Is Beauty Only Skin Deep?
I grew up in an educated, performance oriented family, and my insecurities in striving for perfection always bubbled close to the surface.
When I came across this video, it brought back a flood of memories of my need to be oh, so perfect.
Growing up, I was routinely comparing myself to others, I would subconsciously rate myself as either better than, equal to, or needing to improve! This rating found its way into every area of my life, including my personal appearance.
During my college years, I worked at a modeling agency in Phoenix. I competed in beauty pageants, winning a state pageant, and competing in a national pageant. I wanted my life to glorify the Lord during those years, yet often struggled with self-acceptance. While I knew that God wanted me to be the best I can be, He didn’t want me to make my external appearance the driving force in my life.
As I began to understand more about God’s unconditional love for me, I gradually began to relax in the freedom that brings. It’s not that my old desires left, but it became a daily process of learning how to manage them as I understand His definition of beauty. Proverbs 31:10-31 is where I began to focus:
The Woman Who Fears the Lord
10 An excellent wife who can find?
She is far more precious than jewels.
11 The heart of her husband trusts in her,
and he will have no lack of gain.
12 She does him good, and not harm,
all the days of her life.
13 She seeks wool and flax,
and works with willing hands.
14 She is like the ships of the merchant;
she brings her food from afar.
15 She rises while it is yet night
and provides food for her household
and portions for her maidens.
16 She considers a field and buys it;
with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.
17 She dresses herself with strength
and makes her arms strong.
18 She perceives that her merchandise is profitable.
Her lamp does not go out at night.
19 She puts her hands to the distaff,
and her hands hold the spindle.
20 She opens her hand to the poor
and reaches out her hands to the needy.
21 She is not afraid of snow for her household,
for all her household are clothed in scarlet.
22 She makes bed coverings for herself;
her clothing is fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is known in the gates
when he sits among the elders of the land.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them;
she delivers sashes to the merchant.
25 Strength and dignity are her clothing,
and she laughs at the time to come.
26 She opens her mouth with wisdom,
and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
27 She looks well to the ways of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children rise up and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many women have done excellently,
but you surpass them all.”
30 Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain,
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
31 Give her of the fruit of her hands,
and let her works praise her in the gates. 
I saw that only verse 30 referred to outward beauty. WOW!
The focus of the rest of that passage is on her trustworthiness, goodness, kindness, diligence, wisdom, strength, dignity, provision for her husband and family, and reaching out to the poor and less fortunate.
I wanted those attributes! God is always reminding me that external beauty lasts for a few years, but a beautiful heart, soul and spirit lasts for eternity!
Laurie Steen Killingworth
- ColbieCaillatVEVO. (2014). Retrieved March 17, 2016 from YouTube website: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GXoZLPSw8U8
- Proverbs 31. (2016). Bible Gateway. Retrieved March 17, 2016 from the Bible Gateway.com website: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Proverbs+31%3A10-31&version=ESV