Beauty is Fleeting
by Lauren Scruggs
A certain kind of physical appearance equals beauty.
You and I both know that our friends, our peers, and even we ourselves buy into this lie sometimes. Maybe we even buy into it a lot. We believe that looking a particular way is the true key to being beautiful. We chase after this standard for beauty, even though it is narrow and shallow. Even though it is judgmental and hurtful and impossible.
A certain kind of physical appearance— no. We couldn’t be more wrong in believing all that.
A person could have every single physical feature on our world’s beauty wish list—and still think she’s a zero. She could fit our culture’s definition of beautiful to a tee, yet feel worthless to the core. Underneath her supposedly attractive exterior, she could be dissatisfied, disappointed, insecure, lost, even desperate. In a word: empty.
It’s no secret that having a model’s appearance will open some doors in a young woman’s life. I’m sure I don’t have to point out that people who look a certain way are often rewarded with praise, attention, money, popularity, and all kinds of other things. But if we were to shine a light into the lives of these same young women, it wouldn’t take long to find many who are absolutely miserable.
Yes, that girl who is so physically attractive and whose life is supposedly so fabulous as a result—maybe she feels cheap because people only ever notice her looks. Or she’s sad, longing to be appreciated for something other than her outer shell. Or she gets desperate about maintaining her appearance, worried that if it fades, all the perks will go away too.
Not only that, but if you talk with enough young women, you’ll see that anyone can look in the mirror and wish she saw something different there. No matter how pretty others say a woman is, in her own skin she might feel utterly unbeautiful. There’s a simple explanation why: Physical appearance doesn’t fill a person. It never will. It can’t.
But there is something that can, does, and will forever. That something is real beauty.
Real beauty comes from the richest, fullest, most meaningful place that exists. It encompasses the most striking, appealing, and inviting qualities that could ever be. It flows out of someone who—when we come to know and understand him for who he is—outshines anything else that we could ever think of as beautiful.
Real beauty is alive. It is life. There is nothing shallow about it, nothing temporary, nothing that can cause it to fade. Nothing—not disapproval from others, not the passage of time, not unwanted changes, not even a traumatic accident—can subtract from it. And everything about it is absolutely true.
Here is the truth: God’s love in your heart is your beauty.
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