Beauty Pageant Reflections

They were stunning.

A row of gorgeous girls, lined up on a stage in breathtaking gowns.

A friend of mine was competing in a pageant. I came to support her. I’ve never had beauty pageant aspirations. I’m better suited for cowgirl boots than fancy heels. I feel most beautiful in jeans and a t-shirt, not a sparkly gown. Even so, as I watched those beautiful girls parade across the stage (and they were beautiful!) familiar feelings started stirring in my heart. Feelings like:

  • Insecurity
  • Jealousy
  • A craving to compare

I started to desire a crown I wasn’t even competing for. I wanted to be picked as the most beautiful, most talented, most likeable girl in the room. And my mind started to dwell on every flaw that might keep me from claiming those titles.

The craving for beauty and attention is a familiar one. In high school I spent all of my energy trying to be the best and the brightest. As a college student I became consumed with being thin, so much so that I developed an eating disorder. As a young bride, I worried constantly that I wasn’t good enough or pretty enough to keep my man’s affection.

But then I had a collision with God’s Truth. It was like someone cranked up the volume on all that the Bible has to say about my beauty and worth and suddenly I couldn’t ignore it any more.

Losing weight couldn’t erase my insecurities. New clothes couldn’t stifle my tendency to compare. No beauty product could make me feel beautiful for long. But God’s Word could. When I listened, really listened to all that God says about my worth and chose to believe it was true, I got the total makeover I’d been chasing for years.

But fast-forward a decade to the beauty pageant, and I suddenly needed a refresher course in God’s Truth about my beauty. Maybe you do to. Here’s some Truth you can grab on to the next time you feel threatened or insecure by someone else’s beauty.

I am beautiful to Jesus.

That may feel kinda cheesy at first, but that’s because we gloss right over the depth of God’s feelings for us.

Song of Solomon 1:15 says, “Behold, you are beautiful, my love; behold, you are beautiful; your eyes are doves.”

Song of Solomon 4:7 says, “You are altogether beautiful, my love; there is no flaw in you.”

When Jesus looks at us, He is like a groom on his wedding day.

These passages are taken from the Song of Solomon, a description of two lovers, thought by many Bible scholars to be a picture of Christ’s love for His Bride. (That’s us!) When Jesus looks at us, He is like a groom on his wedding day. Don’t you just love that moment, when the groom sees his beautiful bride for the first time? That’s how God sees me!

Psalm 40:5 says that God’s thoughts towards us are many. In fact, no one thinks of us as often as He does.

He is thinking of me. He sees beauty when He looks at me. That’s true if I’m the prettiest girl in the room or if I’m not. It’s true when I feel beautiful and when I don’t.

Angela Thomas wrote about it this way, “If the question, ‘Do you think I’m beautiful?’ came attached to my soul, then maybe the answer wasn’t ever meant to fully come from this world. Maybe the purpose of the question is to take me by the hand and walk me into the presence of the Creator. My soul cries out and asks me the question meant to lead me to God. Maybe all that really matters is what He thinks of me.”

I want a beautiful heart.

Sure, I’d love to have great hair, perpetually clear skin, and the perfect body. (Who wouldn’t!) But over the years I’ve developed a desire for a deeper kind of beauty.

When He looks at me He sees right past my face and clothes and straight into my heart.

In 1 Samuel 16 Samuel is on the hunt for the new king of Israel. He’s interviewed lots of impressive candidates, but God doesn’t choose the strongest or the tallest or the bravest to be king.

In the middle of that story, we find the key that unlocks the door to the truth about our beauty.

“But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not look on his appearance nor on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart” (1 Sam. 16:7).

I could hold the titles of Miss America and Miss Universe. I could be on the cover of People Magazine as one of the 100 most beautiful people. I could stop traffic with my beauty, but if my heart was ugly, none of it would matter to God. When He looks at me He sees right past my face and clothes and straight into my heart.

I know the secret to beauty that lasts.

Any former Miss America will tell you, the crown eventually loses its sparkle. One year later a new beauty queen is crowned and the sash gets relegated to the back of the closet. Eventually, even beauty queens get wrinkles, gray hairs, and squishy tummies. Even the most beautiful girls in the world cannot hold on to external beauty forever.

That’s why Proverbs 31:30 gives this warning, “Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.”

If external beauty is bound to slip through our fingers, spending years chasing it is a waste. The good news is, God offers an alternative.

“Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, for the clothing you wear—but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious” (1 Pet. 3:3–4).

Want the fountain of youth? It’s right here! Want a brand of beauty that will not fade? Look no further than God’s Word.

God can infuse our hearts with a kind of beauty that’s imperishable. That means it’s permanent, enduring, and indestructible!

God can infuse our hearts with a kind of beauty that’s imperishable. That means it’s permanent, enduring, and indestructible!

Whenever I’m tempted to get overly wrapped up in my external appearance, I force myself to remember that all good hair days eventually end in bed head. I want the kind of beauty that can never fade! I can only have it by asking God to make me more like Him.

The next time you see a beauty queen . . .

You don’t have to be at a beauty pageant to feel squirmy about your beauty. One flip through a magazine can do it. So can an encounter with that girl who looks so perfect. But when envy, jealousy, insecurity, and the need to compare cat walk across your heart, you have a choice . . .

Will you fall for the lie that beautiful girls are worth more?

Or

Will you grab on to God’s Truth that He’s thinking of you right now and longing to give you a makeover in the place it matters most—your heart.

About Author

Erin Davis is an author, blogger, and speaker who loves to see women of all ages run to the deep well of God’s Word. She is the author of many books and Bible studies including: 7 Feasts, Connected, Beautiful Encounters, and the My Name Is Erin series. She serves on the ministry team of Revive Our Hearts. When she’s not writing, you can find Erin chasing chickens and children on her small farm in the Midwest.

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