by Stephanie McGraw | April 20, 2017
I recently read an article in TIME magazine that said plastic surgery is the future norm of women’s beauty.
My heart sank as I looked at the before and after photos of the different procedures, particularly nose jobs.
For as long as I can remember, my nose has been my biggest insecurity. And if I was honest with you, I’d say it still is. It’s been a constant battle to learn to love every part of myself, even what society would consider a “flaw.”
I can completely and fully understand why someone would go through such vast measures to achieve this standard of beauty, and I would never judge someone for making that choice. It’s a personal thing, really. But I would say, to the girl (or boy) like me, I understand.
I understand what it feels like to be made fun of and wish you could be someone else. I understand what it’s like to hate being in your own skin. But there is something very important to keep in mind. No matter what lengths we go through to fix said “problems,” new “problems” will arise.
We are ever aging, ever changing, ever morphing human beings. We are not photos trapped in a moment in the right angle and lighting. We are not just skin, and freckles, and noses, and love handles. We are so much more.
Contrary to what the world tells us, we should strive for inner beauty. I know it sounds like a cliché, but that’s only because it’s true. There is something far more intriguing and beautiful about a woman who is spirited, has great character, and loves deeply. We are also less disappointed by our natural aging bodies when our focus is inward.
That doesn’t make it any easier, however, when we still are constantly faced with unrealistic demands and taunting images of unattainable beauty standards. I think it is partially because we fear that we cannot be loved fully if we are seen fully—known fully. Many women would never dare to go outside without makeup on. Why is that?
My older brother always knew that my nose was an insecurity of mine. One day he told me, “Steph, a guy is not going to fall in love with your nose. He’ll fall in love with your heart.” He was right. My husband always tells me how he loves me nose and is grateful I never got surgery. He sees me without my makeup. He sees me, He knows me, He loves me.
Similarly, and more importantly, we are seen, known, and loved by our Creator. We tend to roll our eyes at that truth. It’s hard to believe and comprehend and feel, but yet it is still true. When we set our eyes on the Lord and fervently seek His favor and will, we find freedom. All of the sudden our eyes are changed and we see ourselves through a new lens.
“You are altogether beautiful, my love; there is no flaw in you.” Song of Solomon 4:7
Our bodies are meant for so much more than to look pretty. I think I’ll always face the battle for beauty. But I hope that my desire for achieving inner beauty always trumps the exterior. If you cannot relate to this at all, please at least consider this.
Visit Stephanie’s website and read more at www.wordsunfolding.com