What does “pretty” mean to you?

We all have certain ideals for beauty. Some of us would like to have the perfect waistline. Toned abs and arms. The right height. Certain features that we define as the right nose, lips, eyes, eyelashes, jawline or face shape. Beautiful hair. On-fleek eyebrows. Nice skin and a preferred skin tone. There are some who are concerned about the size of their feet. And many others become fixated on certain curves on their bodies. We use filters of all kinds just to make us look good. We become obsessed with posting Instagram-worthy photos of us and in our camera rolls are thirty-eight shots of a same scene but with different angles and poses. We take selfies a lot, maybe because of an underlying need to be assured that at any one moment, we look good.

In the age of social media we are bombarded by faces from all over the world and we become more and more confused and insecure about ourselves without thinking about racial differences and external factors such as the lifestyles, traditions and even climate that make us all look a little different from each other.

There are a million definitions of beauty and yet we still measure ourselves against an imaginary standard. There are still so many things we want to change about ourselves to make us “prettier”.

We invest a considerable fortune on clothes, makeup and accessories just to cover up or glam up ourselves and become “more attractive”. Those who could afford surgeries and injections spend thousands to millions just to “correct” something they’re born with. And some of those who can’t afford them desperately wish they could.

I am not saying we shouldn’t take care of our bodies or to give up on looking excellent. But, if our appearance becomes more important than our academic/work performance or our personality and character, something is definitely out of place.

Pretty hurts, we shine the light on whatever’s worst
We try to fix something but you can’t fix what you can’t see
It’s the soul that needs a surgery
-Beyonce, “Pretty Hurts”

Those lines resound so much to me, especially the last one. We focus on the external imperfections, but what about the internal blemishes?

Of all the things we do with our bodies, what about our souls?

What about the pursuit for a beautiful soul?

We take so much care of the body that survives only for an average of 75 years and not enough of the soul that exists for eternity. Dearest woman, your value is more than that layer of skin that is renewed every few weeks or so. Do not limit your identity to just the external.

“Pretty” is only gonna hurt you because there will always be people who will not appreciate your kind of beauty.

“Pretty” will hurt when you look at yourself in the mirror and realize that what you see is not enough to make you happy.

“Pretty” hurts when deep inside she’s empty.

You see, God’s eyes see through the outside; He looks straight at your heart.

I hope as we prepare ourselves in the morning, we take some time not just for the physical but also make time for spiritual hygiene with confession and reflection. We can accessorize our soul with positive emotions and pure thoughts. Don’t forget to take your daily spiritual vitamins–Bible and prayer. There is also spiritual exercise called obedience and avoiding temptations that would tone our convictions and trim out the sin and everything else that trips us up in our walk with God.

So, dear.

Don’t let pretty hurt you.

You are more than pretty.

You are loved.

By God.

And when you also fall in love with God, you will find that a Pretty Heart is all you would ever need.<JG><UNDRESSED>

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