll do it through fiction, devotions, videos, music, pictures, crafty projects, articles and whatever else we can think of.  And we’ll mess up! But we’re going to keep going, because it doesn’t define us. You’re not going to see fluffy, whole looking Christians here, but broken, beautiful people like yourself, trying to take hold of Christ’s wonderful opinion of them and live it out.

So if you’re hungering for beauty and worth that’s going to last longer than a worn out pair of jeans, please join us. We’d enjoy having you with us on this journey.

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