Are You Beautiful?

Today’s topic is inspired by my little sister. She’s darling. That’s all there is to it. Unfortunately, she’s experiencing the universe of junior high school where everything is ruled by social status, appearance, and being up-to-date on the latest technology. For her and all of the girls her age they are socially expected to be the beautiful, perfect image of a blond, tall, size 2 girl. But not all of us fit the bill.

Ladies, we need to embrace our bodies no mater what age we are! They are beautiful just the way they are. Who’s to say that a girl with the curves and works isn’t beautiful? Just because she can’t pull off a little poke-a-dot bikini doesn’t mean that she isn’t beautiful.

“Beautiful” is a term that’s used very causally on a daily basis.  We have artists like Miley Cyrus, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, P!nk, Ke$ha, Rihanna, Fergie, and more that demand for girls lower their standards and because being beautiful, dirty, and rich is the “thing” to do. Lady Gaga’s “Beautiful, Dirty, Rich” proves it. Her song tells the young women to become sleazy and carefree about their lives.

This is completely unacceptable!

Our calling as leaders, sisters, brothers, friends, fathers, mothers, nieces, nephews, uncles, and daughters is to uphold womanhood. You don’t have to be beautiful, dirty, and rich to fit into the crowd. Heck, you can be normal and still be beautiful.Reality check: The average American 15 year-old girl is 134 lbs. Some would call her “fat” while others would call her “over-weight” or even worse: “obese.” Calling someone fat, over-weight, and even obese is the most hurtful way society uses to deteriorate someone’s self-worth. Growing up as a Mormon living in Utah for most of my life, I can constantly remember primary, activity day, young women, and girls camp leaders saying, “You’re body is a temple.” Meaning, our bodies should be treated with the most respect because they are created by our Heavenly Father and are sacred.

I never really paid attention to my size and what I wore until my junior year of high school. It’s not that I didn’t take care of myself because I did and I still do. But let’s be honest here, it didn’t occur to me that I had to be “in” to be considered pretty or beautiful or whatever word you want to use. I can remember longing to fit in the American Eagle jeans and Hollister shirts but they never did fit just right because I’ve never been skinny. I remember going to Kohl’s and buying a size 13 pair of jeans because I didn’t fit into my size 9 jeans anymore. I remember feeling horrible about myself during the ride home. I remember putting the size 13 jeans on and thinking to myself, “I’m fat!” That was mistake number one: I wasn’t treating my body like a temple. Mistake number two: I looked up what my weight was supposed to be on Google.

Mistake number three: I tried to be someone that I wasn’t. I was in the 9th grade when I was wearing my size 13 jeans. I decided that I had to lose weight and I had to do it fast because I was starting high school next year. So I did something insane: I joined the high school swim team. I started to hang out with the kids who were into the clothes, boys, technology, and more. I started to become someone that I wasn’t. I thought I was happy but deep down I knew I wasn’t. I had convinced myself that I had to be even more skinny than what I was. That caused major problems because I eventually dropped down to 120 lbs and that did not last long. Eventually, I became so unhappy that I quit swim team and I put on weight. The pressures of being thin ate me alive. Thankfully, I had friends who brought me back to Earth and talked sense back into me.

Six years later, I am 142 lbs. and guess what? I’m okay with that. I don’t believe that I should have to adjust the way I live my life just to fit the status-quo. I don’t have to be a size 2 to believe that I’m beautiful. I don’t have to be 5’6″, blonde, and blue-eyed to believe that I’m beautiful. I don’t have to have the latest clothes be beautiful. I don’t have to be beautiful, dirty, and rich to be beautiful. Yes, my near-perfect six pack is long gone, my legs rub together, and sometimes my pictures show a double-chin. But none of that matters because I know that I am a daughter of God. He loves me and everyone in the universe unconditionally no mater what shape, height, size, or color we are.  None of us have to be anyone but ourself to be beautiful because Heavenly Father loves me, you, and everyone else because He “looketh on the heart” [1 Samuel 16:7] and not on the appearance. Rant over.

Truth.
Truth.

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