In the last post, we began to discuss how we receive images of ourselves and of beauty from culture and from our CREATOR. It is up to us to choose which ones we will upload to our “permanent profile”.
First, let’s take a look at what culture says about beauty and how these definitions can affect the image we have of ourselves.
Two things to consider when looking at culture’s definition of beauty is that according to our culture:
1. Beauty is physical. We see images all of the time of the types of bodies that are considered “beautiful”, what shapes are considered more lovely. There are creams and make up designed to make us “younger and more beautiful looking”. We buy clothes in hopes of looking beautiful in them. We tweeze, paint, crunch and squat our way to a look that we have been made to understand as more beautiful than our own.
2. Beauty is subjective. “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder”, a quote attributed to playwrights and even a Muppet! Although beauty in the eye of the culture is mostly physical, it is also dependent on situations within the culture. Throughout history, the physical ideal of beauty has changed based on the current events in the culture. During times when the ability to bear children was considered of the utmost importance when considering potential mates, women with rounded bellies and hips were thought of as more beautiful than their waif like counterparts. When many young men were sent off to fight in the first World War, the ideal female physique was lean and shapeless..no curves in the hips or bosom. Now, with our global culture, there are several different “beautiful shapes” to be sure, but even those are constantly being altered. Almost every magazine discusses building up one area of the body or decreasing the other. Have tone, but not bulky muscle, have tight glutes but not a big butt, get a tan but be careful not to get burned!
All of these mixed messages, changing shapes, make it impossible to obtain culture’s ideal of beauty. Whenever we are “tagged” or compared to a physical, uniform ideal of beauty that is based on subjective criteria that is continuously changing…we need to “untag” ourselves. Delete these images of what beauty is/is not from our profile.
Do you want to feel beautiful? To know you are beautiful? Sure, we all do. But seeking culture’s input in this area is not going to give us that image we so desire. To find our picture perfect image, we must look to the one who set up the image, who captured our beauty in it, and who has written our name on it. We must untag ourselves from the Culture and “friend” the CREATOR.
In our next blog, we will look at how the CREATOR defines beauty and how we obtain the picture perfect image that He designed for us.