Being Real – The Selfie Challenge

I have noted a new trend in marketing, that of being “real” and being “you.”  Dove has been exposing the lies of photoshop and the one-size-fits-no-one model for a while now.  More recently, American Eagle’s Aerie has jumped onto this bandwagon.  Although they have always been “The Girl Next Door,” they have taken this to the next step.  Instead of hiring models, like using the hit reality show “America’s Next Top Model” winner, they use regular girls in their ads.  Their website reads “Get Real. Think Real. No Supermodels. No Retouching. The REAL YOU is SEXY.”  I cannot vouch for the authenticity of their marketing, but I could tell that models wore birthmarks, had folds when they bent, moles, ribs, and even bellies!  How incredibly refreshing! Although, most of these “regular” girls still appear to be a size 2 jean, it is the beginning of something beautiful.

I just discovered the following video from a new campaign that Dove is supporting.  In this video it describes young girls’ self-concept, struggling with comparison, and a constant awareness of their “faults.”  It highlights how young girls take selfies in order to control their image.  They hide their big hair by wearing it back, they hide their double chin by taking pictures only in a certain light or at a certain angle, etc.  Instead of hiding these features, they are challenged to take the exact “selfie” that they intentionally avoid.  Let the hair down, show off your big smile, don’t wear makeup!

I thought this video was challenging, not just to young girls, but people everywhere.  Moms, Ladies, Girls, Dads, Men, Boys we all have something we are insecure about.  It may not be a body issue, but we all have something we desperately try to hide from the mocking world we live in.  Maybe Dove is right, maybe it is time to seize the social media market and put ourselves out there and redefine beauty.  But the BIGGEST goal, is to first rage that battle in ourselves.  We need to see our own beauty, the beauty God gave us.  We should not belittle His marvelous and perfect works of art.  We should not sell ourselves short, trading in our happiness for the world’s lies, our confidence for comparison.  Let us see the world the way God sees it.  With beauty, love, worth, purpose, and design.

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Question : What do you always hide in your pictures?

Challenge : Post a selfie that magnifies your uniqueness, that showcases what you don’t see in yourself.

Beauty has Become a Treatment

For the last three weeks I have been participating in a Beth Moore Bible study on the book of Esther at TroyNaz.  I’ll be honest, this is the first time I’ve given the book of Esther much of my time, and what a shame that was! Esther has proved to be a beautiful story of God’s unseen hand and deep profound love for His people.  It is rich with history, ironies, and applications.  Let me share with you one small snippet that hit me over the head with a deep recognition and familiarity to our culture today.

We will be looking at the portion where King Xerxes is looking for a new bride: Esther Chapter 2.

Then the king’s young men who attended him said, ‘Let beautiful young virgins be sought out for the king. And let the king appoint officers in all the provinces of his kingdom to gather all the beautiful young virgins to the harem in Susa the citadel, under custody of Hegai, the king’s eunuch, who is in charge of the women. Let their cosmetics be given them. And let the young woman who pleases the king be queen instead of Vashti.’

Now when the turn came for each young woman to go in to King Xerxes, after being twelve months under the regulations for the women, since this was the regular period of their beautifying, six months with oil of myrrh and six months with spices and ointments for women— when the young woman went in to the king in this way, she was given whatever she desired to take with her from the harem to the king’s palace.

Esther 2:2-4, 12-13

Let me recap… They gathered all the beautiful women.  These already beautiful women then had to go through a TWELVE MONTH beautification process including ointments, spices, and cosmetics.

Beth Moore states that beauty is no longer depicted as something you are, but something that you do.  The natural beauty gathered for the King wasn’t enough. Beauty is no longer a characteristic, but a treatment, it is what you do.  The Persian culture treated beauty this way, and sadly, so does today’s culture.

We can be gorgeous on the inside and out, but our culture today says that we can only be beautiful if we are a certain size, weight, wearing makeup, revealing ourselves, and have every inch Photoshopped.  Beauty is no longer just a treatment, it’s imaginary.  We can’t live up to photoshop, nor should we have to.  Why chase this false beauty?

Instead of looking at the mirror and judging our every bulge and pimple, we should look at the mirror and examine our hearts before God.  Instead of spending thirty minutes to an hour primping our hair, we should take the time to delve into God’s Word and fill our mind with TRUTH instead of these cultural lies.  Time spent on makeup, outfits, and accessories could be invested more wisely in the nurturing of the Fruits of the Spirit.

True beauty is defined by the characteristics God calls us to : “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,gentleness, self-control” Galatians 5:22-23

Easier said then done, right?  The first thing we have to do is believe it.  Redefine what beauty is in our own hearts.  Our physical beauty will always age and change, we can’t hold onto it for our own security… it’ll never be enough.  Where one flaw is covered, our eyes search and find the next.  Let’s root our beauty in what God’s eyes see.

He loved us so much that He humbled Himself – God became a man.  He humbled Himself further and died a cruel and painful death, taking our guilty sentence upon Himself so that we may go scott-free.  There is no love greater than Love, Himself… and He looks at us with that great overpowering love.

Why don’t we put God’s perspective on for size?  We can become overwhelmed in the tender love He offers, we can be rooted in His vision for us, and we can learn to treat ourselves with the respect He desires for us.