When I was a little girl, I wanted to grow up to be a ballerina, because to me, ballerinas were the epitome of beauty. With their elegant grace and elaborate tutus sparkling in the stage light. So when the opportunity to take ballet presented itself, I literally leaped at the chance. Through ballet I learned a lot of valuable life lessons about everything from dedication and prioritization, to friendship and beauty.
Even so, growing up in a dance culture creates a hyper awareness of your figure, which is emphasized by the form fitting leotard and tights you wear each day. As you dance, you watch yourself in the mirror analyzing every move to make sure you are flawless. With such a focus on how your body looks, it’s surprising that you don’t have an eating disorder, like so many girls who struggle with their appearance.
Every girl longs to be seen as beautiful. Yet in our culture, we are constantly bombarded with messages hinting that somehow, we in and of ourselves, aren’t beautiful enough. That somehow we are missing something to make us truly beautiful… But if you wear this outfit you will be gorgeous or if you get this new mascara you’ll be noticed for sure. Sadly, due to our insecurities we buy into these lies, which have shaped our view of what beauty is for far too long. Yet without this distorted view of beauty, what does true beauty even look like?
Beauty cannot be confined to a single age, race, or ethnicity. For beauty is found in that mischievous sparkle in someone’s eye when they look at you. In that smile that lights up their entire face, and the joy springing from their footsteps as they walk by. All of which emanates from the inside.
I ran across a quote the other day that I found to be very thought-provoking. “Imagine a mirror that could reveal your personality. Would you dare look?” Honestly, this is a scary idea, because what it insinuates is that we would be completely exposed and vulnerable, unable to hide behind the facades we create. We would be seen as we truly are.
Inner beauty takes time to see, but is revealed through our actions. On the other hand, outer beauty is more obvious, yet reveals no depth of character. According to Glamour magazine, it takes the average woman 1 hour and 10 minutes to get ready each morning. Crazy! This includes showering, make-up, hair, and trying on different outfit combinations to be ready to take on the day. Of course it’s important to try to look our best, but I would encourage you to start investing more time and energy on inner beauty, which will not fade. Imagine the impact you could have on those around you…
“Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. 1 Peter 3:3-4