By Coleen York

There was once a time when I thought that in order to be beautiful I had to be on the cover of Vogue or something. Or that I at least had to reach that level of pretty, of skinny, of perfection. To be worthy of the magazines… to be the "ultimate."

Unfortunately, societal values have warped us into thinking that “attractive” is something very limited and specific.  Those of us who do not attain this level of perfection are somehow seen as less desirable, doomed to be only sub-par no matter how long we diet, exercise, starve ourselves, or if we get elective surgeries to alter our appearances.
It’s a tragedy that so many of us succumb to these feelings of inadequacy. And,I would imagine, it is incredibly heartbreaking for The One who created us.
You are not beautiful because of the world’s standards. You are beautiful simply because God has made you in His image.
You were made in GOD’S image. Perfection Himself. HIS image. You are not ugly, unwanted, or sub-par. You were made inPerfection’s image.
Which means one is not prettier, more desirable, or more worthy than another. We were all made to reflect God’s glory. He didn’t mess up. He didn’t neglect you or favor someone else more.God created every detail of your face, body, hair, skin, nails. All of you features were crafted carefully with love and intimacy.
I went to extreme and unhealthy lengths to try to reach the Hollywood standard. Skipping meals, running 8 miles a day,  basically obsessed. But it never made me like myself anymore. It consumed me. I couldn’t see that I was ALREADY created beautiful.
My image, YOUR image, is perfect. Because it is HIS image. Embrace who you are. Embrace who you were created to be, regardless of anyone else’s standards. You have met God’s standards of artistry. You are a living, breathing masterpiece. A testimony to His love. A testimony to His image.
Genesis 1:27-  So God created human beings in His own image, In the image of God He created them; male and female He created them.
Song of Solomon 4:7- You are altogether beautiful, my beloved, there is no flaw in you.
Psalm 139:13-19- You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous- how well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed. How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered!