If I could use one word to describe today’s definition of beauty, it would be this: destructive.
Beauty as we see it all around us today is destructive. It destroys the self-esteem of girls during the most pivotal time of their lives. It destroys the dreams of women as they launch into new careers. It destroys the hopes of women who just seem to never measure up. It destroys lives, families, truth, health…the list is endless.
I know girls who have given up their dreams in life to be “beautiful”. The sad thing is, they are smart girls. Bright girls. Innovative girls. They are girls who could be going somewhere, yet instead they choose to chase a definition that will only end in destruction.
In the introduction of Shannon Cutt’s book Beating Ana: How to Outsmart You Eating Disorder & Take Your Life Back, Jessica Weiner, author and eating disorder activist, says this: “What we fail to remember sometimes is that eating disorders tend to impact the bright, sensitive, and visionary people of our time.”
Bright. Sensitive. Visionary.
It’s not the nobodies that pursue the unrealistic expectations of beauty. These aren’t the girls that may or may accomplish something with their lives. These are the girls who have the potential to do something great for society…yet they waste their efforts on obtaining physical perfection instead of chasing after their true passions.
I know; I used to be one of those girls.
Had you told me two years ago that I would do something beneficial in my life, I would not have believed you. Nor would I have wanted to believe you. I was perfectly content in my pursuit of beauty. I was perfectly content building my life around my eating disorder. My goal was to be beautiful, and everything else was just a wasted effort. Nothing but the reflection in the mirror mattered.
I’m not saying that I didn’t care about anyone else; I did care. However, I was so consumed with chasing beauty that I did not have time to adequately express my concern because, well, I was more concerned about what I looked like than helping anyone else.
The most destructive thing about beauty is this: it overwhelms your life and won’t allow you to focus on anything else but its definition.
I’ve seen it time and time again. I had friends who dreamed big. Some wanted to be doctors. Some wanted to be athletes. Some wanted to save the world from AIDS. Some were definitely going places.
And then some threw away their dreams so they could measure up to the pictures in the magazines.
Today’s challenge is different than most. Today I am not changing my actions. I am not diving into my mind and changing my thoughts and reactions. Today I am dreaming. I am dreaming of what I can do now that I am free from the chains of beauty. I am taking back those dreams I threw away long ago and making them mine.
I am dreaming big. I am allowing God to replace that drive for beauty with a drive for Him.
Beauty is not about you and it is not about me. It’s about dreaming big. It’s about not giving up and giving in to a mediocre dream. If you believe it can happen, watch for it to happen.
Beauty is about what we can do to change the world, one big dream at a time.
Verse: “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:26)