Fashion Issues, Girl Drama & the Longing To Be Beautiful

The secret to real beauty

She stomped and stewed all the way to the bus stop. And shed a few tears too, no doubt. She was frustrated, which made my littlest fireball madder than a hornet. She can’t stand it when life doesn’t go her way. And this particular morning, much to her devastation, she couldn’t find A THING to wear.

longing to be beautiful

Yep. Her’s was a fashion-fueled anger. She may be only fifty pounds and nine years old, but she can get herself in quite a tizzy when she feels her wardrobe choices aren’t satisfactory.

I let her walk a good half block ahead of me, didn’t make any attempt to catch up or slow her down. She needed to cool off, and I needed to think. I knew her frustration wasn’t really about fashion.

It never is.

Her external anger was nothing more than a hint at her internal insecurity.

She wants to be beautiful, to fit in, be “popular.” In her nine-year-old mind, fashion could make that happen. Thus I witnessed all the fall out from her crushed sense of self-worth.

Less than a minute later, she arrived at the corner and I quickly joined her. Then I turned to my fireball and took her flushed face in my hands.

Sweet girl, you are BEAUTIFUL. Just beautiful. And it’s not because of your outfit or how you did your hair. Being beautiful is in here.

I laid my hand on her chest.

It’s more about who you are and what you believe when you can’t find something to wear, okay? And God says you’re beautiful. Just as you are. Because you’re His. What you wear doesn’t change that, ever. 

She stared at me, struggling to believe it.

I couldn’t blame her. I struggle to believe it, too.

It’s much easier to believe that beauty is achieved and worth is earned.

You buy the right wardrobe, shed the right pounds, exercise extra hard and then you’re rewarded. With love and affection, acceptance and attention. But it never quite works out as easily as all that. Most times it proves fickle and unpredictable. Because the outfit I loved so much last month loses its luster the next. And the person who seemed impressed by my appearance last week is less than enamored this one.

The standard for beauty never stays the same. Besides, age increases, clothes wear out, talents dim, and beauty fades for every single one of us eventually.

No, the work-based formula for measuring beauty doesn’t hold up.

So what are we to do? How do we find a beauty that doesn’t leave us stomping and stewing all the way to the bus stop?

We need a new measure. A standard that doesn’t change and doesn’t begin and end with us:

But now, this is what the Lord says—
he who created you, Jacob,
he who formed you, Israel:
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.
For I am the Lord your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior;
I give Egypt for your ransom,
Cush and Seba in your stead.
Since you are precious and honored in my sight,
and because I love you. —Isaiah 43:1-4

Created.

Formed.

Precious and honored.

And loved.

Thousands of years ago those words were said by the God who chose you.

So what is beautiful?

Real beauty isn’t a manipulated attractiveness, but an inward confidence. It can’t be found in the bathroom mirror, bought in the shopping mall, or achieved on the running track. Instead, beauty is a quiet and unshakable disposition of knowing you are eternally loved. It flourishes in the quiet unseen moments when a man or woman basks in the undying affection and presence of our God. It’s irresistible, that kind of confidence.

Simple, yes. But not easy. It’s going to take us spending less time in the mirror and mall and gym, and more time Bible open and knees on the floor.

But I need this. And my girl needs this. Much more than we need a new outfit.

How about you?

Here’s my challenge. This week spend as much time gazing at your reflection in God’s eyes as you do looking in your mirror. I mean it. Time yourself. And to make it easier, here’s a suggested reading plan to help you get started:

  • WEDNESDAY: Read Psalm 139. Ask God to help you see yourself as “fearfully and wonderfully made.”
  • THURSDAY: Read Lamentations 3:19-24. Rest in the truth that God’s affection for you is secure, no matter what may or may not come.
  • FRIDAY: Read Exodus 14:13-14. What a relief! Our God fights for us!
  • SATURDAY: Read Joshua 1:7-9. There is no place so dark that God’s presence can’t bring light. He is with you. Because He loves you. 
  • SUNDAY: Read Jeremiah 31:3. Some love doesn’t last. But when God says “I love you,” he means forever. 
  • MONDAY: Read John 15:16. Did you know that Jesus chose you? He sees you, knows you by name, and chose you as his friend.
  • TUESDAY: Read Isaiah 43 again. Pray for the grace to KNOW and BELIEVE that you are “precious and honored” in God’s eyes.
Have you preordered my new book I Am: A 60-day Journey To Knowing Who You Are Because of Who He Is? If not, don’t wait. If you order BEFORE January 24th, you can get a bunch of free bonuses INCLUDING a download of 60 I Am Scripture Cards just like the reading plan above!  It’s a great first step toward an identity built on what really matters. Join me. We’re in this together. —mc

Question: Are you in? Are you ready to commit to ONE WEEK of looking to God for your significance? If so, simply write the words ‘I’m IN!’ in the comments. So crazy proud of you. You can leave a comment by clicking here.

[Image Copyright: evgenyatamanenko / 123RF Stock Photo]

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

28 thoughts on “Fashion Issues, Girl Drama & the Longing To Be Beautiful

  1. Good morning,
    Thank you so much for this beautiful reminder. Been sick on the couch for the last six days so the timing couldn’t have been better.
    Yes, I am in for the challenge. I need this kick start!

  2. Yes, I’m in. Had a long lament with God yesterday about all my insecurities. At age 57 I’m ready to let go of this and just be loved by Him!

  3. I’m in, thank you for creating this .I want to share one of my for favorite quotes that reminds me of what true beauty is.
    A beautiful woman uses her lips for truth,
    her voice for kindness, her ears for compassion,
    her hands for charity and her heart for love.
    And for those who do not like her, she uses prayer.
    unknown

  4. I’m in. I have always felt like this isn’t an issue for me, I know who I am in Christ, but God showed me this morning through your writing that some of the things I am dealing with are directly tied to my lack of true understanding of how God sees me. The phrase Inward Confidence really struck me. That is what I am lacking so I must not really have it yet.

  5. I am in! Love this beautiful reminder! So love your words of encouragement. You are real and quite humorous as well! I am looking forward to reading your book. Need to order it. Thank you always for sharing your faith in such a heartfelt way.

  6. I’m IN!! I’ve added the scripture passages and notes to my calendar to remind me each morning. Then I’ll continue each morning after that week with my second reading of “I Am” … this time, day-by-day, rather than gulping it down like I’m starving … but then I guess I was … thanks for the spiritual nourishment!

  7. Michele thank you sooo much for this today! I was feeling very discouraged. I have been sick for the better part of a month and have not gotten out much. My husband and I started a new lifestyle for our temples and I came off of it the last couple of days, I was to sick to shop for food and cook and gave into the flesh. I am going to use the daily scripture you layed out each week. Thank you this is exactly what I needed today! May the Lord continue to bless you and your ministry.
    I’M IN!

  8. So appreciate today’s scripture challenge.

    “….you will never see them again, forever.” Wow, talk about security
    also
    “….while you keep silent.” Something I so need to remember

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