Thursday, 13 June 2013

Am I not beautiful as I am?

See this picture here:

It was taken at my friend's wedding in 2011. I have received multiple comments on the way that I looked that day, most often accompanied with a look of surprise and awe on the commenter's face.

You see, on a regular day I do not wear make up. I'm not the most punctual person, so I rarely take the time to stop and look at myself in the mirror to make sure my outfit matches before I leave the house. My hair is the last thing I do as I dash out the door. What I'm trying to say is that this picture does not capture me in my most natural form, but as an "enhanced" me. It is for this reason that I hate this photo.

Comments about it genuinely upset me because whilst they might be saying "wow - you look stunning", what I hear them saying is "if only you looked after yourself a bit more, you could be really beautiful." Am I not beautiful as I am?
"Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewellery or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight." (1 Peter 3:3-4)
The thing is, I know already that I am beautiful. I know it because God created me that way - just like how He created everyone else that way too. It is not vanity - to deny is would be to deny what God has created.
"God saw all that He had made, and it was very good." (Genesis 1:31)
I refuse to lead the world to believe that the "enhanced" Michaela is the real Michaela. I don't want to marry some guy one day and for him to wake up the next morning and think "holy crap. What did I marry?" I want to show the world me, as I am, always. I want to show the world that there is beauty beneath the fading beauty of youth.

Clearly the problem I have is not with myself but with the world. The world says that women must look beautiful. I say women should be beautiful. Looking beautiful comes from money spent in beauty salons and time in front of the mirror and buying into fads of magazines. Being beautiful comes from within; from loving, nurturing and serving.

©Michaela Hillam 2013

Here's some reading material on how to be beautiful and reflect the beauty of God:

So maybe I don't fit the mould of beauty in the eyes of the world, for my thighs will always be a bit more muscly than the average woman, I'm pre-disposed to tuckshop lady arms and one day I will be an old woman with wrinkles, sunspots, saggy skin and grey hair. I'll probably smell funny too. But in the end I know all will be well because I will have spent my life striving not to look beautiful but to be beautiful.

God bless,


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