Have you taken a look at your beauty drawer and tallied how many dollars in beauty supplies you own? Have you considered how much you’ve spent in beauty services every month? Is it $100? $200? $500? In 2016, the beauty industry earned $62.44 BILLION dollars in revenue! That is up $15 Billion from 10 years ago! A clear indicator women in this country value the price for beauty (The Statics Portal).
Everywhere I turn, I feel an increasing pressure to look beautiful. Do you?
I find myself applying a variety of different filters on my selfies…not because of poor lighting, but maybe because I want to hide a wrinkle here & there. I’m fighting the urge to receive botox in between my eyebrows.
No longer can I even guess the accurate ages of many female celebrities because they just seem to “age” so well with plastic surgery and expensive beauty regimens. Once in awhile, I catch myself researching their “latest beauty secret” to see if the latest craze is worth doing to my own skin and body (have you seen videos of that blood facial? Eeks).
Recently, I underwent a procedure that will take 9 months before I will even see the fruits of it. It’s called braces. Yep. Nine months of inconvenience in my mouth to obtain a straight set of teeth. Honestly, it’s quite ugly. A gaping hole currently sits in the bottom of my smile due to a tooth extraction to allow room for straightening my teeth.
My latest question to God: is all of this okay? How far may I go to obtain beauty?
With the recent celebration of Purim, God revealed the character of Esther.
“…This young woman, who was also known as Esther, had a lovely figure and was beautiful.” Esther 2:7
Esther was naturally defined as a beautiful woman. If 9 months of braces is considered a long duration as a married woman, Esther underwent a year’s worth of treatments just to have her first date with the King!
“Before a young woman’s turn came to go in to King Xerxes, she had to complete twelve months of beauty treatments prescribed for the women, six months with oil of myrrh and six with perfumes and cosmetics.” Esther 2:12
Not only was she beautiful, but she also won favor with the King.
“Now the king was attracted to Esther more than to any of the other women, and she won his favor and approval more than any of the other virgins. So he set a royal crown on her head and made her queen…” Esther 2:17
She was striking in beauty and also in character. During a time where the Jewish people were facing possible extermination, she used her beauty, her position, and God to save her people. She fasted for 3 days to pull on the divine authority of God to keep her people from facing death.
What God revealed to me of her character is:
- She is courageous. She kept her Jewish identity a secret while she lived in a house of a Persian King
- She is humble. I can’t imagine being in a royal house with all that food and nothing to eat for 3 days!?
- She was faithful and she loved God. She trusted that only God’s divine intervention could save His chosen people.
I believe God knows our natural human instinct to be attracted to outer beauty. But the question is do I know my identity in Christ before seeking all these beauty treatments? Am I idolizing the need for beautification before I idolize Him? Do I trust Him for divine favor in certain areas of my life? Or am I depending too much on my fleshly outer appearances? Am I trying too hard to impress other people who probably don’t care?
Lord – I pray you show me areas where I may be too excessive and I pray you show me areas where I need to work on my inner beauty. I pray for an increase in faith, humility, and bravery just like Esther. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Do you find yourself struggling in this area? How do you handle the constant pressure of today’s standards of beauty?