And God created man in his own image, male and female he created them. Gen 1:27
21st Century Beauty
Less than one in ten are completely happy with their physical appearance. If given a choice, most of us would rather look different from what we do. This truth is reflected in the booming beauty industry which is more than $200 billion. According to a study, (cited in mail online article) an average woman spends more than $15,000 (Rs 10 lakh) and close to two years of her lifetime doing her makeup. The beauty industry is even known to be resistant during economic downturns – faring well during the Great Recession of 2008.
Attractiveness is equated to success in these modern times. But some go to the extent of letting their looks spoil their entire life. People even attempt crazy things to look just perfect. There are even deaths reported when people go under a knife to change their looks through plastic surgery or advanced beauty therapy.
Why do we crave to look beautiful?
There are many reasons. Some of the top reasons that come to my mind are (not in any particular order)
- Peer Pressure
- Role Models
Where is the Beast?
In the well-known fairy tale “Beauty and the Beast” story, we find beauty masked in the form of a beast. However in real life, the story is different, it is quite the opposite. We do everything possible to hide our inner beast using various beauty masks.
Charles William Eliot was born in 1834 with a severe facial disfigurement. Back in those days, people didn’t know how to correct such deformities. One day, when he was old enough to understand, his mother took him aside and said, “My son, it is not possible for you to get rid of this handicap, but it is possible for you, with God’s help to grow a mind and soul so big that people will forget to look at your face.” What a wise mother!.
Charles took these words to heart, Instead of dwelling on his misfortune and wishing he had better looks, developed his intellectual and spiritual gifts. He became and educator and leader in public affairs. At the age of 35, he was elected president of Harvard University, a position he held for 40 years. When he retired, he had elevated Harvard to world renown. During his later years, he was looked up not only in educational matters but in political, industrial, social and spiritual matters.
God does not view things the way men do. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart. 1 Sam 16:7 (NET).
There is nothing wrong with wanting to improve our physical appearance and to look beautiful. Luckily today, many of the disfigurement can be corrected using advanced plastic surgery techniques. However, if our looks are not repugnant and yet seek cosmetic improvement, perhaps we should ask ourselves, what is my motive?
Whom do we please daily? Man or God – the choice is ours. While people can judge us based on what we display, God alone is empowered to look at our outside and inside. However, his appreciation is rather based on what we are made of. What is inside is more important than outside – Matt 23:27,28 and 1 Peter 3:3,4.
Let us take a minute to answer this important question – Is the hidden person of my heart drawing the attention of others to Christ?
(A Gospel Summary post. Don’t miss our other gospel articles under Gospel Summary – Mini Musings).