The Dove Real Beauty Sketches video has been floating around for the last week or so causing much discussion. Many women have found it extremely encouraging and at first glance, I did too. However, something just wasn’t sitting right with me about this video. (You can watch it here: Dove Real Beauty Sketches)
Before I state my concern about the video, let me say that I do think it is true that women do not see themselves as others see them and tend to describe themselves with less flattering language than others would. After all, we only ever see ourselves in a mirror image which is not the same way others see us, so it is bound to cause issues! The premise of the video is, “See, you are more beautiful than you think!” The implication being, you are more beautiful than you think because some one else thinks you are more beautiful. But here’s my issue…what if you are NOT more beautiful than you think? What if the description that the other person gives is LESS flattering, maybe less “beautiful” than your own description? Does this mean you should not respect yourself, love yourself, be kind to yourself? Does our physical beauty–as we define it or someone else defines it, determine our worth? our right to live unashamed of our body/face?
Do I want to look in the mirror and like what I see? YES. Do I want my husband to tell me I am beautiful to him? YES. But even when I do not like what I see in the mirror, even if I am not attractive to my husband’s standard or anyone else’s, I am still a person. I still have value as a human…I still deserve to be loved and respected.
I do not want to have my mood change based on what I see or what someone else sees when the look at me. I want my joy to be complete only in Christ. When I look at myself, I want to see myself as God sees me:
“But God told Samuel, “Looks aren’t everything. Don’t be impressed with his looks and stature. I’ve already eliminated him. God judges persons differently than humans do. Men and women look at the face; God looks into the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7
I want to focus on the way God describes me when He looks upon me. His opinion of me does not change based on my physical appearance. I can count on Him to give a true and lasting description of me. The more I gaze toward this “sketch” of me, the more I will reflect Him…the One who created beauty and ultimately defines it!
Let the king be enthralled by your beauty; honor him, for he is your lord! Psalm 45:11