Unattainable standards of beauty harms both genders

by: TAYLOR ZARBANO/Staff Writer

I strongly believe that America has a distorted perception of what beauty actually is.

The world’s view of beauty has become a goal for girls to reach. But that goal is impossible to attain.

When we look at the cover of a magazine, we see several covered with “beautiful” women with perfect hair, the perfect body, and their make-up done just right. We look at them and call them beautiful as well as aspire to look like them. But no matter how hard we try, we can never compare.

The women in magazines are airbrushed. Their blemishes are removed and their bodies have an unrealistic shape. Sometimes, the image we see could not be farther from the truth. The images are deceptive to our minds, and whether we realize it or not, they are very harmful.

In order to achieve this goal of “beauty,” some may go to extreme levels, hurting their minds as well as their bodies. Eating disorders among both genders have become a major issue in today’s society. Actually, eating disorders result from society determining what beauty should be.

We also look down on ourselves when we see how far we are from what the world says we should look like, which at times leads to depression. We become discontented with how God has made us.

I believe that I am created by the King of Creation. I believe that He has shaped me and made me exactly how I am supposed to be.

If I say I believe I am made by the perfect creator, then who am I to let the world tell me otherwise?  I know I am beautiful because God made me in His image (Genesis 1:27), and He is beautiful.

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But at times, I still allow the world’s view of beauty get in my head. I start thinking that I have to look a certain way. I wonder how I could be made perfect the way I am, when I am so far away from the world’s standard of “beauty.”

To get my mind back on track of what real beauty is, I go back to the Bible, which has all the answers.

Romans 12:2 says, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – His good, pleasing and perfect will.”

When we conform to this world’s patterns, our mind’s change from where God desires for them to be. We need to renew our minds when it comes to the concept of beauty and remember who we are in Christ. We are His children! He does not want our mind to be consumed with worldly views. This verse goes beyond the concept of beauty; it can be applied to any area of life. When we are focused on worldly things, we miss out on some of the things God has in store for us.

Another good verse to keep in mind when thinking of beauty is 1 Peter 3:3-4. It says, “Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine cloths. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.”

I love this verse because it could not be clearer. Our outward beauty means nothing if we do not have inner beauty. Our outer beauty should reflect our inner beauty. Our society has lost that truth that is clearly stated throughout the Bible.

We need to turn back to what His words say, instead of what the world is telling us, and remember whose judgment matters in the end.

Although I believe that our perception of beauty is distorted, I also believe that we can change that if we change our thought process. This world is not our home, so why should we treat it like it is our home?