This post was written by author, speaker, podcaster, and co-founder of Girl Defined Ministries, Bethany Beal, who has written several books for young women. I’ve consumed so much content from Girl Defined over the years and can’t wait for you to read this post written by its co-founder! This post, just like Girl Defined Ministries as a whole, shows girls the truth about their God-given identity.
I wasn’t trained. I wasn’t taught. I just knew. I doubled up on the mascara, slathered on the lip gloss, and posed for the camera. Eyes with a look of longing, lips slightly puckered, and fingers gently tugging on a few strands of hair.
The wind blew perfectly. My photographer snapped the pictures. In my mind, I was modeling for the cover of a famous magazine on top of the Eiffel Tower. My adoring fans would be waiting at the bottom of the tower hoping to catch a glimpse of me—or maybe if they were lucky, they would get my autograph.
I hate to admit this, but I was a far cry from the Eiffel Tower. Or the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Or any tower really. I was actually just a teenage girl on top of my roof, in my backyard, with my little sister snapping pictures. My biggest fan was the stinky dog hoping to snatch a treat from me on the way down the rickety ladder. Looking back, I can’t help but laugh at what my neighbors must have thought when they say a tall blonde teenager, decked out in bling, attempting to pose like a world-famous model while taking photos on the roof of her own house.
In that moment on the roof, I wouldn’t have admitted that I was extremely insecure about my body and outward appearance, but I was. I wasn’t blind. I saw the women in the magazines, and I knew they were chosen for a reason. I knew I didn’t measure up to their seemingly perfectly air-brushed standard of beauty.
But I hoped. I dreamed. I wondered if I might get a little bit of the attention and affirmation I wanted if I simply copied their poses and showed off my pictures via social media.
My strategy worked initially. The likes rolled in, and the comments were full of praise. But it only lasted for about 24 hours before it faded. People moved on to the next thing, and I suddenly become yesterday’s “pretty picture”—completely irrelevant.
I lay in bed alone, with my makeup removed, acne on display, messy hair, and lips that would never be big enough to be considered “pretty.” My insecurities began to overtake my mind.
“If only I were prettier, then I would be happy.”
“If only I had a better nose, then I would be beautiful.”
“If only I were skinnier, then I would be worth something.”
“If only my lips were fuller, then I would be valuable.”
“If only I were a little bit shorter (because I’m 6 feet, 1 inch tall), then I would fit in”
But there were some essential biblical truths that I needed to fill my mind with instead of those vicious lies:
Truth #1: God Designed Me, So He Defines My Worth.
God is the only One with the authority to say what makes you valuable because He is your Creator and Maker. No one else (culture, Hollywood, friends, or social media) has the right to say what gives you worth.
For you [God] formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. (Psalm 139:13-15 ESV)
These verses say that God was forming you before you even knew it. While you were a tiny baby inside your mom, the God of the universe was designing everything about you!
Truth #2: God Handcrafted Me to Look Just the Way I Do.
God designed you on purpose. He gave you your beautiful eye color. He made you exactly the right height. He gave you the perfect nose, skin, etc.
You weren’t an accident or a mistake, and nothing about you is either! It’s time to say “no” to the lip fillers and nose jobs that make every face look the same. There is no lasting joy in trying to be someone else, so choose to give thanks for God’s diverse design in making every single body uniquely beautiful.
Truth #3: I Was Created for God’s Glory.
We live in a selfie generation where we airbrush our pictures to look like other people. But we weren’t created to bring glory to ourselves. We were created to bring glory to God.
I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart, and I will glorify your name forever. (Psalm 86:12 ESV)
When you start your day with your focus on bringing glory to God’s name instead of your own, it changes everything. You won’t have time to obsess about yourself. Your focus will be on pointing others to God, not to yourself—including your body.
There is no lasting fulfillment in living for the approval of others because people’s opinions change, and so does the world’s standard of beauty. If you look to other people to find worth, you will always be chasing their approval. Instead, look to Christ. His Word says that “a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised” (Proverbs 31:30 ESV). Spend your energy becoming that kind of woman—a woman who doesn’t find her worth in her fading looks but who finds her worth in the God who created her.
Bethany Beal is head-over-heels in love with her best friend and husband, David, and is the super proud mommy of Davey Jr. She is the cofounder of Girl Defined Ministries (www.girldefined.com) and the author of Girl Defined: God’s Radical Design for Beauty, Femininity and Identity. She is passionate about spreading the truth of biblical womanhood through writing, speaking, and mentoring young women. To her family and close friends, she is simply a tall blonde girl who is obsessed with iced lattes and can’t get enough of her sweet baby Davey Jr.