If Beauty Were Everything

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Someone recently said to me, "It's obvious why you're confident, everyone tells you how beautiful you are." I have been thinking about that comment for months and trying to figure out why it bothered me so much. I have come to this conclusion, compliments on my physical appearance actually make me feel more insecure than anything. If my external beauty were everything then yes people would satisfy my insecurities with their many compliments. But the thing is, beauty is only a small spec on the scale of what makes us as women feel satisfied and confident. We have given physical appearance a far higher status than it deserves and it has ruined our gender. I knew I couldn't be alone and so I asked a few of my beautiful friends this question and want to share what they had to say. These are all girls who have heard time and time again how beautiful they are, and we will see that it does not make them satisfied.


In today's society woman are held to a certain standard for them to qualify as "beautiful". You have to have this length of hair, these kind of eyebrows, your lips should be full, your teeth have to be perfect, your waist has to be small, and you better have wide hips; the list goes on. Growing up in this type of visual culture where you are always being compared and looked at can make one go insane. I used to wake up every morning and look in the mirror to find things about me that I needed to change because I didn't look like the girl in the magazine. Amongst these days, I started getting tired of figuring out what's wrong instead of looking at what's right. God showed me that there is something special about individuality. There's something special about a girl that can laugh through the good and the bad, that doesn't need outward adornment to know she is special. God has enabled me to grow so much by this, and has given me so much confidence in who I am by showing me that I am an individual. I am one of his, and nothing will compare to that. No matter what fads the world goes through, I will always be me. 

I think I was pretty much a very confident person until I got into my first serious relationship. I dated a guy in high school from my freshman year until the beginning of my junior year and at first it was fun I thought I was in love and on cloud nine until about a year into our relationship. I got pregnant my sophomore year and after that he became a very miserable person. He blamed me for ruining his life and I guess he felt like it was only fair to ruin me as well. He took every chance he could get to throw every cruel and harsh thing he could possibly think of at me and like the little sad girl that I was I took it and I believed it. I felt like I didn't have a choice because I loved this person and he was the father of my child, someone I cared so much about. He belittled me every day, he treated me like I was nothing and he would tell me to my face everything he was doing behind my back and sadly I didn't care I felt like I didn't deserve anything better in life I started to believe everything he said about me. I was so broken and felt so bad about myself that I was just happy my son could have both his parents. Through all the horrible things he did and said to me I stood behind him and pretended I was so happy I wore a smile when I could or had to, but behind that smile was a broken insecure little girl who hates herself. I tried everything I could to feel pretty again, but no matter what I did a little voice kept telling me your ugly, your too skinny, you need to gain weight because nobody likes a girl who looks like a stick. It wasn't until one day I realized I was to busy letting him ruin me to see that he was also ruining my child. He was a horrible father, but I was to busy hating me to see it. We eventually broke up but by this time I was still so broken that I hated who I was and everything about me. It wasn't until my senior year of high school when I got back into church and I started praying again asking God to help me get over my child's father and to help me love myself again. It wasn't easy no matter how much I prayed I still doubted my beauty. I truly start loving myself again when I met someone who showed me I was worth loving because I was beautiful inside and out. For me it's still something I struggle with from time to time but I'll work through it because reality is someone is always going to offend you, make you doubt yourself, or wonder whether or not you're good enough. We're all human we have feelings and they're bound to be hurt, its expected. What matters is how you let it effect you. Don't let someone ruin who you worked so hard to become! Do BeYOUtiful your way! 


Growing up people always saw me as a "chocolate girl with pretty hair". Sometimes I think that people only think I'm beautiful because I have "pretty hair". Going out in public sometimes irritated me because random strangers would touch or pull my hair just to see if it was real. Different women would approach me just to ask me where did I buy my hair from. These things always gave me the thought of cutting all of my hair off. I felt that if I did that, I would know exactly how many people would still think I am beautiful. I feel that I am still insecure with some of my physical features. I would keep my eyebrows trimmed because I never liked the fact that they are bushy and I look like a child.  I never had the courage to smile while showing both rows of my teeth because every time I smile big I have a vein that comes down the middle of my forehead. When it comes to taking up close photos, I only feel comfortable showing one side of my face. Being a dark skinned girl people would always say that I am pretty "for a black girl" as if all dark skinned people are ugly. People always made fun of how dark my skin is. "Dark skin jokes " are nothing new to me, but surprisingly that is something I'm not insecure with. I love my complexion. The list goes on with the rest of my insecurities and the only way I help myself try to overcome my struggles with my insecurities is to remind myself that God says that I am beautiful and I should not allow myself to feel beautiful only when someone tells me that I am. As I continue to grow I feel that my struggle with my physical insecurities are slowly but surely fading away. 


Insecure-The subject to fears, doubts, etc.. Not self-confident or assured. 
Not self-confident. Those words stuck out to me the most as I reflect back to my high school years. In the midst of losing myself I found myself through God. Sometimes you wonder if being yourself is ever good enough. I sure didn't think I was. I was very insecure and was scared what people would think of me as being a Christian because most of my friends were not. But that wasn't the real problem. The problem was that I wasn't being true to myself. I was ashamed to share the gospel because I was afraid of what people were going to say. It wasn't until my senior year when I realized that it was time to grow up. It was time to go off to college, get a job, and share my love for the Lord to everyone. I have to admit, I did lose some friends along the way but that was okay because I gained some pretty awesome ones! I had to remind myself that I could still dress cool and have love for the Lord. I had a passion for fashion and a passion for Christ. Through all my trials I have found myself through Him. I am not ashamed of the gospel (Romans 1:16). I am confident in myself because He is confident in me.

Yours Truly, Jalyssa

Man oh man where do I begin! I honestly have been struggling with insecurity for as long as I can remember. I remember being a child and not understanding why my mom was Mexican and I was so dark. I wished I had hair like hers and a lighter complexion. Oh and the vitiligo coming didn't help at all. I will never forget when that 1st white spot showed up on my leg and thinking I would never be pretty. Of course in elementary school there were a ton of jokes about my "white spots" but I remember one in particular. A classmate of mine said to me, "you are just like a cow, fat, black, and white." Pretty sure that ruined me because I pretended to be sick and had my aunt come pick me up from school. I don't think I wore shorts again in public until I was about 18 years old. Well if I did I wore them with tights or leggings, even in 105 degree heat. Now that was 1 of 10000000 insecurities. Let's not even get started on my hair. I lived with my cousin Jasmine (that gorgeous girl up there) for a few years growing up. I'd get so jealous that I had to wear braids all the time and she had these long beautiful curls. People would always tell my aunt and uncle how beautiful she was and her eyes caught every one's attention. I knew for sure I wouldn't ever be that pretty! Oh and did you know I had a lazy eye that looked at my nose? Yea that was a fun one for kids at school. Needless to say I was very insecure as a child and so growing up I had a sort of identity crisis. Little did I know all of these external struggles were promoting some struggles internally. When I got to high school I started to receive a lot of attention. Now I wasn't the kind of girl to be easily flattered but who doesn't like to be told how pretty they are. That continued and until this day people constantly tell me how beautiful I am or how much they love my style. When my husband introduces me to someone he hears it also. Now I don't say that to promote myself, but to share how much it doesn't make me confident. I didn't realize how receiving attention made me more insecure than I naturally was. It begins to give you a standard you feel like you have to meet. This expectation on myself created a world of issues because I soon started struggling with other things like my personality. I always wished I was one of those sweet quiet girls who don't talk much and when they do, it's soft as a mouse. Well I am loud and my voice is pretty deep. I make jokes out of everything and tend to be on the inappropriate side. I practically embarrass myself, always. So wait a minute, I get told compliments all the time and I still struggle with these thing... Why? Because they are about beauty and beauty will pass, so confidence in it is pretty silly. True confidence has come very recently for me. I remember one day getting so frustrated with being consumed with myself. You see that is what insecurity always leads to, self idolization. We begin to think of ourselves more than we think of anything or anyone else. Just because the thoughts are negative don't disqualify the reality they are still about us. So my husband said to me, "People compliment you everywhere we go, no matter what you look like that day. If that doesn't make you confident maybe your physical appearance isn't as satisfying as you think. Have you ever thought it is the Christ like conduct that makes people really attracted to you?" Well friends, that day I gained confidence and I am never going back. Realizing it has nothing to do with how I look because if beauty were everything, I'd be super confident and pretty self centered. But it is not. Not even slightly. 
That is why you see each of these beautiful girls above me share some sort of insecurity. They seem to remember how much their beauty has been discredited more than noticed. People's harsh words and false standards of beauty have affected each of us more than the many kind words and adornment. I know them all personally and just like me, they receive more good compliments than bad. Funny how we don't even seem to acknowledge that. No matter how physically beautiful we are we aren't satisfied unless we except the beauty that God gives. 
So to the girl who thinks her world would be better if she was just a little more (insert insecurity here)... We are here to tell you that beauty is absolutely not everything. Figure out what God has placed you here for and pursue it with a brave passion. When you are sure of who you are and what you are here for the satisfaction will begin to take place. 
Now I can except the compliments without being made insecure by them. Not because they give me identity, but because I am already sure of my identity .

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