Beauty hacks. They’re all the rage, right? Just do a quick Google search and you’ll have instant access to beauty hacks that promise a prettier you (in under 5 minutes flat). How about these: “25 Beauty Hacks To Make You Look Like A Million Dollars” or “44 Lazy Girl Beauty Hacks To Try Right Now.”
Wait – 44 hacks? For the lazy girl? If I’m lazy, how am I supposed to have time for forty-four beauty hacks?
Sorry, I just thought that one was hilarious.
Anyhow. I agree that some of these hacks can be helpful (i.e. I want to hug the person who invented dry shampoo!), but they can also set us up for disappointment.
When physical beauty becomes the center of our focus, we’re automatically setting ourselves up for long term disappointment.
I remember trying a “quick and easy” beauty hack of my own back in high school. This hack was all the rage back then (still is, I guess), and I thought it was the answer to all of my beauty insecurities.
I share the full story in chapter 8 (Beauty that Doesn’t Need a Runway) of our book, GirlDefined. You may have heard it already, so I’ll keep it short here.
I’ve always had extremely thin hair. Like paper thin and stringy. As a high schooler, I longed for long, thick, luscious locks. I dreamed about having shampoo-commercial-worthy hair and could almost imagine myself doing that perfect commercial swoosh with my head.
Reality check! I wasn’t anywhere close to a commercial swoosh.
Rather than working on developing a heart of gratitude toward God, I decided to take matters into my own hands. After a few quick phone calls, I was on my way to having long blonde hair… in the form of hair extensions, of course.
After sitting under the care of a so-called trained professional, my dream hair finally became a reality! I turned my head and almost shocked myself! Long. Thick. Shiny. Pantene Pro-V come to life, baby! I couldn’t believe it!
And I couldn’t even see the hair extension “weave” under my hair. It looked so natural.
The next few weeks flew by and my dream hair felt and looked amazing. I held my head a little higher and relished the extra glances from cute guys.
Right as I was at the pinnacle of relishing in self-absorption, everything came crashing down.
This beauty hack turned out to be a beauty disaster.
Long story short (it’s so hard to tell this story without all the details!), the “weave” under my hair had turned into a huge knot. After hours of working to untie this hair knot, nothing budged. I tried everything – oil, mayonnaise, soap, fine combs, plastic wraps – you name it, I tried it.
After several sessions of crying my eyes out, my mom had to cut this ginormous knot out of my hair! In the end, I lost about one third of my (already thin) natural hair. Not to mention the weird haircut I acquired.
In the end, my passion to look beautiful turned into a nightmare.
Physical beauty had become an idol in my life, which ended up costing me the very thing I was idolizing. To paraphrase what someone once said, “All idols require sacrifices, so make sure you’re worshipping at the altar of the only One worthy of your sacrifice.”
This beauty hack experience taught me a lot. In fact, I learned two very valuable life lessons that actually made it into our book. Here’s word-for-word what I share in chapter 8 of Girl Defined:
Lesson #1: Wanting beautiful hair (or whatever your desire is) isn’t the problem. The problem takes root when that thing becomes the means to finding or measuring your worth, value, and acceptance.
Lesson #2: A woman will feel content with her physical appearance only when she stops basing her worth and value on what others think of her and, instead, starts living to please Christ.
As I continue to share in Girl Defined:
“One of the biggest reasons we, as women, feel insecure with our physical appearance is because we take our eyes off Christ only to place them on ourselves. We become self-focused instead of Christ-focused.
That is the root of all insecurities.
The crazy thing is that we often do this without even realizing it. Thanks to our sinful hearts, we’re constantly battling against our flesh, which loves being consumed with self. ‘For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world’ (1 John 2:16).”
We live in a culture that upholds physical beauty as one of the defining factors for female value and worth. Through magazines, billboards, music videos, and movies, we’re fed the lie that pretty women are worth more. That physical beauty is the answer to our female happiness.
That is why our modern culture is obsessed with beauty hacks.
Unfortunately, as “quick and easy” as a beauty hack may be, if we’re defining our worth and value on our outward appearance, we will never find it. Not fully. Not long term.
As Christian girls, we have to see past the glitz and glam and ask ourselves this question: If physical beauty is the answer to our happiness, why are so many gorgeous women unhappy? Why are so many models and movie stars depressed?
The answer is found in God’s Word and is simply this: True worth and value can’t come from within ourselves – it comes from our Creator.
If you’re tired of feeling less-than, ugly, and worthless – it’s time for you to do what I had to do: Get your eyes off of yourself.
The #1 beauty hack that every Christian girl needs to know isn’t a new face cream, hair style, or lipstick. It’s simply this:
Lasting security and confidence can only come when you take your eyes off of yourself, and instead place them on Christ. Only when Christ’s glory is the center of your affection and worship will you be truly satisfied.
I want to leave you with the same encouraging words I wrote at the end of chapter 8 in Girl Defined:
“God designed you to look just the way you do. He handcrafted your body with intention and love. Allow your soul to echo the words of the psalmist, ‘Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well!’
The moment you take your eyes off yourself and put them on Christ, your heart will be content with your physical appearance because you’re living to please him. It’s not magic. It’s not complicated.
It’s really rather simple.
Look to Christ. And when you do, [your physical appearance] will fade into the background, and your life will be filled with true beauty and lasting security, gratitude, and confidence.”
I would love to hear about your own personal beauty journey. What has God taught you about looking to Him for satisfaction instead of to your outward appearance?
For more on this topic, I encourage you to grab a copy of Girl Defined (on sale for $9.20 HERE), and check out this other post I wrote: What Every Girl Needs to Know About Her Outward Appearance
Photo Credit: Here