“And the beauty of a woman, with passing years only grows!”
When I watch television, I’m struck by the commercials that bombard our minds. Advertisers use young attractive women to sell everything from toothpaste to cars. The message is clear—if you want to be one of the beautiful people, then you’ll use our product. A culture of youth in which everyone is expected to look like the “twenty somethings” is being thrust upon us. Advertisers spend billions of dollars each year trying to influence women, and influence they do!
According to The Economist, Americans spend more on beauty (cosmetics, surgery, dieting, etc.) than on education! More and more women are opting for surgical procedures to change their outward appearance. In 2015, the ASAPS reported over 13.5 billion dollars spent on aesthetic plastic surgery—an increase from 2014 of about 1.5 billion. From 2014–2015, more than 2.2 million cosmetic surgical and non-surgical procedures were performed in the United States; 90.5 percent of these surgeries were performed on women. The fact is cosmetic procedures performed on women has increased by 538 percent since 1997. The advertisers are selling their brand of beauty, and the plastic surgeons are happy to help us achieve it.
We, as Godly women, have to be careful not to take the bait.
Of course all women want to look their best. We want to be sure that our hair is neat and in a complimentary style. After all God says that our hair is our glory (1 Corinthians 11:15). We want to wear attractive clothes that exemplify God’s standards for modesty. This can be a tall order in today’s society because so many of the clothing choices we find at the department stores just aren’t suitable. You may find that the classic styles are still available in the better department stores. The clothes may cost a little more; but the investment will pay for itself over time as the style changes very little, and you won’t have to make new purchases as often. Adding a little make-up, if you’re so inclined, can be just the right touch to finish our look. Spending a little time to properly adorn ourselves is befitting a woman of God; however, spending too much time on how we look can be a sign of vanity.
If you are not pleased with how you look, perhaps even without knowing it, you’ve been exposed to too many advertisements marketing an unrealistic view of what women should look like. Researchers have found that women who are constantly exposed to the media’s view of an “ideal” body image are less likely to be satisfied with their own image. As we age our bodies change; this is a normal progression of life. What we look like when we’re 8 is quite different from 18, and what we look like when we’re 30 is quite different when we turn 50 or 60. This one truism could free millions of women from self-imposed mental anguish and help them to live healthier happier lives.
Truthfully, all women of any age can be beautiful if God’s word is used as the standard for judging beauty. “Do not let your adornment be merely outward—arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel—rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God,” (1 Peter 3:3–4). Godly women should be lights to the world (Matthew 5:16) exemplifying true womanhood in contrast to the false images portrayed in the media. People should see that we are different! While we want to take care of our physical appearance, let us concentrate on developing the inner person and be precious in God’s sight. Let’s all be beautiful!
“Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.”