When Pretty Hurts

The Pressures of PERFECTION.

The dictionary defines pretty as-attractive in a delicate way without being truly beautiful.

Every girl wants to feel pretty, every girl wants to wake up flawless. Buuuut that’s not real life. It takes an effort for us women to keep ourselves up and to stay fit. It takes time dedication and the desire to WANT to make sure we are always at our best. I was taught as a little girl to never go out of my house looking like I needed a hand out. Sharon didn’t play that with her children, we were a representation of her. We were taught to “dress to the nines” and keep every hair in place. Lol. I actually enjoyed dressing up, it became a way for me to express my personality through my outfits, hair and accessories.

Even though those were fond memories, in our society today there is an overwhelming pressure put on women to be PERFECT at all times. I particularly don’t care for this pressure, but I can’t deny that it is widely accepted by A LOT of us women. Let me clarify that there is nothing wrong with being well-kept or caring for yourself with class and dignity. If that means getting dressed up everyday because you feel like it, that’s totally fine. Its fine when YOU choose to do it from a place of contentment and not insecurity.

But what happens when we do these things from an unhealthy place? That is “when pretty hurts”. When I have to fix myself up so that I can be noticed by others in order to feel beautiful inside. Being attractive should NOT be a women’s only asset. I sadly know and have counseled and mentored many young girls and women who have this destructive mindset. I don’t judge them, but it makes me sad because I know it is from a society that bases a women’s worth on how big her butt is compared to the softness of her face. Sex sells in our generation. Aiming to look like a Kardashian or a video girl is the new norm for women. Eating disorders develop from these pressures, it’s like a destructive mental illness; an obsession with perfection. An obsession that in many cases has unfortunately led to suicide.

What happens when that is all a woman has to offer? I’ll tell you what happens; some men seek out and take full advantage. Men are not dumb, they know when a girl is pretty on the outside and a bag of rocks when it comes to her intellect and conversation. But some women continue to perpetuate the cycle, all for attention and affection.

Mind you I always say “us” because I’ve been there and I never want to come across as if I’m speaking down at any of my readers. Just imagine me as that home girl who keeps it 100, the one who will sit down with you and point you to truth. Although I was never the “dumb girl with a pretty face”. I was the girl who played dumb, with a pretty face. I would find myself in dead-end relationships with guys who did not value me beyond the external. I knowingly dated these guys for longer than I should have because I was flattered by the infatuation they had with me. I mean, constant adoration and ego boosting…who wouldn’t have been tempted to stay in that? That gets old after a while and you WILL start to crave for something deeper. As for me my desperate need for a true spiritual connection and intellectual conversation forced me to peace out and hit that exit.

This is when pretty hurts, when we have to use something external to try to gain something that should be internal. True beauty and worth comes from INSIDE. Knowing who you are and being secure in who God made you is true beauty. Not bundles a beat face and louboutins.

I’m at a place in my life NOW ( definitely wasn’t always here ) where I am working on being comfortable in my own skin whether someone else likes it or not. I LOVE MYSELF. I love all the quirks and spunk God gave me, the sassy personality and strong-willed determination. The detail oriented creative beauty he made me. You have to speak these things and encourage yourself in the unique way you were created. CELEBRATE YOU. My husband has a part to play in this because he loves me NATURAL. No make-up, no flashy-ness, nothing to made-up or extra. He is a simple guy, who has found something INSIDE of me to love and hold on to. Granted if I dress up it is only the icing on the cake, NOT THE CAKE. HUGE difference.

That takes away the pressure to feel like If I’m not dressed up I’m not wanted. And those of you who aren’t married yet; you cannot hide from your spouse lol. Like all those tricks you thought you would do as soon as you get married like going to bed all super cute with a full face of make-up so you can wake up flawless. Chile please. LOL. Those lashes will be under your pillowcase somewhere, while you wake up with black smudges from mascara running down your face. TOO MUCH. Just be comfortable in your skin.

So let’s get back to that inner beauty I was speaking of, THIS is what all of us women should aim to have instead of just “looks”. What else will there be to offer when we age? What if something happened to our face or body? What will our worth be defined by? What will we find our identity in? This is the primary reason why we have to find our worth in something bigger than us. We have to go to the creator to seek out who we are and how HE thinks of us. Our worth cannot be attached to something that is here today, gone tomorrow.

God thinks you are to die for! He said he knew you while you were in your mother’s womb. {Jeremiah 1:5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart.} There are so many affirmations in the bible for you to know your truth worth in the eyes of God. I challenge you to take some time and research them, post them around your house or in your  “War room”. {Movie plug: GO SEE IT!} Don’t believe the lies of perfection.

In the popular song “pretty hurts” by Beyoncé, she had a verse that spoke volumes:

Pretty hurts, we shine the light on whatever’s worst. Perfection is a disease of a nation, we shine the light on whatever’s worst
We try to fix something but you can’t fix what you can’t see
It’s the soul that needs the surgery.

This is my point; when we allow our outer beauty to become our main focus and neglect our inner beauty, that is when the soul needs surgery. The soul can only be cured, healed and restored by God. Lets make sure that we don’t fall into the trap of perfection and social media likes. Below I want to share with you some affirmations I found from “A woman’s worth empowerment ministries”. Read them, post them, share them. They helped me so I hope they will do the same for you.

Here are some affirmations to speak over your life:
  • I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
  • I am a woman of great worth to God and myself.
  • I have a wealth of love to offer the world.
  • I find inspiration in the things around me.
  • I find inspiration in the Word to do great things.
  • My outward beauty is an expression of my inward beauty and peace.
  • I have overcome challenges and obstacles to become an over comer in every area of my life.
  • I embrace my God-given potential.
  • I take personal responsibility for my life and I will not wait for others to validate me.
  • I have the God-given power within me to be the best I can be and do the best I can do.
  • I will not settle for less than God’s best.
  • I focus on my achievements and goals and every past failure was a tool God used for my growth and His glory.
  • I have learned to let go of past experiences and I can move forward with God’s plan for my life.
  • I am aware of the words that I speak, therefore, I have girded my mind with the mind of Christ.
  • I will speak life into every situation.

Have a great week! Remember your worth is NOT defined by your outer appearance or mistakes, your worth is defined by God! See you here next Sunday!

Love,

Katondra

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Katondra Dunn

Katondra is a southern girl originally from South Florida. She currently resides in Connecticut with her husband and son. She loves Jesus, fitness, good food and new adventures. Her motto is "Do all things with love!"

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