Last Friday, I had the opportunity to share a bit about my story during my University’s chapel. Since beauty is a topic that I feel very passionate about, I decided to talk about the standard of beauty on my college campus:
"Humble. Meek. Kind. & Soft-spoken.
These are just a few of the words that come to mind as I reflect on how beauty has been defined to me in the context of American evangelical culture.
I wasn’t raised in a typical Christian household, and I actually didn’t become a Christian until my freshman year of high school. So naturally, growing up, my idea of beauty was largely influenced by the media, and more often than not, the girls in the magazines and on TV looked nothing like me.
From an early age, I struggled with insecurity and I was never content with the way that I looked. I felt like I was always lacking and never enough.
When I did become a Christian, I had this crazy idea that somehow all of my insecurities would just magically disappear. But, surprisingly enough, that was not the case.
And actually, those struggles further intensified. I attended predominantly white suburban churches, where there was a certain standard of beauty that was glorified and promoted, and again, I did NOT meet that standard. I found myself conflicted when most of the women who spoke to our youth group about beauty, were already beautiful themselves. As a Filipina-American woman, I didn’t feel like I had anyone at church who I could confide in about my frustrations. I experienced firsthand the pain that came as a result of favoritism and partiality.
Coming to this campus was really not all that different from my church experiences. I strongly believe that a similar standard of beauty exists here as well. And whether we choose to acknowledge it or not, there are very real privileges that come with meeting that standard. And there is also a very real sense of pain and frustration that comes with FAILING to meet that standard.
I look at the standard of beauty on our campus and internal character traits aside, I wonder what sets it apart from a secular standard of beauty. Or have we become so infiltrated by society’s standard of beauty that we hold to a nearly identical viewpoint?
Being beautiful does not have to mean being the acoustic guitar-playing, Toms-wearing, worship-leading, woman of God with a heart for Africa. Beauty can look a lot of different ways.
I’ve learned to aim for one standard, and one standard only, one in which Christ calls me to love and celebrate all parts of my being—a standard of grace, not perfection.
So yes, I’m called to be humble, but I’m also called to exude confidence because I know who I am in Christ.
And yes, I’m called to be meek, but I’m also called to speak up against injustice when I see it.
And as far being soft spoken, I’ve thrown that one out the window, because I’ve spent way too much of my life being silent, and my voice is a lot more valuable than I give it credit for.
I am a broken girl whose brokenness has been redeemed by a God who makes all things beautiful.
I’m Janelle, and I’m made in the image of God.”
You’re single because you’re single. It’s not because you texted too much or too little or waited 33 minutes to respond because he took 23. It’s not because you met up with your ex that night at 5 a.m. that no one knows about, or because you kissed another boy after a date with a loser.
You’re not single because you spit food on that date or tripped coming out the the movie theatre. You’re not single because you hurt your first boyfriend really badly when you were 15 or because you have yet, to this day, to apologize. It’s not because you were secretly jealous when your friend got a boyfriend or that a guy you dated for two months now has a really cute girlfriend and looks really happy. And you’re happy for him. But still ill that he found someone before you.
You’re not single because you slept with your ex boyfriend. You’re not single because half the world found out when you didn’t even want to remember it yourself. You’re not single because you think the guy your friend wants to hook you up with is ugly or not tall enough. It’s not because you’re not willing to put up with someone who doesn’t brush their teeth on a regular basis.
You’re not single because your standards are too high. Good for you for having standards. It’s not because you didn’t like that really, really good guy who wanted to take you on a date and you just weren’t feeling it. And it’s not because you like to wear pajama pants as soon as you get home and wash all the makeup off your face. You’re not single because you didn’t learn enough from the past or would rather chill on a Friday night with your blanket and a cold beer than shower, get ready, and go out. You’re not single because something is wrong with you.
You are single because you are single. It’s really as simple as that. You haven’t made the connection with another heart yet. You can get dolled up, dress cute, cut your hair, dye your hair, tweeze your eyebrows, put on lipstick and you may still. be. single. You can go out to a bar hoping to meet the love of your life and not find a damn one in the place attractive. And it’s going to remain that way until it’s time for you to find one. Stop hoping for it. Start living the life that you do have instead of wishing for things that you don’t have. There will come a time you’ll meet a boy and you’ll have to give up some of this single freedom you currently have. Start being more thankful. Start doing that now."
drive thru employees definitely do not get paid enough for this shit they are sick of your nonsense
the last guy wasn’t even phased omg
I’ve just cried laughing at the comments on a Jamie Oliver recipe, there was a typo on the website and everyone put 13 lemons into a pasta sauce and didn’t even question it. Imagine eating 13 lemons, the recipe was for 4 people, imagine having that much trust in Jamie Oliver.