A decade ago, I knew two young women whom I’ll refer to as Molly and Tiffany. Plenty of guys fawned over Molly, but they overlooked Tiffany, even though she was more attractive than Molly.
If you got to know Tiffany, it was apparent that she did not think much of herself. Actually, even if you didn’t know Tiffany, her face and body language advertised how little she thought of herself. Her eyes were often downcast, her smiles lacked energy, and her shoulders were slumped. She asked few questions of others and offered little information about herself. She wore mom jeans, baggy shirts, and didn’t do much with her hair. Everything about Tiffany said, I don’t think I’m beautiful or interesting, and you shouldn’t either.
On the other hand, Molly exuded confidence in who she was and was convinced of God’s love for her. She looked everyone in the eye and had great posture and a warm smile. She dressed attractively and fixed her hair and makeup in a way that didn’t look like she was begging for attention. Most importantly, Molly not only felt comfortable sharing about herself, she had a noticeable curiosity about the people around her. Everything about her said, Life is good, and you seem interesting. I like who I am, and I bet you will, too.
Like I said, suitors were always lining up to date Molly, but Tiffany had a much harder time even getting noticed. And as I watched these young women lead two very different lives, I realized something: Beauty isn’t just something you put on; it’s something you are, no matter how attractive you are by the world’s standards.
In today’s feature article, “Where Have All the Beautiful Women Gone?” I talk about the reasons men are unable to see beauty in the women around them. If you read the article, you’ll see that I think men are responsible for opening their eyes and pursuing, but women should do their part as well.
Just like men need to recognize the beauty all around them, women need to clothe themselves in beauty — and when I say that, I’m not primarily talking about external beauty, though it certainly has its place. I’m talking about the kind of beauty described in Proverbs 31:25, which says, “Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come.” I’m talking about the discipline of “put[ting] on the Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 13:4, Galatians 3:27) and “put[ting] on the new self, created in the likeness of God” (Ephesians 4:24, Colossians 3:10). I’m talking about putting on “compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience” (Colossians 3:12).
Taking on these eternal qualities does not require you to be an extrovert or a size six. And you don’t need to post pouty-faced photos of yourself online or be a spiritual giantess either. You need to be submitted to the love of God, to the truth that He “rejoice[s] over you with gladness . . . quiet[s] you by His love, [and] . . . exult[s] over you with loud singing” (Zephaniah 3:17). Read that again — that’s some intense love, ladies.
That kind of love will bring out the most beautiful things about you and transform you from the inside out (you never know — it might even inspire you to pull your shoulders back, raise your chin, and toss some of your old outfits while you’re at it). And although it won’t necessarily draw the attention of suitors in the same way it did for Molly, it will reflect the love of the One who cares for you the most, and there’s nothing more attractive than that.
Like I said, the men have a lot responsibility when it comes to seeing beauty, too. If you want to read my thoughts on that, check out this week’s feature article.