This is a picture by Dante; she’s what the Pre-raphaelites would have called beautiful. I love the pre-raphaelites, mainly because the women portrayed in these incredible paintings sometimes have wild curly hair and fabulous curves – something I guess I happen to possess – and guess what? the raphaelites like curls and curves.
Recently I’ve been muddling over in my head something that I’ve always particularly difficult to work with, and that’s self esteem and good body image. This is probably one of the most honest blog posts I will ever write, so prepare yourselves. Also, if you’re a guy, please keep reading. I’m trying not to turn this into one of those anti-patriarchy posts. I am a feminist. Don’t be offended or upset by this term, or get any weird ideas that I like to burn my bras and have some constant hatred for men going on. In all honesty, bras are useful and some guys are actually quite nice. Kudos to you lovely men out there, you keep doing what you’re doing.
ANYWAY. I was thinking about what the world would see as beautiful, and I guess that isn’t me. Huge hair, size 14, tall, gregarious personality… Need I go on? Actually, this is complete rubbish. Part of realising how beautiful you are is firstly to be comfortable with who you are. For ages I had some serious body hatred going on. I hated the fact I was the more curvaceous of my friends and ate the most ice cream and went through a good few years of on and off dieting (anyone tried slim fast? Word of advice: don’t), and I guess I’m still coming through the other side of that. Going to uni and meeting loads of new people in a new place, you can see how incredible gorgeous people are and I really hope I’m not the only one who has a bit of the old comparison syndrome go into serious overdrive. I’m too loud to be friends with these people. I’m not pretty enough. I’m not slim enough. I’m not happy enough all of the time. These were just some of the thoughts I started off uni with. Helpful? No. Not even a little bit.
My second point in all of this is that we need to remember who our Maker is. Does God make mistakes? No. Did he make a mistake with you? No. Does he love all of the parts you hate about yourself and really wish weren’t there? Yes.
You are fearfully and wonderfully made. End of guys. Imagine if we were to base our self image on that alone, everyday. fearfully and wonderfully made. We wouldn’t think twice about being told we need to lose weight or that we don’t look all that great, or being rejected by that really beautiful person we have a serious thing for because we’re not their cup of tea. In God’s eyes, none of this matters. Man only looks at the appearance but The Lord looks at the heart, remember? Somewhere in Samuel I think that babe of a verse is. But anyway, all I’m saying is, you’re beautiful.
I’d also like to point out that curves aren’t the only beautiful thing on this planet. If you’re reading this and you are simply sans curves please don’t think I’m some hideous Christian lady who has a problem with your hips. I don’t. Whoever you are and whatever you look like, you’re fearfully and wonderfully made. Beauty cannot be defined, I’ve decided. It cannot be put into a box or something you can definitively search for on google. But what I do know is that in God’s eyes, you’re incredible. You’re hand made and hand picked.
So small or tall, skinny or curvy, black or white, curly haired or straight haired, whoever whatever however you are. Remember that you are beautiful. Find a role model who has a similar build to you or similar interests even. Look at how they conduct themselves, how they view themselves. No one is perfect, and I need to stress this, but finding someone with some common ground on any level can always be something that can and will encourage us. And just think, if you can see the beauty in them, imagine the beauty people can see in you?
Kate moss and Marilyn Monroe. Two different women from two different eras. And guess what? They’re both beautiful because God made them both fearfully and wonderfully. Just like you, and just like me.
Peace and blessings x