An old friend of mine blogged this a little while ago. A beautiful post that spoke to so much of what I think women fundamentally struggle with. Myself included.
Besides the fact that Adria writes a beautiful blog (like I've said already), the issue is so poignant. What would happen to our attitudes if we took ownership of our bodies and looks? And I don't mean ownership in an arrogant and self-important way but in a humble, thankful, grateful way.
Conservative Christian circles are full of the virtues of the Proverbs 31 woman and Titus 2. Helpful Scriptures, definitely. However, they seem to avoid the issue of the physical appearance of women. And that is inherently part of who we are. The Bible passages that do deal with "physical" appearance come from 1 Peter and don't really talk about what is and is not ok too explicitly.
Regardless of the standard of modesty that you subscribe to, all human beings need to feel valued. That value comes on many levels - emotional, intellectual, spiritual, and physical. As women, one of our most insecure levels is physical. The cliche question, "Does this dress make me look fat?", is played out over and over again with varying results among different groups. But regardless of the discussion, the underlying assumption is the most dangerous. The assumption is that a woman has to ask someone else for affirmation for her appearance and the implication to the question is that the woman is inclined to be "ugly."
While 1 Peter addresses a lot of things about relationships and women, I think one of the most important things that it says about women is that your beauty not merely be in the outward adornments but also the inner person. So here is a question: what if both the inner and outer persons are connected? If you look in the mirror and are able to say of yourself that you are a beautiful woman, would you not also be able to graciously, mercifully, lovingly, tell someone else that they are valuable too? You must accept that you are worth something in the eyes of our Savior (1 Peter 3:5-6) so that you may minister to others.
So what if we changed our perception, our attitude? And did what my friend Adria did. Look in the mirror and realize that once in a while, even if it is only once in a while, you are beautiful. You were created beautiful. You can own that beauty and have confidence that your beauty is internal and external.