Like most people, I had a pretty intense awkward stage. And middle school is quite possibly the worst time to hit that stage. The funny thing about caring about your looks is the fact that we don’t really care for the boys—we care about impressing other girls.
And I definitely played into that desire.
My entire life was centered around impressing my friends. I wanted to be the skinniest; I wanted to have the cutest style; I wanted to have the most boys chasing after me. My foremost desire was to compete—and win—in the beauty war against my friends.
Young girls are vicious. Maybe it has something to do with experiencing hormones for the first time, and most of it has to do with the fact that we live in a fallen world. Either way, the truth of the Gospel can easily become lost in trying to find your self worth in beauty.
Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear—but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.
In order to accomplish my goals, I tormented my body. I over worked and undernourished it, and I told myself I wasn’t good enough still. I was so concerned with myself that I didn’t care about others. I lost my love for the people around me, seeing myself as the most important. And that definitely translated to my attitude.
You see, the world’s definition of beauty is a lie.
We are told that we have to be a certain size to be successful. We are told that there is a certain shade of skin that is ideal. That our hair has to be long and luscious for a boy to look twice. And if we do not meet these requirements, we are not good enough.
Then after we get there, there will always be something to fix: more weight to lose, more clothes to buy, more makeup to plaster on.
But those things will never satisfy.
Peter provides a very blunt response to our obsession with outward appearance. He explains that doing things to draw attention to ourselves such as adorning our outward appearance is not pleasing in the eyes of the Lord. He doesn’t mean we literally can’t braid our hear or wear gold. He means that with every action we take to glorify ourselves, we lose focus on the One who truly matters.
And that One is concerned with our inner beauty.
And that spirit, my friends, is one that is precious to our Father. When we try to resemble His Son, we stop caring what people think. We start focusing on spreading the glorification of our God. That is what He desires for us. He desires to give us the truest, best kind of beauty. The kind that looks like Jesus.