1 Peter 3:3-5
3 Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. 4 Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to adorn themselves.
Beauty, true unfading beauty, radiates from within. It reflects our heart, our spirit.
When I read this verse, I thought back to the first years of my career. I lived in New York City and did makeup and wardrobing for both fashion and theatre productions. When I worked fashion shoots and runway shows, the focus was entirely on the exterior: the clothes, the jewelry and accessories, and the often extravagant makeup.
It was heartbreaking. I often applied makeup to models while they were too strung out on illicit drugs to sit up; assistants held them in place while I worked. Young girls starved themselves in the hopes of being the next “beauty icon” adorning magazines. They were miserable. Almost every girl I ever worked with thought they were ugly; they had no self-worth or esteem. I witnessed so much self-hate in an industry that focused on external beauty, and it opened my eyes. I left that end of the industry and have focused my career on positive beauty ever since.
Yet, the problem of mis-appropriated ideals of beauty isn’t isolated. Society is shallow. Society is fickle. Society is cruel. Society is loud. However, we are made for community and relationship. We, especially ladies, tend to fall prey to the whims of society in search of acceptance. One only needs to look at social media to see how desperate many people are to gain attention and be seen as beautiful.
Where they, where we, should be looking is at the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. If we live with a gentle and quiet spirit, people who also love the Lord will always see our true beauty.
What do you see when you look at people? Do you define beauty based on an exterior face, or do you define beauty as the result of a gentle, quiet spirit? Today release your critical eye. Today see the beauty in yourself. Today see those around you according to the biblical definition of beauty.