Beauty Is A World Language
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Beauty Is A World Language

Learning how to love myself after my trip to Peru

Beauty Is A World Language

Beauty, we all define it differently. Beauty to some people may be eyebrows that are "on point", or maybe slim thighs paired with toned arms. Beauty may change day to day as according to what the socially accepted ideas of it are at that time in the year. For some, beauty is shown by the kind of heart someone has. Often times, I think that the only ones who struggle with beauty are those who are constantly being surrounded by images of seemingly perfect people with perfect makeup and perfect bodies. However, that is definitely not the case. Recently, I traveled to a small town in Peru to help finish building an orphanage and help teach English. While I was there, I was blessed with the opportunity to work alongside some of the staff at the hospital. One case that really hurt my heart was that of a girl who had come in with severe stomach pains. It was thought to have been a possible overdose of some sort. One doctor that I was working with thought it may have been an attempted suicide. Here is what broke my heart, though. I asked what possible reason she would want to kill herself. It was then explained to me that she had a severe case of facial acne. Seeing as many women in Peru do not struggle with this problem, she probably felt as if she was not beautiful enough. That is when she probably decided to take her own life. She did not feel beautiful. A girl that was 5,300 miles away from me felt the same exact way that I do almost every morning. She felt ugly.

You know, beauty is a language that we so often feel that it only applies to the society we live in. We feel that it only has to do with teen girls, or women that are in a mid-life crisis. However, it is so much more than that. It is a concept that – if we do not feel it – can destroy our hope, self-esteem, and overall joy. I cannot count how many times I have cried over jeans that I could not slip in to, or the amount of acne that covered my face no matter what I did about it. I cannot count how many times I have stayed indoors just to avoid feeling so ugly in the midst of what I saw as a perfect society, but you know what? When I came face to face with that girl, all I wanted to do was grab her by the hand and speak truth into her life. I wanted to tell her that no matter what society shoves down her throat, she needed to value herself as being so much more than just a clear face. I needed her to know that she was loved, valued, and seen as a princess in the eyes of the only one whose opinion matters.

When I got back from Peru, I had gained weight. Let’s call it what it is. I ate too many starches and did not do enough running. I wore dresses for the first week because I was so disgusted with myself because none of my pants fit. I cried, I covered my mirrors, and I did not leave the house. It did not matter to me that God had worked in my heart, because my mind was on the fact that I felt that people would judge me because I had turned into what I viewed as a “busted can of biscuits”. Even today, I bought a bunch of large dresses and none of them fit; not even a single one. As I could feel my eyes welling up with tears, I began to speak hate into my own life. “You are too fat”, “How do you expect to go back to school like that”, “You are not going to be able to wear anything except maternity pants and large t-shirts”. Thoughts flooded my mind. The very thing I wanted to speak into the life of that girl is the very thing I needed to speak into my own life. “Maci, you are beautiful and that is not based on your thighs.” You know, no matter how you define beauty, it ultimately comes down to the beauty of your heart. Do you love people well? Do you serve people? Do you think about others as much as you think about yourself? Do not get me wrong, it is important to take care of your body with exercise and healthy eating, but do not let your body image become your only image. The last part of 1 Samuel 16:7 says this, “The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart." Next time you’re standing in front of your mirror, considering starving yourself or just disappearing from society, remember whose opinion matters. When you’re feeling like there is no one else in the world that understands, remember that girl in Peru. When you have given up hope and the tears come streaming down your face, remember you are loved, valued, and wanted. Love people well, serve the Lord, do your lunges and know that you are not alone, because beauty is a world language.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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