Beating the beauty epidemic

Beat the beauty epidemic Photo used under Creative Commons license
Beat the beauty epidemic
Photo used under Creative Commons license

Summer Howard, Staff Writer

   There is an epidemic sweeping the nation’s women: it is called the American Beauty Standard. Being constantly bombarded by pictures of perfectly tanned, perfectly proportioned models, women of all ages are getting the message from American society that in order to be loved and successful, one must have a flawless complexion, a rail-thin body, a radiant smile and bleach-blonde hair. This epidemic is causing many women to strive to reach these impossible standards and, in some cases, causes self-esteem issues, anxiety and health problems such as anorexia and bulimia. Just like SNU’s attempts to remind our female population that God sees us as beautiful, I want to share some wisdom on how to make sure the mirror never tells you a lie again.

   I am sure that the majority of women, by the time they reach college, understand how fake many of the made-up ladies are in the entertainment industry. I mean, we all know how ridiculously thin you have to be to land a job for a prominent modeling company, otherwise you’re considered “plus sized.” Still, a lot of us (myself included) feel as if we need to conform to what is seen as “pretty;” if we just lose ten pounds, get a whiter smile or use this type of makeup, we will magically be transformed from ordinary to stunning. But, let’s face it, girls: those expectations aren’t realistic.

   What is realistic is the fact that God made us all in His image. That means none of us are ugly; if God is perfect, then you were perfectly made. You don’t need makeup for God to think you’re His beautiful daughter. What God sees as a beautiful woman has nothing to do with appearance. Proverbs 31 says that women who “fear the Lord” are dressed in “strength and dignity” and should “be praised” (ESV). You have no need to worry about what the mirror thinks of you; the strength and dignity that God gives you will help others see your true beauty—your heart’s goodness.

   Now, don’t get me wrong; I’m not saying that you can’t wear makeup, have tan skin, be fit or dye your hair. What I am saying is that when you put on makeup or dye your hair, don’t use these standards of American society to conform to the beauty epidemic or to get a guy. Use them because you want to have fun. Use them because you want to show the world your personality and your confidence in yourself. Most importantly, use them to declare you are a loved daughter of God and you are beautiful exactly the way you are.