It was over – again. The hope, unspoken, barely admitted, though thoroughly wrestled through, fell away like it had so often done before. As usual, there was someone more beautiful who was going to win. And no measure of compliments from my friends could convince me otherwise. The flattery simply falls flat when you know you are not the most beautiful one in the room. It is not that I think I am offensive looking by any means. But no matter how confident I am, the fact that I am not the most physically beautiful does not change. There are other people who take that trophy.
Does the reality that I am not the most beautiful make me un-valuable? I think there is a dangerous lie that lurks in the dark corners of our hearts that longs for love and it tells us that if we are not beautiful then we are not valuable.
And we believe it…
The amount of you who will want to try and convince me that I am beautiful will prove my point. You believe that I need to believe I am beautiful. However, I think it is more important that I believe I am valuable.
…my level of physical beauty will never define me.
People often ask me how I am so confident. I am always slightly confused at this. My vanity driven life motto has always been, “Fake it til you make it,” which is usually in reference to learning to wear 3+ inch heels, and “If your hair looks good, you look good.” So yes, wearing heels and having great hair can help me feel confident. In fact, when I do my makeup and wear an outfit that I know is flattering, I feel beautiful, and that adds confidence. But some days I forget that I have no foundation, I do nothing to my hair (besides load on the dry shampoo), I wear too many patterns and I feel equally as confident. On those days, I think, “If today’s the day I meet my husband, then he’ll like me with this face, too.” He will not only love me because I am beautiful but because I am also valuable. I am confident because even on the hardest, darkest, stormiest and gloomiest of days, I know that my level of physical beauty will never define me. I belong to something bigger than any standard of beauty this world defines.
That confidence is what carries me through. Especially on days like today when I saw a drop dead beautiful woman and I knew it was over. “What was over, Erika?” My chances of catching the attention of any man with her around. Life is not really all that different than it was last week, or last month, or last year. I blog about relationships and sexuality and my (perpetually non-existent) love life. Why? Because it is fun and I like writing and I think it is important to share life’s normal ups and downs with those who may feel the same.
Seeing this beauty who was killing my hopes reminded me of a conversation I had had some months previously with and incredibly brilliant group of friends. They presented me with a question about beauty I will present to all of you today: Are you beautiful?
Is the more beautiful person more valuable?
I think it is a fair question. Beauty, like modesty, is a socio-cultural construct. Society has decided how to define it and there is no real consistency cross-culturally. You can look around and see an average looking couple and convince yourself that beauty truly is in the eye of the beholder. While simultaneously, you can look around and see there are some people who everyone could agree are the epitome of physical beauty. That begs the second: Is the more beautiful person more valuable? Of course not. That is why I can suggest I am less beautiful than the beauty who knocked me out of the running. No matter how I dressed myself up, I would still lose next to her. And that is a-okay. Because my beauty is not my value. Your beauty is not your value.
I cannot be more clear than that. We need to shift what is the foundation of our confidence from our appearance to our value and our value is found in Christ. It is Jesus who defines us 100%. You may not be a beauty queen but that does not mean His plans for your life are not equally as valuable.
So, I encourage you all with this: beauty does not determine value. Value is found in our Maker and he decided you were worth more than life. He sent his only son to earth to die on the cross so that he could have an eternal relationship with YOU! I would suggest this means you are worth more than you probably know or believe.
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