You Are Not Ugly!!!!




Important Are Looks?

YOU say you don’t like the way you look? Well, few of us—if any—are entirely satisfied with our appearance. Unlike Narcissus, who fell in love with his reflection in a pool of water, some of us nearly fall into depression when we see our reflection.

‘I’ve got this dislike about my body,’ laments 16-year-old Maria. ‘I think I don’t look so good.’ Thirteen-year-old Bob has a similar grievance: ‘I don’t like my hair, the way it sticks up here in the back.’ To make matters worse, a teenager’s appearance can change so rapidly that, according to one psychologist, youths often “feel like strangers in their own bodies.” Many thus fret about their face, hair, figure, and physique.

Of course, God himself has an appreciation for beauty. Says Ecclesiastes 3:11: “Everything [God] has made pretty in its time.” And how you look can indeed have a profound effect upon the way others view and treat you. Adds Dr. James P. Comer: “Body image is part of self-image. It can affect a person’s self-confidence and what he does and does not do in life.” A healthy concern about your appearance thus makes good sense. However, when you become so self-conscious that you withdraw from others or feel bad about yourself, then such concern is no longer healthy.


Says You’re Unattractive?

Interestingly, distress over personal appearance is not always due to real physical defects. A slender girl sits in class wishing she was heavier, while on the next aisle, a buxom girl laments how “fat” she is. From where does such dissatisfaction come? What makes well-formed youths think they are unattractive?

Says professor of psychiatry Richard M. Sarles: “Adolescence is a period of transition in which a major reorganization of the body takes place. . . . To deal with the awkwardness of a new and changing body, most adolescents rely upon the security of their peer group.” But under the scrutiny of your peers, how tall, short, fat, or thin you are—not to mention the shape of your nose or ears—can become a source of great anxiety. And when others get more attention than you or when you are chided about your looks, you can easily begin to feel bad about yourself.

Then there is the pervasive influence of TV, books, and movies. Attractive men and women stare at us from TV screens and magazine pages, selling everything from perfume to chain saws. The communications media would thus have you believe that if you’re not a flawless-skinned beauty or a muscular “hunk,” you might as well crawl into a hole somewhere—or at least forget about ever being popular or happy.


Be ‘Squeezed Into Their Mold’!

But before concluding that you are an ugly duckling, ask yourself to what extent your physical flaws are real—or imagined. Is that facial feature you fret (or are teased) about really so unattractive? Or have others pressured you into thinking it is? The Bible advises: “Don’t let the world around you squeeze you into its own mould.”—Romans 12:2, Phillips.

Think: Who is it that promotes the idea that you need a certain look if you are to be popular, successful, or happy? Is it not manufacturers and advertisers who stand to profit by your pursuing fad diets or purchasing expensive beauty aids? Why let them mold your thinking? And if peers are critical of your looks, are they doing so to be helpful—or simply to put you down? If the latter is true, who needs “friends” like that, anyway?

The Bible further advises you to “incline your heart to discernment.” (Proverbs 2:2) Discernment will help you to view your physical assets objectively and to be dubious of media propaganda. Few people will ever look like supermodels. And “beauty is a bubble.” (Proverbs 31:30, Byington) People who are paid for their looks are at their peak for but a brief moment before they are discarded for a fresh, new face. Also, wonders are often done for their looks with makeup, lighting, and photographic artistry. (Some are shocked to see how celebrities look without their beauty-support systems!)

There is thus no reason to feel depressed because you do not look like a TV or magazine model. Nor are your peers the final judges of how tall, short, or slim you must be to look attractive. If you are comfortable with how you look, give your peers little heed. Ironically, the very thing you dislike about your looks may well be the source of someone else’s envy.


Your Best!

Sometimes youths do have legitimate appearance problems: a bad complexion, excess body weight, a misshapen nose, protruding ears, extremely short stature. Of course, as a growing youth, your appearance is still changing. Acne, fluctuations in weight, and lightning fast (or agonizingly slow) growth are the bane of the teen years. Time solves many such problems.

Others it does not. And many youths must live with the fact that their looks are, well, plain. Said writer John Killinger: “For most people, the lack of good looks is one of the most painful facts of life, one they learn early and rarely elude for the remainder of their lives.” You can, however, make the most of your looks!

Surgery is an expensive and perhaps risky way of correcting physical imperfections. Simple hygiene, though, is inexpensive and can do a lot to enhance your attractiveness. Your hair may not have the luster of that of a movie actor or actress, but it can be clean; so can your face, hands, and fingernails. White teeth and clean, pink gums will make any smile more charming. Do you have a problem with overweight? A regimen of diet and exercise (perhaps under a doctor’s care) may do much to bring your weight under control.

With parental approval, you might also try experimenting with clothing and hairstyles that accentuate your physical assets and downplay your flaws. For example, according to writer Sharon Faelten, a large nose can be de-emphasized by a girl’s wearing “a full hairstyle or upswept crown.” Sharp, angular features can likewise be softened by wearing “a wavy or curly hairstyle,” and judicious use of makeup can downplay a girl’s facial flaws. Male or female, you can also accomplish much with your choice of apparel. Choose colors that enhance your complexion and styles that flatter. Pay attention to a garment’s lines: Vertical lines have a slimming effect; horizontal lines, the opposite!

Yes, with effort and imagination, you can present a pleasant appearance—even if you are not naturally endowed with good looks.


Need for Balance

While giving attention to how you look is important, be careful not to make your appearance the big thing in your life. Have you ever noticed how little the Bible talks about the way people looked? Why aren’t we told what Abraham, Mary, or even Jesus looked like? Obviously, God did not consider it important.

Interestingly, God once rejected for the position of king a young man named Eliab, whose stature was most impressive! Jehovah God explained to the prophet Samuel: “Do not look at his appearance and at the height of his stature . . . For not the way man sees is the way God sees, because mere man sees what appears to the eyes; but as for Jehovah, he sees what the heart is.” (1 Samuel 16:6, 7) What a comfort it is to know that to God, the One who really counts, our looks are not the important thing! “He sees what the heart is.”

Another point to ponder: Are not most of your friends rather average-looking? And would either of your parents be material for the cover of a fashion magazine? Probably not. Indeed, knowing their fine qualities, you seldom even think about their looks! You too have assets as a person that far outweigh any physical deficiencies—real or imagined.


pro390 pro390
1 Response Feb 28, 2009

I am visually impaired. A person's looks doesn't mean much to me.<br />
<br />
If a person is kind,helpful to others, comapssinate and forgiven - they are the most beautiful person in the world.