I heard about a daughter who had a old mirror in her bedroom that bulged out and created a fun-house effect when she looked into it.
But she didn’t realize this was a distorted view of herself. Without a proper mirror, she took this image as truth.
She tore off every outfit because it made her look terrible. She turned from the mirror each morning and felt awful about what she saw. One day, the mother put up a new full-length mirror in the bedroom. The daughter took one look at her real image and smiled. She felt right again.
Deeper into this situation, mother and daughter discuss how even the mirror isn’t true. Her daughter’s beauty radiates from within her, and her body just houses that beauty inside. A good analogy is the difference between a house and a home. The outside structure doesn’t make the home; it’s the beautiful people inside that turn a house into a home. What’s inside matters, but it’s so difficult to help someone see that.
All morning, I consider the distorted views people have about themselves that don’t make them feel good or right. They authorize certain reflective sources–mirrors, people, social media–to determine who they are. With no accurate measure, they live in self-consciousness and disgust all day long. Sometimes these reflective sources instill fear and doubt–like the ones I experienced early on in my blogging days. I encountered bullies and “haters” who almost shut down my writing forever. I’m so glad I didn’t entrust these folks with the right to determine my worth.
And I’m so glad that–as an older woman–I don’t grant beauty magazines or celebrities with the authority to tell me whether or not I’m beautiful.
I remember one of my favorite verses on beauty from Psalm 34:5 : “Those who look to the Lord shall be radiant; they will never have ashamed faces.”
I think of the little girl before the fun-house mirror. Will she believe what God says or continue to trust this distortion?