[Christian girls today need courage to stand for true beauty and not slip into some worldly, counterfeit version of it. I share this guest post by Kristen Clark at Girl Defined (with her permission) to embolden and inspire young women (and women of all ages) to do just that.]
Several months ago I wrote a controversial blog post that went viral and picked up a lot of positive and negative attention. It currently has over 730 comments and has reached over a million people. It’s called “Why Christian Girls Post Seductive Selfies.” If you’re interested, you can read it here.
My main point was to bring up the question of why so many Christian girls post provocative, sensual and seductive selfies online. I challenged Christian girls to reevaluate their online images and ask themselves if what they’re posting is honoring to God.
After reading through several hundred of the comments I began noticing a theme.
People were making comments like:
“Christian girls can post whatever images they want if it makes them feel ‘beautiful.’”
“Stop bashing girls by making them feel guilty for just wanting to look “pretty.’”
“Being beautiful and seductive is the same thing and there’s nothing wrong with it.”
I was surprised by these types of comments and quickly realized that the terms “beautiful” and “seductive” were being viewed as the same thing.
A lot of people seemed to view sexy/seductive selfies as a beautiful thing too.
It’s been several months since I wrote that post and I’m still convinced that there’s nothing holy, pure or God-honoring about posting seductive selfies online. Christian girls are never called by God to be seductresses. Never. But they are called to be beautiful women of God.
According to God’s Word, beauty and seduction are two totally different things.
Let’s compare the two.
I’m convinced that our pop culture is the main reason many Christians are interchanging the words beauty and seduction. Companies like Hollister, Victoria’s Secret and many others are reshaping our thinking to view seductiveness as something beautiful to behold.
Our culture encourages young single women to be “sexy and proud of it.”
Instead of being shocked and appalled by the half-naked women plastered on magazine covers and posters we are being retrained to view them as “beautiful.” Sure, the woman herself might be good looking, but according to God’s Word there’s nothing beautiful about posing seductively and displaying intimate body parts for everyone to see.
Even if a girl is fully dressed she can still have a seductive heart which will be displayed on her face. Come on girls – we’ve all been guilty of this! We know exactly what we’re doing when we raise one eyebrow, slightly separate the duck lips, and stare hard into the camera. There’s a reason we’re not smiling and looking joyful.
We’re trying to look sexy and hot.
Under the banner of “trying to look beautiful” Christian girls are mimicking seductive poses and are being praised by their friends for looking so “pretty.” See the problem here?
A young woman emailed me recently after reading my post about Seductive Selfies and said, “I don’t want to be seductive in my pictures…but every time I post a “hot” looking photo I get tons of likes and comments. If I post a regular photo with little makeup on, I hardly get any responses. I am struggling to do the right thing because I don’t want to go unnoticed.”
Have you ever felt the way she does? Sadly, since our culture is retraining us to view beauty and seductiveness as the same thing, Christian girls like her are struggling to feel “pretty” unless they post sensual pictures. This is a major problem.
God is the author and designer of all things truly beautiful and he made us to carry that mark. He specifically designed women to be beautiful creatures and there is nothing wrong with displaying beauty to the world around us. However, a seductive woman (outside of the marriage bed) is using her God-given beauty for the wrong things.
Our outward beauty as Christian girls should never be used to purposely distract, seduce, entice, lure in, or arouse the people around us.
A Christian girls beauty should never be used selfishly and without thought to how our actions are affecting others.
Our most intimate body parts shouldn’t be thrown around like cheap disposable objects, but rather saved and cherished because we’re pure daughters of a Holy King. And if God has marriage in your future, saving your seductive allure will bless and honor your future husband.
Instead of following after our culture’s self-focused definition of beauty, we need to get back to God’s definition of what a beautiful girl truly looks like. I love how Leslie Ludy describes this:
“True feminine beauty is not a complicated formula involving hundreds of rules to remember. It is not something that requires spending two years at finishing school or being groomed as a beauty pageant queen. It is the natural byproduct of a young woman who has emptied herself, given up her own life, and allowed God’s Spirit complete access to every dimension of her inner and outer life.” ~The Lost Art Of True Beauty
True beauty is the furthest thing from “hot looks” and “sensual poses.”
True beauty is found in the girl who loves Jesus with all her heart and strives to use every area of her life to reflect well on His image. She lives her life to point the people around her to something much bigger and better than herself.
True beauty is having fun with pictures but being wise enough to know where to draw the line. It’s wearing fashionable clothing but knowing what sexual styles to avoid. It’s knowing how to wear makeup to enhance your natural beauty, but not going overboard with it. It’s caring more about being pure before God than striving for the likes and comments of your “friends” online.
It’s a desire to use your life (and photos) to influence others towards Christ and His holiness, not away from it.
I hope you can see that seductiveness and true beauty are two completely different things.
God wants you and me, as Christian girls, to display something radically better to our confused culture. If we won’t stand up and display God’s version of true beauty, who will?
I challenge you to seriously evaluate your current definition of beauty and ask yourself where it comes from. Are you merging the terms, seduction and beauty? How do you describe a beautiful girl? How do you describe a seductive girl?
When people look at you and your online pictures, do they see a godly beautiful girl, or a worldly seductive one? Do you care more about drawing the attention to yourself or using your beauty to point others to Christ? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below!
As they grew up, their family grew larger in number and taller in height. Eight of the ten family members are over six feet tall and often referred to as “that tall blonde family.” They’re not Scandinavian, but a Grandmother is from Austria!
After high school, one of the opportunities that came knocking on their door was modeling. Both tried out different agencies and were disappointed to discover that purity and high moral standards were not in the modeling vocabulary.
Both came to realize that being a girl in today’s world can be a confusing thing. Their hope is that Girl Defined will challenge, encourage, and open your eyes to the incredible truth of God’s design and purpose for your life.
Celebrate! The Girl Defined book is now available!
Thanks for reading!