We’re all His beautiful image.
The moment you’re conceived you are beauty. Whether you’re young or old, thick or thin, healthy or sick, you’re beauty. Beauty isn’t subjective, beauty is innate. Beauty is as God is, unchanging, everlasting and limitless.
So, why is it damaging to continue using the words “beauty” and “attractiveness” interchangeably? Because when we equate the beauty of another human being to where they fall on our subjective scale of attractiveness, then we continue to deny God’s beautiful image. We cheapen the grand beauty that is coded into every human soul.
As long as we focus on attractiveness, we will miss true beauty.
I spend my Fridays writing, and I like to take my laptop and sit in the lobby or veranda of my favorite local resort. Since its summer, I see lots and lots of people in their bathing suits. And, even in the most modest swimwear, I get a revealing peek at their body type.
Mostly, people are relaxed, happy and comfortable as they walk back and forth to the resort pool. I love to watch them. I see how they move and how they smile. I notice their hair, their eyes, and the shape of their mouths. I watch how their skin, in every shade imaginable, stretches tight, or hangs loosely over muscles and flesh. I can’t help but feel their electricity; the life, like a porch light, behind their eyes. I look at all their bodies… angular and curved, gangly and compact, large and small, and the longer I look, the less I see what makes them look different. I stop seeing them through the lens of attractiveness. I start seeing their beauty. When I really look, I see the echo of the Creator’s beauty that vibrates through their every pore.
Would you like to end self-loathing and objectification? Would you like to bankrupt the porn industry? Wouldn’t you love to see what our world would be like without the collective struggle against negative body image? Then we must all stop pursuing beauty because we already possess it. Sure, be healthy. Sure, take care of your body. Sure, eat well. Shave or don’t, exercise or don’t, nip/tuck/enhance or don’t, paint your hair/skin/nails or don’t, wear couture or don’t, but do it in the name of health, taste, preference and whatever you find attractive. Don’t do it in the name of beauty, since you can’t be any more beautiful than you already are! And, no matter how you look, how you age, or how your size changes, you’ll never be any less beautiful than the reflection you are of Beauty Himself.
Stop chasing what you already have! Stop looking at other people through the fickle lens of attractiveness. That lens objectifies. That lens judges. That lens lusts. That lens, to our detriment, distracts us from what is more extraordinary: God’s pervasive, eternal beauty mirrored by us, His image-bearers.