I was in my favorite Christian bookstore in town and ran across "Beauty Begins: Making Peace With Your Reflection". When I read the title and the back of the book, I knew I needed to read this book. I even said out loud "um yep". It spoke directly to those recent scenarios I'd been walking through.
I want you to read the book, so I'm not going to get too much into it, but this one quote: "Beauty is eternal. Pretty is only temporary." was big. The authors took some time to go back into history and describe what beauty was at certain points in history and it was eye opening to me.
1900s = buxom and curvy hips
1920s = trim figure for flapper dresses
1930s = longer hem lines and curves returned
1940s = voluptuous was the shape to welcome home war heroes
1950s = voluptuous was still "in" (Marilyn Monroe)
1960s = the miniskirt was introduced
1970s and 1980s = just strange
1990s = super skinny
early 2000s = extreme exercise and dieting with a shape hard to maintain
(source: "Beauty Begins" page 12 and 13)
When I read through these, my eyes were opened to the fact that beauty has changed so much. The authors even talked about the women in the Middle Ages were considered pretty if they were "large and pale". They were considered "unattractive if thin and tan" because it meant she was wealthy and had plenty of food, not having to work in the fields and hot sun.
Yes, fashion has changed over the years, but so has "pretty". Pretty is ever changing! It was this light bulb type moment for me where I realized we can work so hard to look a certain way and "fit in" with what is considered pretty, and it could change in 10 years! I feel like it's starting to change even now.
God made my body the way it is. Yes, I need to steward it well and fuel it properly to be able to live the life He's blessed me with. And yes, I feel 100% better both physically and emotionally when I eat well and exercise. But focusing too much on "pretty" is a problem I was convicted of breaking in myself. Obviously, I'm not perfect and it's an ongoing journey I'm on, but it was a big starting point to really look at everything different moving forward.
Beauty is eternal. Pretty is temporary. "The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart." 1 Samuel 16:7 Let's not focus so much on what's considered pretty. It could change in an instant! Focus on your inner beauty - your heart for Jesus. THAT is what God sees as beauty and that has to be our standard.
To get a copy of the book, snag it on Amazon (this isn’t an affiliated link, I make no money on this): https://www.amazon.com/Beauty-Begins-Making-Peace-Reflection/dp/1601427298/ref=sr_1_1?crid=19BQSG1DYBB62&keywords=beauty+begins+making+peace&qid=1551646701&s=hpc&sprefix=beauty+begins%2Chpc%2C171&sr=1-1-catcorr