First things first – I was absolutely blown away by the love and support following last week’s post. THANK YOU for the kind words and for passing along my post! It was shared over 300 times on Facebook, and over 100 times on Pinterest, and I’m just so grateful to have such incredible people in my life! 🙂
So I think earned a Gen Z merit badge yesterday.
No, I didn’t wear a crop top, or post my avocado toast on Instagram.
I watched YouTube.
Not like, I just fell upon a random YouTube video that I found on Facebook.
No, I actually sought out YouTube as my nightly entertainment. I chose it over Netflix.
And let me tell you: I went deep.
We’re talking sucked into the whirling vortex of YouTube content creators.
And upon my third hour of mindless make up tutorials and muckbangs, I realized something:
All women are starting to look the same.
I was watching a video by the makeup artist, Carli Bybel, and I thought my eyes were playing tricks on me…is this Kylie Jenner? Bachelorette Andi Dorfman? Kim Kardashian? Who the heck am I looking at here?
And it’s because we’re all starting to look like the same concept of conventional beauty.
The lip fillers. Eyelash extensions. Microbladed eyebrows. Spray tans. Contoured cheeks. The “mermaid-style” hair extensions. Bleached teeth.
It’s like we’re all morphing into the same vision of “beauty” that was artificially manipulated by someone in the Kardashian/Jenner camp.
And it made me really sad.
Now let me pause for just a hot second here. I am not in any way passing judgement on anyone who may like to dabble in any of the aforementioned beauty procedures.
Goodness knows that I, for one, have a slew of routines that I joyfully partake in. I mean, it takes me close to an hour to straighten my God-given curly hair, for crying out loud! Not to mention, I love having white teeth, and I enjoy putting on a full face of make up!
So this is in no way an attack on that!
But I was just struck by how everyone on YouTube looked the same!
And then I started noticing it more and more: on Instagram, in commercials, at the Grammy’s, on the Bachelor – we’re morphing into this same, highly manipulated image of “beauty.”
I will be the first to admit, that I spent a long time being a slave to the mirror. And that’s putting it lightly – I mean, I almost died in my quest for perfection – and that’s not an exaggeration in the slightest. Just ask my intake nurses at inpatient: I wasn’t allowed to walk for the first two weeks of my stay – I had to be wheeled around for fear of cardiac arrest.
But that’s neither here nor there.
It is an empty and exhausting existence when you’re constantly striving to have the perfect face, perfect body, perfect hair, perfect clothes. I can promise you that no lip filler or Kybella neck lift will give you the fulfillment and self-love you’re seeking.
If only it were that easy.
How did I finally overcome the mirror and learn to love the young woman staring back at me?
I had to stop seeing myself through my own eyes, and instead, start seeing myself through God’s eyes.
Because here’s the truth: I am a beautiful, one-of-a-kind work of art, hand crafted by the Father.
But the reality is that, we live in a world that has completely forgotten that.
Our culture has commodified beauty – making it something that is always changing, always just out of reach, making us believe that we are never good enough, never pretty enough, never thin, or smooth, or sparkly, or contoured, or sexy enough. We’re never enough. How quickly we forget that it’s a beauty industry, after all.
I wish I could just slam on the emergency breaks and yell at the top of my lungs that we don’t need any of this artificial crap to make us beautiful, or worthy. Enough of the photoshop. Enough of the gimmicks.
We don’t need to change who we are or try to enhance our appearance to have value or be worthy of love.
Our worth, our value, our beauty — it’s written into our DNA. God’s fingerprints are all over us.
Sometimes I just close my eyes and imagine God taking His big, Fatherly hands and cupping my face, looking into my eyes, and saying, Caralyn, I delight in you, my beautiful daughter.
I mean, gosh, can you imagine?
Not for how I’m wearing my hair, or how “on fleek” my makeup is. Not for any accomplishment or achievement. Not for any of those things.
He delights in me, just for being His.
Now, when I look in the mirror, that’s what I see. I have to shut off the critical eye that wants to pick apart my reflection, and see instead the beautiful creation of God who is loved and cherished, despite my flaws and shortcomings. See instead, the instrument of God, that was handcrafted to fulfill an important, divine purpose that He has planned for me.
That’s a truth that I hold firm in my heart each and every day. Because the chaos around me will say that I need X-Y-Z to be valued and beautiful.
But my worth – your worth – and our belovedness – that truth is written on the Cross.
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Here was yesterday’s video! https://youtu.be/8pmp4ZI968A
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