JonBenet was a beautiful little girl born in the Atlanta suburb of Dunwoody in 1990. Six years later her battered and strangled body was found by her father in the basement of their Colorado home. The murder of JonBenet Ramsey was never solved. Her life and death was troubling in so many ways. Questions began to be raised about whether such a young child should be pushed into the modeling world and pressured to perform on the catwalk. Should a six year old child be taught that her worth is in her external beauty?
Our culture sends a strong message very early in life to its young females that gives them a wrong self-perception. Young girls hear the broken-record message over and over again that they are not pretty enough. They are told that they weigh too much or that their faces are not beautiful. Confusion reigns when they hear another message from their mothers and guidance counselors, a message assuring them that they are gorgeous and beautiful. The first message leads to self-hatred and the second sometimes leads to an exalted self-esteem. Either way, our daughters are taught to spend inordinate amounts of time searching inwardly for the beauty defined by their culture. This constant introspection can lead to an unhealthy obsession with themselves and eventually to depression. When our children embrace such cultural deception it can lead to eating disorders, early promiscuity and a sad emptiness.
The culture’s concept that beauty as defined by external traits is contrary to the word of God but reinforced by our daughter’s role models. Carrie Prejean, the beauty contestant from California, spawned a cultural tsunami by openly declaring that she believed marriage should be between a man and a woman. Some of the criticism coming from left leaning feminists might cause one to pause and reflect. One feminist wrote this: “I would suggest that if they expect people to take them (Carrie Prejean and Lauren Ashley, Miss Beverly Hills) seriously as Christians, they re-think the industry and lifestyle they've chosen. It's simply difficult to swallow moral and religious posturing from two women who, it seems to me, have opted to pick and choose for themselves when and where they act Biblically.”
Adriana Lima is a Roman Catholic Christian from Brazil. She is the 3rd highest paid model in the world doing much of her work for Victoria’s Secret. Even though she struggles with the desertion of her father at age six, Adriana declares, “I wouldn't change anything about my life. I am afraid that if I did, things might have turned out differently and I am currently living my dream”. Leslie Ludy, author of several books addressing the biblical definition of beauty, including Authentic Beauty and The Lost Art of True Beaut, reveals some statements Adriana made that seem to be contradictory . Adriana claims that every part of her beauty, from the top of her head to the bottom of her feet is fake. It is all artificially manufactured. “Even my heart is fake,” Adriana said. She has gone from relationship to relationship. From Derek Jeter of the New York Yankees to Prince Wenzeslaus of Liechtenstein. Her search for happiness has only brought her emptiness and heart break.
Paul speaks to Timothy about internal feminine beauty. He said women should “dress modestly…with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God.” More lasting and meaningful beauty is found, not in the external appearance, but in the inward display of Christlikeness. God is all about the heart. A woman’s real source of beauty is that which God puts within the heart. This beauty outlasts youth. It stretches into the middle and later years when external beauty tends to fade.
Can Christian women walk down a runway scantily clad and reflect the humble beauty of our Savior? Our daughters won’t learn the biblical model of modesty and dignity from the world. They will only learn it in the home and in the church. They need more than just being told, they need this type of beauty modeled for them by women of faith.