Week 4 – The Beauty Trap

I love Beauty Night!  In my opinion it’s been one of the most fun, most effective nights we’ve done.

First we played a ridiculous makeup game.  You’ve got to see it.

Next I asked girls to describe to me what they thought a “beautiful” woman looked like.  And their answers were PERFECT!!  They led right to my point.  I can pretty much guarantee that if you repeat this exercise with any group of girls you’ll get the same result.

  • The girls with curly hair said that a beautiful woman had sleek, straight, shiny hair, like Jennifer Aniston.
  • The girls with straight hair said that a beautiful woman had thick waves or curls, like Julia Roberts.
  • The dark-complected girls said that a beautiful woman had blue eyes and blonde hair, like Gwyneth Paltrow or Taylor Swift.
  • The fair girls said that a beautiful woman had tan skin and dark brown hair, like Penelope Cruz or Catherine Zeta Jones.
  • The  heavier girls said that a beautiful woman was tall and very skinny, like Katie Holmes, or Avril Lavigne.
  • The tiny girls said that a beautiful woman had great hips and big breasts, like Selma Hayek.

I think you get the point.

Our idea of beauty is a trap!  Satan uses our obsession with “beauty” as just one more way to make us hate ourselves.  Satan robs our lives of contentment, joy, and happiness by makings us long for whatever it is that we don’t have.  I read the girls answers back to them and said:  just look!  It never fails – we all think that “beautiful” is whatever we aren’t.

This part is fascinating to me:  take a look through history.  When people had to work hard outside in the sun to survive (which would have caused them to be very tan and very thin), like in the Middle Ages for example, the people that were considered “beautiful” were the very, very pale, overweight women!  They were wealthy and didn’t have to expend themselves in the sun.  That means that 90% of the population was STRIVING for something that was virtually impossible for them to achieve (fair skin and meat on their bones).

Conversely, in our culture now, where most people work indoors, we have inactive lifestyles where we sit in an office or by a computer all day, and there is an abundance of cheap, convenient, unhealthy food – what do we consider beautiful?  Women who are tan and very thin!  The very thing that is the most difficult for us to achieve!

In cultures where food is abundant (like ours) thin is beautiful.  In most third world countries where food is hard to come by, thick voluptuous women are beautiful.  If you look across time and across cultures through all of history it is the same.  We want what we cannot have – so we spend our days dissatisfied, unfulfilled, and Satan revels in our misery.

WOW.

Then we watched these videos:

So how do we break the Beauty Trap???  Well, lucky for us Jesus came to set us free.  Here’s what God has to say about beauty – and about us:

  • First, our enemy, Satan, is brilliant and he stalks us, trying to destroy us.  (1 Peter 5:8)
  • So Satan knows that we are CONSUMED by jealousy – that it can destroy us.  (Proverbs 27:4, Proverbs 14:30)
  • Which is why God says to be content!  Don’t allow ourselves to be obsessed with what we don’t have!  (Hebrews 13:5)

And here comes the part that makes my heart melt.  How does God see us?

And we ended the night with these two incredible parting thoughts.
1. “The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” [1 Samuel 16:7]
2. “Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.” [Proverbs 31:30]  (I made the girls little cards with this verse on it to take home with them.  I told them to stick it on their mirror, in their locker, or someplace they would see it often.)

God is a God of beauty.  He created all of creation – beautifully.  He made everything that is beautiful in the world.  HE IS BEAUTIFUL.  There’s nothing wrong with beauty – it’s of God!  Let’s just make sure we see beauty the way God does.

Oh!  And I sent the girls home to listen to this song!  Here are the lyrics.

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