In preparation for a workshop on beauty, I sent out a survey to 100 women between the ages of 13 and 65. When calculating the results, unfortunately, I wasn’t at all surprised by the answers.
I found it interesting that more than half of the women who responded with “Yes” to the question, “Is beauty important for your overall happiness?” apologized for it saying that they knew it was bad to make beauty a priority. Every one of them claims to be a christian. If you look just three questions before that, the #1 answer when asked “What do you think of when you hear the word beauty?” is “Nature, God, Creation.” What is there to feel guilty about or apologize for?
Clearly there is a vast difference between our definition of beauty and what we think God says about beauty. Why is that? Do you think God cares about beauty? Why or why not?
Results for “Beauty Undefined”
What do you like most about your appearance?
What do you like least about your appearance?
What is the one thing you would change about your physical appearance?
#1 Thinner/More toned overall
What is the first thing you see when you look in the mirror?
(A 13 yr. old responded with, “I see God’s creation! Wow!)
What do you think of when you hear the word beauty?
#1 Nature, God, Creation
#2 Supermodel, Actress (Tall,thin, perfect hair and face)
#3 Inner beauty
What makes you feel beautiful?
#1 Dressing Up
#2 Affirmation (mainly from strangers)
(A 21 year old responded that she has never felt beautiful.)
Has your dad ever said you are beautiful?
Is beauty important for your overall happiness?
How old were you when you remember first feeling self conscious?
#1 12 years old
#2 8 years old
#3 5 years old
Do the women in your life make you feel valued?
What would you tell the 5 year old you if you could go back and tell her anything?
- Don’t listen to what others think, don’t let it dictate what you think of yourself.
- You are going to be told A LOT about beauty and how to be beautiful. As hard as it may be, focus on the fact that God made you beautiful and that’s all that matters! God’s love is more important than anything else.
- Find your beauty by looking inside not outside. True beauty starts in the heart and works it’s way out.
- You’re beautiful no matter what!
- Be true to yourself.
- Cultivate a lifestyle of health.
- People are too concerned about themselves to notice all of your flaws.
- Feel beautiful for yourself on your terms. If you do it for someone else, they will take it with them when they leave.
- Beauty comes from how you live and treat others. Some of the most beautiful people I know laugh a lot.
- Love yourself first, be confident!
- This will pass and you will be fine.
- Don’t listen to the lies.
This is the 2nd post in a series of posts about beauty and body image. There will be a new post every Thursday about this subject. If you would like to join in the discussion, let me hear from you. All submissions can remain anonymous when posted by contacting me here or you may leave a comment in the section below. If you would like a pdf copy of these results, click here.