I recently saw a news story about a website that is gaining popularity at an incredible rate. In fact, the site snagged one million new members last month alone. I won’t share the web address, because it’s not a site I want to encourage you to visit (if you’re anything like me, you’d be googleing it as soon as you read it, just to satisfy your curiosity). But, I do think that it’s worth mentioning the site’s premise.
The website is designed as a place where users can play a virtual fashion game. The ultimate goal is to “become the hottest, coolest most intelligent and talented [girl] the world has ever known.” Sounds easy enough right?
If the game was just about fun fashion I’d be all in. But the rules make it clear that a keen sense of style isn’t all that’s necessary to be the coolest girl in the world. In fact, players get points for taking diet pills, getting facelifts and starving their virtual characters. The game’s ideal weight is far below average and bordering on underweight.
The website’s creators are very open about the fact that young girls like you are the target market for the site. They deny any claims that these themes have the potential to create real life ramifications. But it seems obvious to me that the website is built on the powerful lie that beautiful girls are worth more.
This is a lie that Nancy and Dannah address directly in Lies Young Women Believe. It is a lie that we realized needed to be talked about very early on in the research phase for the book. As we talked to girls like you, we realized that many, many of you struggle to embrace your beauty. Lots of you have told us that you feel ugly or fat or both. What’s worse, those feelings seem to lead you to doubt your own value and worth.
This is contrary to the Word of God. The Bible makes it clear that your worth does not come from your outer appearance.
1 Samuel 16:7 says, “ The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
1 Peter 3:3-4 says, “Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. 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.”
Proverbs 31:30 says, “Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeing, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.”
Your worth is not determined by your ability to look like the women you see on the covers of magazines. Or in the case of the website I mentioned earlier, by your ability to become the hottest, coolest, most intelligent and talented girl the world has ever known—by any means necessary. These verses make it clear that this is not where God finds your value.
But you do have value.
The Bible is rich with beautiful descriptions of God’s love for you. I can’t even come close to describing all of the affirmations of worth that Scripture offers to each of us. But here’s a taste of how He feels about you.
“The Lord appeared to us in the past, saying: ‘I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have draw you with loving kindness.’” Jeremiah 31:3
Romans 5:8 says, “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
His love for you is everlasting. In fact it is so strong, that He sent his son to die for you! That is a powerful affirmation of your value that has nothing to do with how thin you are or how talented, or how beautiful.
Nancy and Dannah make an important point in Lies that I think is worth repeating here. They point out that what you believe about beauty will be determined by where you look. This is especially true about websites like the one I mentioned above where unrealistic beauty standards are obviously the focus. But it is also true about areas where the suggestions about beauty are more subtle, such as television shows, movies or magazines where the world’s standard of beauty is glorified.
Think carefully about your own life. Where are you looking for affirmations of your worth? What messages are you receiving about your own beauty? Are they contrary to what God’s Word tells you about your value?