One Direction may often be on repeat in my little granny flat. The song is catchy and lovely and makes me smile. Except for when I actually pay attention to the video. A song that’s about someone not knowing their beautiful, and that making them beautiful, well… apart from being an odd message… has a video with a woman in it who is probably a model. It fits into the same category as Bruno Mars’ “Just The Way You Are” and Jesse McCartney’s “Beautiful Soul” – sweet messages, but the video fits exactly into pop cultures idea of beautiful that the song when listened to by itself fights against the cultural image of beauty.
All this frustrates me. It should frustrate you too, if you have any investment in the self image of children, teenagers and anyone else. It should stir something up in you. What popular culture is teaching is, not surprisingly, the opposite of what the Bible teaches us about beauty.
I’m not going to talk about modesty. I’m sick of hearing about modesty on blogs – especially when it implies that women should always dress in a way that is intended to not tempt men, because if we’re dressing to not tempt men, then we’re still dressing to please men. How about we dress to please God, women? Can we do that? Is that okay?
That tangent aside… here is my point. Beauty is nothing to do with how you look. God’s concern is with the heart, and that is all through the Bible. What makes you beautiful isn’t not being aware that you’re beautiful… though, humility is beautiful. What makes you beautiful isn’t niceness.
What makes you worthy and beautiful and anything else good is God. It’s that simple. We aren’t innately good in and of ourselves – we’re broken people, who are made beautiful by the grace of the God who makes all things beautiful in their time. The obsession with physicality is insane. Why do I spend more time looking in the mirror than I do looking at the Word? Why do I spend more time putting on make up than I do in prayer?
Why do you do the same thing?
I’m praying that you don’t buy into the cultural lie about beauty – that you don’t get caught in the sweet sentimental songs with sexy videos. Enjoy the songs, yes, but don’t let them define you.
God makes you beautiful. And that will never change. Teach kids this. Teach teenagers this. Teach yourself this.