Chasing Beauty in an Image-Obsessed Culture


Striving to become a European supermodel, Alana’s dream job finally became a reality. Out of thousands of girls, she was selected to be a runway supermodel for a famous fashion designer in Milan, Italy. She was exactly what they wanted.

After spending a short vacation at home with her family in America, Alana arrived back in Italy only to find that her position had been replaced. “You’re not what we want anymore,” one of the Italian agency directors told her. “You’re too short and too pale. We found someone better.”

This was Alana’s life. She was good enough one day and not good enough the next.

She based her entire worth and value on how she looked.


Model Looking Woman

Whether you’re a supermodel or not, most girls struggle every day with feeling like they don’t measure up. The average girl lives under the pressure of having to look a certain way to win the approval of the people around her. Thanks to the invention of the internet and the camera, we live in an image-obsessed culture where “perfect females” are on display all around us.

The pressure for girls to have the best body, cutest outfit, and perfect makeup is at an all-time high.

The YWCA agrees:

Every woman in the United States participates in a daily beauty pageant, whether she likes it or not. Engulfed by a popular culture saturated with images of idealized, air-brushed and unattainable female physical beauty, women and girls cannot escape feeling judged on the basis of their appearance.

We are taught by the media from a young age that physical beauty and fashionable clothing are the key elements of being a girl. Our image-obsessed culture has driven the hearts of millions of girls to focus on one pressing question: “How do I look?”

Women of all ages are now consumed with themselves and their outward appearance.

Their minds are filled with questions like these:

  • What do my friends think about me?
  • Are my clothes in style?
  • What does he think about me?
  • Will they think I look fat in this outfit?
  • Do I look sexy in this?
  • Is my makeup pretty?
  • Am I okay, or do I need to change something?

How many of those questions do you ask yourself daily?

The approval of others is the driving force for so many of us today.

The reason most girls stress about their clothes and appearance is because they’re slaves to the standards and opinions of others.

[Tweet “When people to define your worth & value, you give them a power over you that only God was meant to have.”]

This is a very dangerous road because the opinions of the culture will change with every new season. It will cause you to live in a constant state of fear and insecurity. If you’re tired of never measuring up, you need to change the way you view yourself. Instead of asking yourself the question, “How do I look to others?” you need to ask, “How do I look to Christ?”

For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? Galatians 1:10a ESV

God cares for you and me so much more than our friends ever will.

If you’re having doubts about your identity in Christ, check out 1 John 3:1b ESV:

See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are.

Or read Psalm 139:13 (ESV) which says,

For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.

God created you exactly as you are and loves everything about your unique physical design.

We can’t help that we live in an image-obsessed culture, but we can help how we respond to it.

[Tweet “You will never be happy with the way you look until you live for the approval of God and not the world.”]

I pray the next time you look in a mirror and ask yourself that little question, “How do I look?” you will see yourself as a child of God and a valuable creation of the King.



For more on this topic . . .

Check out our Redefining Beauty Resources & put on your own Redefining Beauty Event!

Photo credit: | Robby Mueller

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