The Beauty Trap
Beauty isn’t just what society makes it out to be. It’s so much more.
There are a thousand and one messages about self-esteem out there and none of them have had much impact on my self-esteem. I want to show you why beauty is a trap. People worked outside all day during the Middle Ages, just to survive. Women worked strenuously and had very little food; they were thin. Women also worked outdoors as long as it was daylight; they were tan. And when you flip through a textbook or stroll through an art museum, you’ll notice that the standard for beauty during the Middle Ages was a thick — maybe even overweight — woman; the fairer the better. The most elusive body type, the one nearly impossible to attain under the circumstances of the day, was beautiful.
Our society stands in stark contrast to the Middle Ages. We work desk-bound jobs, all indoors. We leave for school or work before the sun is up and return after it’s set. We have so much technology, hard physical labor is all but obsolete. We have an abundance of food. On any night, we can have Mexican, Chinese, Moroccan, Indian, Italian..etc. Our standard for beauty is a disproportionately thin woman; the tanner the better. The most elusive body type to attain is considered beautiful. It was the same in every culture, every era!!
It’s senseless that we find beauty in every type of women, but can’t find it in ourselves. I refuse to be a victim of the beauty trap. I refuse to tan because, why should I have to be tan? Because I want to? This begs the question why I want to. Because it’s beautiful? Well, so is fair. I reject the notion that what I am not is more beautiful than what I am. I believe in fashion, style and makeup and putting my best self forward but I do not believe in this elusive concept of beauty instilled by our culture.
God thought up beauty and everything He creates is beautiful and it is there to be enjoyed.
The king is enthralled by your beauty; honor him, for he is your lord. (Psalm 45:11)
What God says about beauty is not a snare, but healing.
Song of Solomon 4:7
1 Samuel 16:7
Even when we hear the real truth; God’s spoken word, we let is roll off our backs because we think we have to truly believe it before we can act on it. That’s not true! That’s backwards! Practice it on the days you feel like staying in bed all day wearing sweatpants with your hair in a more than slightly messy bun. Practice it on the hardest days. Contentment is hard so practice. For me, contentment is wearing sunscreen and not letting my skin burn. For me it looks like running 5k almost every day because I love it. For me it looks like helping out and volunteering whenever I can and not feeling guilty when I can’t. It looks like having a tender heart and being kind. Don’t lose yourself in the impossible ideal. Climb out of the beauty trap and just be you.