I was thirteen years old and heading in for my first experience with the well-known photography company Glamour Shots.
My mom and I were on a special girls trip to Dallas, Texas to celebrate my birthday.
Getting my hair highlighted, nails manicured, and glamorous pictures taken was a must for this girly girl.
I loved every minute of the Glamour Shot experience.
The makeup. The hair. The clothes. The attention. The compliments. I felt beautiful and accepted.
After the photo shoot, I looked through the pictures and picked out a few of my favorites. We ordered a package and then left the store to continue on our trip.
When the pictures arrived at my house a few weeks later, I did what only every normal teenager would do. I started handing out my selfies to my friends (I guess this was the Instagram of the early 2000’s?)
Then I noticed something very interesting.
I had three different pictures in three different outfits and poses. Two of the poses were sweet and smiley and just cute all around.
The third picture was the one I considered more “grown up.”
In that picture I had a bright blue shirt on that made my eyes pop. I was laying down with my head on my arm and my hair laid out to the side.
I was looking directly into the camera with my best teenager model pose.
Not surprisingly, that picture, above all of the others, got me the “wows!” “you look amazing” “you are beautiful girl” “you look like a model” comments.
Looking back I realize that that was one of my first run-ins with the idea that looking hot would get me more attention.
I didn’t consciously take note of that experience at the time, but I slowly began to realize that looking “hot” truly would get me more attention from friends and strangers.
It’s been quite a few years since that photo shoot at Glamour Shots, but the problem I encountered has only worsened.
Just a few weeks ago we (at Girl Defined) received an email from a young lady explaining to us her problem. She said that she gets SO much more attention from her friends when she posts hot selfies. She said that when she posts a normal, non-hot, casual picture, she gets way less attention.
Sadly, this is often times true. I’ve experienced it and I’m sure most of you have too.
Because of the responses we, as modern Christian girls, receive when we post “hot selfies,” we get stuck in a trap. The trap of measuring our worth as females by the approval, attention, and compliments from others.
It’s a horrible downward spiral that never satisfies and only leaves us empty and in need of more.
It works like this.
Monday morning you post a selfie where you are looking like one hot chic. People praise you, tell you how beautiful you are, and make you feel like a million bucks. Tuesday evening rolls around and your comments are dying off. You notice that your friend, Cassie, posted a really great pic and she is now getting loads of attention.
Soon everyone forgets about you (and your total hotness) and you’re actually feeling depressed and worthless.
So, what do you do?
You come up with the solution. Post another hot looking selfie. As usual, the praises come in and you are feeling great…at least until the pic gets old and the comments die down.
The never ending trap of feeling good one day and bad the next continues on. You’ve placed your worth in the hands of friends and strangers and struggle to continue getting their praise and affirmation.
I’ve been there and it’s not a fun way to live.
I know how tempting it can be to find my worth in other people’s praises of me and it’s an empty place to be.
It always dies down and it always requires me to do more. There are always “hotter” girls to compete with. There are always ways to improve. It’s a constant battle of working to get the praise that you so desperately desire.
I want you to know that you are worth so much more than the compliments and opinions of those around you.
Your friends have no right to define your worth and you shouldn’t let them. You are going to become (or are) an insecure and hopeless girl if you do. You will always be fighting, competing, and in need of more.
Never confident and never satisfied.
I want to challenge you to become a confident, and secure young women who is focused on finding her in Someone greater than herself.
When you realize that your worth is found in Jesus Christ, His death and resurrection on the cross, His perfect love for you, and His intentional design of you as His creation, you can have security and value despite what others say.
I want you to take some time to think through these questions:
Why do I want the praise and attention from those around me?
Is my security wrapped up in other’s opinions of me?
Do I want friends who love me more for my outward beauty or for my inward?
Do I have confidence and security that my value is defined by God?
How can I live in a way that points others to Christ and not myself?
If you are struggling to find your worth in Christ, I would highly encourage you to take the time to read through some of our past blog posts on this topic. I would recommend:
I am cheering for you and want you to have the freedom and confidence that comes from looking to Christ for your identity.
Have you fallen into the “Hot Selfie” trap?
How can you find your worth in Christ and not your friends?