The Skinny On Teenage Body Image and Spiritual Health
by Angie Lewis 10/13/2006 / Teen Issues
Many young women and teenagers are placing great value on looking like the latest Cover Girl model, and placing little or no value on spiritual health. I agree, it is important to feel good about the way we look, but I think the culture is going a bit too far. It is far more important for young girls to feel good about who they are on the inside, wouldn’t you agree?
What are we teaching our youth of today? Have we, as parents contributed to this self-indulgent need to look perfect, be thin as a rail, and wear expensive adornment to be somebody? Have we taught our children that beauty starts on the outside? Are we telling them that it is more important to “look” good rather than “be” good?
I also want women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, not with braided hair or gold and pearls or expensive clothes, but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God. (1 Timothy 2: 9, 10)
It is not a sin to get a nose job, and wear expensive clothing and jewelry, but as we all know, real beauty comes from the inside of a person, not what they are wearing or how beautiful they look. A modest, kind teenager will gain more respect and kindness from others than one who dresses in expensive clothes and is stuck-up and hateful. It all begins in the attitude.
The standards of what society deems important is not what God deems important. As a teenager, I strived to be accepted by others, but I never really loved myself. Because of this, I never became the young person God created me to be. I wasted my teenage years trying to impress others, but that wasn’t who I was. It wasn’t until I was in my thirties that I realized God’s love for me. It is never too late to become the person God intends you to be, but if you wait, it may be too late.
It is important to wear clean clothes and be well groomed, but it is not important to have big breasts, a twenty-five inch waist, full lips, and a perfect nose. God made you the unique and special young girl that you are. Your nose, eyes, lips and chin is your uniqueness that sets you apart from looking like everyone else. Accept what God has given you and be content to be who it is you are.
…Instead, 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. (1 Peter 3:4)
It’s easy to be beautiful on the outside, but it is not an easy thing to be beautiful on the inside. Being beautiful on the inside is a bit more difficult to accomplish. It takes great wisdom and understanding to realize the special person you are regardless how much money you have, how skinny you are, or what you wear. Those things don’t make someone be great. Those things do not make someone successful. Those things are only a cover up to hide the true self. To be great and to be successful is to know God! Your true value in God is what’s important not what others think of you.
Please don’t fall for the “appearances trap”, and become too obsessed with fashion and looking like the latest cover girl model. Dress to please God not others. Of course, hygiene and neatness is always important, but even more important is your inner spiritual self and attitude towards others and God. Strive to be the person God wants you to be not what the world is enticing you to be.
Do not conform any longer 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 pleasing and perfect will. (Romans 12:2)