I love most Dove commercials. If you haven’t seen any, I encourage you to check them out on youtube. I particularly like the one where the women were asked a simple question, ‘what don’t you like about your body?’ The answers came easy. Arms. Thighs. Boobs. Etc. One after the other they highlighted their least favorite feature. And then they were asked another question: what do you like about yourself? There they became tongue tied.
That commercial may be scripted and designed to appeal to our emotions but it captures the reality of most women nonetheless. I’m sure if I pose the same questions to you the timing of your responses might prove me right. Truth is, many of us are quick to point out our flaws than we are to highlight our good/great features. Have you ever wondered why?
Studies show that we humans are more likely to believe/accept negative ideas about ourselves especially when they come from those we trust including our parents, siblings or friends. That explains a lot don’t you think? Some mothers are still scarred, insecure and self conscious because of some physical ‘flaws’ their own moms, aunts or siblings brought to their attention at an early age. Others were teased as young girls/teenagers and those ideas have stuck since. Not to mention the media (movies, magazines, talk shows) has consistently tried to sell one idea of ‘beauty’ using specs (32-28-32?) that majority of us don’t fit…and so we’ve been made to think that something is wrong with us.
Consequently we’ve been conditioned to believe that we’d be ‘beautiful’ IF we were taller, IF our legs were longer, IF our boobs or hips were bigger/smaller or IF our eyelashes were just a little longer. Or that we’d be considered beautiful BUT for our nose, eyes, ears, skin color etc.
As a woman I must confess that I’ve had bouts of insecurities. I’d like to believe every woman has had one or two under her belt. For a long time, i didn’t consider myself beautiful. Smart, yes but not beautiful. You see as a young girl i was made to believe that the size and shape of your butt is the mark of beauty. If you know me/ have seen me, you’d know that I am not the most endowed in the booty department. In fact, i was often teased for how ‘flat’ i was, on all fronts. Before the timely intervention of puberty, i had nothing to flaunt. And so i grew up thinking that I’d be beautiful/complete if I had a bigger butt. I spent some years praying for God to increase the size of my butt. I really did. Evidently, God didn’t. I’m not exactly sure when it happened but I finally had my breakthrough. Maybe it was when Nelly and Kelly Rowland did that song … and people told me I looked like Kelly. Haha. It definitely didn’t happen overnight but God placed people in my life who helped me understand that the real me is the person within…my character. I’ve embraced me as a person since…I’ve learned how to dress for my body, but I’ve also learned how to appreciate God for every part of me. And so now it’s not uncommon for you to find me in front of a mirror thanking God for each part of my body including my non-protruding butt. It’s a part of who I am. I certainly can’t deny that. Most importantly, I’ve focused on building my character.
Enough about me. How about you? What are/were you insecure about/ what is holding you back? Maybe you were teased about your ‘sapo’ hair (harder-than-nut kinky hair), knack knee (knuckled-knees), crossed eyes, dark skin or your ‘flat chest’. Or maybe you have a secret desire/struggle/wish to be someone else …Stop wishing your life away! If that ‘flaw’ doesn’t incapacitate you, why incapacitate yourself by living in the shadows below your God-given potential? Listen. Maybe you haven’t realized this but YOU are NOT your hair, your legs, your hips or your boobs; YOU are more than the sum of your body parts. Has it ever occurred to you that God may have intentionally made you the way you are, imperfections and all, for a purpose? You were designed on purpose and GOD HAS GIVEN YOU ALL THAT YOU NEED TO BE THE PERSON YOU ARE MEANT TO BE. If you needed a bigger butt or boobs or lighter skin to fulfill your purpose, God would definitely have given it to you.
The sooner you realize this the better: You are beautiful, period! No ‘ifs’ or ‘buts’. Now focus on your character. Your physical beauty may attract people to you but it is your character that keeps them. Beauty fades but character is what remains and God is more interested in your character than anything else.
Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but the woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Prov 31:30
Daughter of the King