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Real Beauty…Really? A Response to the Dove Beauty Sketches Video

By Morgann Green
 As many of you may have seen, there has been a video produced by Dove gracing the pages of our Facebook news feed in recent days.  As part of Dove’s “Real Beauty Campaign”, they have spent time and money trying hard to communicate the message that “you are more beautiful than you think.”  Though I believe their motives to be positive, I’d like to offer what I find to be a Biblical perspective on the issue.

After watching the most recent Dove Real Beauty Sketches video, I found myself staring at the screen and wondering why it just didn’t sit well with me.  I had seen so many of my friends re-post the video on their Facebook raving about how impactful it had been to them.  But it wasn’t to me.  I wrestled with why I was sad, disturbed and angry at what I had just seen.  And then it hit me.
 “The LORD does not look at the things that people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7b.

 (Now, I realize that this verse is in reference to the anointing of a king in Old Testament times.  However, the God’s word truly is timeless, and we see this timeless principle exemplified in Scripture over and over again in reference to other things.)

 The truth is that we should not find our worth in what other people think about us.  How other people view us should have no impact on our perceived worth.  One of the most heartbreaking things to me was when the women were describing how they viewed themselves.  Some of the words and phrases that were used were “fat”, “older”, “more freckled” and “a pretty big forehead.”  When these same women were described by other people, the words that were used were, “she was thin so you could see her cheek bones, and her chin was a nice thin chin”; “She had blue eyes…very nice blue eyes”. 

Do you know what broke my heart about this?  It’s not the fact that the women saw themselves differently.  It is the implied meaning that they saw themselves as ugly, that “fat”, “older” and “more freckled” are ugly.  Because clearly, they were seen as “more beautiful” by other people. 
This absolutely cannot be true.  It cannot.  That’s where the wisdom of the Bible comes into play:
“Do not adorn yourselves outwardly by braiding your hair, and by wearing gold ornaments or fine clothing; rather let your adornment be the inner self with the lasting beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in God’s sight.” 1 Peter 3:3-4

The Bible speaks so clearly that our outward appearance is not what matters.  Surely, we are to take care of ourselves, as we are temples of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).  But we are not to be obsessed about what other people think, and we are not to even be concerned with what we think.
The Dove video ends with this quote, “I should be more grateful for my natural beauty.  It impacts the choices and friends that we make, the jobs we apply for, how we treat our children, it impacts everything.  It couldn’t be more critical to our happiness.”  Is this really true?

Proverbs 31 says that a beautiful woman earns the trust of her husband (vs. 1).
Proverbs 31 say that a beautiful woman is willing to be useful with her time and talents (vs. 13-14).
Proverbs 31 says that a beautiful woman clothes herself in strength and dignity (vs. 17).
Proverbs 31 says that a beautiful woman speaks wisdom (vs. 26).
Proverbs 31 says that a beautiful woman watches over her household and raises her children well (vs. 27-28).
Proverbs 31 says that “Charm is deceitful, and beauty is in vain, but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised” (vs. 30). 

Being beautiful has nothing to do with your appearance, either how you see yourself or how others see you.  It has everything to do with who God has made you to be.
And the reality is that whether you are thin or fat, whether you have a wide chin or a tiny chin, whether your eyes are blue or brown, whether your skin is light or dark…
God has made you beautiful.   Absolutely, beautiful.
How will you live in light of the Real Beauty that God has given you?

About the Author
Morgann Green is 21 years old and lives in Seattle, WA.  She loves to go for walks, hymns, camping, and hiking.  Morgann works as a full-time faith-supported missionary for Youth Missions International.  She is engaged to a wonderful man and they are getting married on August 10, 2013.

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