Last weekend, my friend treated me to a facial at a spa a few hours away. The minute the esthetician started massaging and exfoliating the dead skin cells on my face, I felt like I was melting into the massage table. As we chatted, we got on the topic of image and beauty. She was honest with me about the pressures she feels from our culture and certain social media apps like FaceTune to look a certain way.
“So many girls use the app,” she said. “It’s really a thing. Even celebrities admit to using it.”
“Really?” I replied.
I’d never heard of the app. I was aware of other photo-editing apps but this one seemed to go a bit deeper.
She said you can enlarge your eyes, remove blemishes and scars, tan your skin, soften your face, fine tune your jaw bones and facial structure, and more. When I got home, I looked up FaceTune online and discovered the app has been downloaded more than 20 million times.
These apps have an impact on us, no matter our age. When I was a teen, I felt pressure staring at Seventeen Magazine in the grocery store checkout line. I didn’t quite look like the flawless, perfectly toned model staring back at me. I didn’t feel pretty enough.
Because there’s nothing new under the sun since I was your age — meaning the struggles you have are pretty much the same just with improved technology. The human heart hasn’t changed, and I owe it to you to tell you the truth.
You’ll never measure up to the filtered version of that picture-perfect image. You know, the one with the drop-dead gorgeous girl who has a perfect smile, white teeth, striking cheekbones, lash extensions, slender waistline, and adorable outfit? Instagram is an endless sea of this kind of “perfection.” You can’t compete with an edited image of another girl. It’s impossible.
That snapshot taken in the perfect moment when she’s all put together and then enhanced in a photo-editing app is not the authentic her. And you never should have to compete or feel insecure around an unrealistic version of another girl.
Your worth and value can’t be measured from the outward appearance. And that girl you’re constantly measuring yourself against? Her worth and value isn’t defined by her appearance or enhancements, either.
When you were being fashioned and knit together in my womb, God saw you. And he saw something of great worth. You were precious to him before you were ever conceived. After all, he created you.
When I delivered you in the hospital and saw your face for the very the first time, I was instantly in love with all of you. God gave you the exact color of eyes and hair on your head, made you female for his plans and purposes, and gave you gifts and talents for a reason. Your physical features were decided by Him first and foremost. And when he looks at you, trust me, he is well pleased. When I look at you and all your amazing abilities, I’m overjoyed.
When culture and your friends attempt to mold you into something you’re not, remember God has a say in who you are today. He says you’re already valuable—long before you analyze and post an image of yourself. Way before you scroll the newsfeeds and examine friends’ and celebrity feeds and think to yourself:
Am I pretty enough? Am I valuable? Do I make the cut?
Remember God says you’re loved for who you are—fearfully and wonderfully made. True friends will love you for who you are inside. Your value and significance aren’t determined by how pretty, attractive, sexy, or stylish you are to other people. Or by how many likes, comments, emoji kisses, or social media engagements you gain from an airbrushed photo.
So, the next time you’re scrolling your phone and see that filtered FaceTune image and you’re tempted to doubt how God made you and if you’re good enough, remember what He says about you.
You are His masterpiece.
I love you beautiful girl,
"For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago." – Ephesians 2:10