Seeing Ourselves in a Distorted Fashion
How do you usually cope with feeling ugly?
Do you resort to isolation and avoiding social settings? Do you make excuses why you will be declining yet another invitation to an event? Do you starve yourself or binge eat and then purge your body through using laxatives, vomiting, or strenuous exercise? Do you constantly look up different hair and makeup tutorials on YouTube to learn how you may better your appearance?
There are many reasons a person feels ugly, and so few are worth clinging to.
For starters, if you feel unattractive physically, it may very well be a heart issue that is preventing you from seeing how you look in an accurate way. I often experience this if I am caught up in sin, feel angry or bitter, or am complaining a lot. I notice that my perception of how I appear outwardly is distorted because of the ugliness of what is happening in my mind and heart.
Another reason people feel ugly is because they have accepted the lie of our society and culture that if you do not have the body shape, height, or facial features of models on the runway or in fashion magazines, then any hope of you looking nice is simply a distant dream, an impossible reality, a joke.
We may also feel ugly because of the comments others have said to or about us. We assume we really are fat because a relative mentioned that we have put on some weight since the last time we saw them. We believe we are too plain because guys at school hardly pay us any attention...and if they do, it could be them using us to get closer to a friend of ours they consider appealing. We believe all hope is lost if our skin isn't clear, our waist isn't tiny enough, our ears stick out, our lips aren't full enough, or we don't have a feminine figure.
How real these beliefs are to us and oh, how they consume our thoughts; sometimes to the point of being debilitated and not being able to function properly at school or work. We reason that shriveling up in depression as we wallow in our hurt while avoiding others is the answer instead of seeking after the Lord, the only One able to purify our hearts, restore us, and make us a new creature in Him (Second Corinthians 5: 17); thereby renewing our minds and transforming us from the inside out (and correcting any misconceptions we have about ourselves and others).
If physical attractiveness and sex appeal were what brought about true happiness, why do so many women who are seen as the ideal standard of such suffer from a warped self-image and not-so-obvious yet ever-present insecurity?
Proverbs 31: 30 says, "Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised."
Seeking to look our best (in a healthy way that doesn't take up hours of our day) is fine and should be encouraged. It's always pleasant to dress up, look nice, and take care of ourselves through the proper means (healthy food, good quality vitamins, plenty of water, daily exercise, enough rest, dealing with stress in a healthy way). It only crosses the line from simply enhancing our appearance to totally reshaping it when all our thoughts are toward looking attractive physically and being found sexually desirable (at the expense of our walk with God and keeping Him first, taking care of our God-given roles and responsibilities, and withdrawing from social invitations because our insecurity has overtaken us).
If you are a Christian girl, you do not need every guy to find you attractive. It took me long to realize that not everyone will find us attractive, even if we look what is commonly seen as beautiful. This is because everyone likes different looks and what one might find appealing, another would view as too made up or too thin or not liking straight hair or wanting a girl who was a different race. Personality, character, intelligence, hobbies, and goals all play a part as well in whether a guy will pursue us in such a way that leads to a God-honoring relationship.
As Elizabeth George has said, "God's word is the ultimate beauty treatment for every woman." Are you becoming beautiful as time passes, especially in the Lord's sight, or is your main focus on mere external appearance while giving little to no thought as to how you can grow in maturity, a gracious manner, wisdom, character, and cultivating a heart of purity?