We are all born with a healthy sense of self, but at a very early age, we begin to form opinions (positive and negative) about ourselves based on words, behaviors, and expectations directed at us by others.
In a recent Dove research report, “The Real Truth About Beauty: Revisited,” it is reported that:
- Only 4% of women around the world consider themselves beautiful.
- Only 11% of girls globally are comfortable describing themselves as “beautiful.”
- 72% of girls feel tremendous pressure to be beautiful.
- 80% of women agree that every woman has something about her that is beautiful but do not see their own beauty.
- More than half (54%) of women globally agree that when it comes to how they look, they are their own worst beauty critic.
As a young girl, I was constantly teased about my weight. Needless to say, I never thought of myself as beautiful. The name calling and negative words chipped away at my self-esteem. However, I thank God that He did not allow others’ opinions to defeat me. I began to read the Bible to see what His Word had to say about me, and this began to change what I thought about myself. I had to renew my mind daily by only speaking and thinking positive thoughts. I would not – and still don’t – dwell on others’ or my own negativity.
I thank God that through His Word, I learned to love myself, regardless of my size. I now realize that God created me, and He does not create junk. I am comfortable with the fact that I will never be a stuntwoman for Halle Berry or Julia Roberts; that is not my calling. However, I am still “wonderfully made – absolutely marvelous (Psalm 139:14),” and so are you!
Begin to develop a positive relationship with the way you look. Decide to reject every insult and negative comment that’s hurled your way. Be your own kind of beautiful. Stand in the mirror each morning and instead of picking out all of the things “wrong” with your looks, simply say to yourself, “You are marvelous!” This simple exercise will lead to an increase in confidence and self-esteem that will affect not only your appearance but also your behavior and performance.
What did you think about your appearance as a very young girl, and what do you think about your appearance now? Who or what helped to form those thoughts? Is it difficult for you to greet yourself with the “You are marvelous!” declaration? Why or why not?