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The first time that something on social media made me cry was a tweet that said, “Girls who think that makeup covers acne look like this:

pizza smiling acne faceI remember just sitting there being both embarrassed that someone would be so ignorant as to say something like that, and also embarrassed that people actually might believe this. That tweet is just a glimpse into what is being spread across the internet right now. Other tweets joke about how makeup is false advertising and how guys need to take girls swimming on the first date to see if she is pretty without makeup. This is not ok!

My heart is breaking for the generation of young boys and girls that cannot escape the shame and condemnation coming at them from the media… Unless we decide to say no to unrealistic beauty standards.

If some are the problem, then it’s time for us to become the solution.

I don’t remember exactly when I got my first pimple, but I have been dealing with acne for about 9 years now. And not the kind of acne where I get a few pimples each month, but the kind where I don’t remember the last time I didn’t have several breakout areas on my face.

My grandmother had it when she was young, and so did my dad and his brothers. It is a generational thing, yet somehow I am the only one of my three sisters who inherited it.

Please don’t tell me that I need to eat more vegetables, or drink more water, or wash my face every morning and night, or to try Proactive. I KNOW, I’VE HEARD IT ALL BEFORE. As well as your intentions might be, it really isolates people who suffer from acne. I didn’t chose my skin, and it feels like I have literally tried everything under the sun to fix it.

As a Christian, having insecurities about what I look like is really challenging. I know that God created me in His image, and so therefore I am beautiful.

I know that I do not need to fear man, as man looks on the outside, but God looks on the heart. I know how I SHOULD be feeling. But if I’m completely honest, I really haven’t felt that way.

When I’m having a bad day, I feel shame, I feel humiliated, I feel ugly, I feel alone in this struggle. I feel like I shouldn’t need makeup to look pretty.

But right now I do.

I struggle to look in the mirror because I don’t want to see my skin. I hate getting photos taken because it makes me feel so humiliated. I fear sleeping over at a friend’s house because I don’t want to take my makeup off in front of them. I am constantly applying makeup so that my skin is hidden. But that is not God’s best for me, and He is taking me on a journey where I will learn what beauty actually is.

My friends and family are so amazing, and growing up they would always try to comfort me telling me how beautiful I was on the inside and out. They used to tell me that I was even more beautiful because of Jesus inside me. And they are right. I am beautiful because Jesus is beautiful; I am created in His image and He lives inside of me. However, sometimes it felt that my beauty came only through loving Jesus. What if I didn’t love Him? Would I not be pretty anymore? 

What I’m beginning to realize is that I am beautiful because of He who lives in me, but I am also beautiful because of so much more. I am beautiful because the One who created all things created beauty. Without Him there is no beauty. He is our beauty standard, and He doesn’t condemn us. He doesn’t see me wearing makeup as an insult, He doesn’t get mad when I am insecure. He isn’t offended by the fact that I don’t understand what true beauty is.

God doesn’t create anything that isn’t beautiful, and Satan is jealous of that. The thief cannot create, he can only steal, kill, and destroy. So that is what he is doing. He is stealing our idea of beauty, he is killing our self-esteem, and he is trying to destroy what God sees as His most precious creation: us. 

Maybe you already know this, and I am preaching to the choir. But I need to know this. I need to know that I am beautiful beyond comparison, and that anything or anyone who says otherwise is lying.

We are created to have a relationship with Him, and He doesn’t base who He becomes friends with on how many likes on Instagram or Facebook that you get.

That isn’t beauty.

Beauty is Him creating you, and loving you enough to send His son to die for you, even though He knows you can NEVER repay Him. Beauty is the fact that He made us to see color, feel emotions, live on this Earth. One of my favorite songs says, “How rare and beautiful it is that we even exist… The universe was made just to be seen by my eyes.” That is some life-changing truth. God created a beautiful world, with beautiful creatures, for His beautiful children.

You are so beautiful.

You literally have captivated His heart.

He would not change a hair on your head (which is saying a lot because He knows them all by number).

Please don’t let anything other than Him define your beauty because that isn’t real.

Earthly beauty (having perfect skin, having long hair, or being skinny) is fleeting. We are beautiful just as we are, and we will be for the rest of eternity; He appreciates what beauty actually is.

As my friend Catherine wrote in the post The Mirror Is An Evil Liar, “God is not focused on fixing our behavior, He is interested in winning our hearts. He knows that if we listen to Him and believe what He says about our lives, bodies, past, present and future, then everything would change.”

Don’t hate the way you look anymore!

I’ve tried it, and I am sick and tired of feeling like I am not beautiful enough. I’m ready to fully embrace my face, on good days and bad days. I am ready to love my ever-changing shape, even if no one else ever agrees with it.

God loves my face, so my beauty and value will be defined by Him, today and always.

Will you join me?

 

“Your value doesn’t decrease based on someone’s inability to see your worth.”

Read another great article called: What My Birthmark Can Teach You About Real Beauty by Abby Smith.