In a day when the images we see are all airbrushed and tweaked, many of us are beauty-blind- especially when it comes to looking at ourselves.
Dove’s Real Beauty Campaign
Dove did a “Real Beauty Campaign” over 10 years ago exploring how women view themselves. They had a forensic artist draw two pictures. One was based off of a woman describing herself. Another was based off of another person describing her. The difference was startling and met with a lot of tears.
I watched these videos for the first time while I was teaching an entrepreneurship and innovation class this summer. We were looking at marketing, and Dove’s approach in recent years. Their approach reached deep into the souls of women. Check out the video here.
Only 4% of Women Consider Themselves Beautiful
Dove’s research found that:
• Only 4% of women around the world consider themselves beautiful (up from 2% in 2004)
• Only 11% of girls globally are comfortable describing themselves as ‘beautiful’
• 72% of girls feel tremendous pressure to be beautiful
• 80% of women agree that every woman has something about her that is beautiful, but do not see their own beauty
• More than half of women globally (54%) agree that when it comes to how they look, they are their own worst beauty critic (This data was found at Dove’s website here)
Our Self-Perceptions Are Blind
Our self-perceptions are often very harsh and critical. This is not only when we look at our exterior beauty, but also when we look at our internal beauty- the ways that God has uniquely gifted us. He has given each of us a unique set of talents, spiritual gifts, experience, knowledge, and wisdom.
God has hand-crafted each of us. He hand-crafted the universe in all perfection. His design is incredible. The universe has been marred by sin for sure. He let us choose to love Him or not, and our choice for the latter brought a lot of imperfections into the universe.
Yes, we have sin. Yes, that is ugly. Yes, we deserve death and separation from God forever. But God loves us so much that He sent His only Son, not to condemn us, but to save us.
16 “For God so loved the world,[i] that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.
Let God Reclaim Our Beauty
When God makes us new in Him…when He gives us life, real life now and forever in relationship to Himself, He reclaims us forever. Maybe we need to let Him reclaim our view of ourselves as well.
Perhaps there is more to each of us inside and out that God would draw as incredibly beautiful. Yet, if we described ourselves, perhaps our drawings would be much less captivating.
And the Worst Part Is
And the worst part of it is that we let this hold us back. We underestimate the good God has crafted in designing us and the power God has to work through us, and we let that hold us back for the kingdom. We underestimate the God that delights in us and rejoices over us with singing (Zephaniah 3:17).
Maybe, if we saw ourselves more clearly and we saw God more clearly, perhaps we would carry a brighter smile. Perhaps our lives would radiate the knowledge of Him to a world desperate for real beauty.
Later this week, I’ll be posting on 1 Peter 3:3-4 and what Peter is talking about here when he mentions the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit. Stay tuned- you might be happily surprised :).
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Want More Like This?
I hope you are encouraged by my blog to engage deeply in the relationships that matter most to you, embrace wholly all that comes at you in life, and delight lavishly in the big and small. Here are some more that I hope encourage you:
Can you hear God whispering, “I love you!”?
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