"Jesus teaches us another way: Go out. Go out and share your testimony, go out and interact with your brothers, go out and share, go out and ask. Become the Word in body as well as spirit." -Pope Francis I

Sunday, November 17, 2013

A Senior Struggle

A couple weeks ago I had my senior pictures taken, which is something that I had been waiting to do practically all of high school. During my photo shoot I felt like a princess. I mean what girl doesn't like getting dressed up and having her picture taken by a professional photographer? For the first time in quite a while I felt really secure about myself. I left my shoot feeling truly beautiful and confident.
Then Wednesday night my photographer, Stephanie, sent me the link to my photo gallery. I was really excited, because Stephanie had posted a preview of my pictures on facebook a couple nights earlier, and I got some really sweet responses from friends and family. I happily clicked on the link, only to find myself disappointed when viewing the photos. 

Here's what was going through my mind while viewing my pictures:
  • What's going on with my face?
  • Why am I squinting?
  • Wow I'm cheesin' way to hard in that picture
  • Is that really what my hair looks like from the back?
  • I should not have worn that sweater. 
  • I look like a walrus!
  • Why am I so awkward? 
When I say this is what was going through my mind, I mean it. At first glance, I could only think of my flaws. Everything looked wrong and I was frustrated. All of my confidence melted away, and I felt like I was the ugliest girl in the world. I angrily closed my laptop and sat there for a while in silence, and asked myself why I couldn't think of one positive thing about myself? Then, for some reason, I remembered this video I'd seen earlier that day made by Dove called "Real Beauty Sketches." Here is a brief description of the video:

 "The short documentary features Gil Zamora, a former forensic sketch artist for the San Jose Police Department, with his back to his subjects, he draws portraits of a series of women based only on their own descriptions of how they think they look. He prompted them to detail everything: hair length, facial structure, and their most prominent features. . .Each woman was asked before the social experiment to spend some one-on-one time with one of the other participants. The forensic artist then drew portraits of the same woman according to the stranger’s description. At the end of the video, the artist reveals the two sketches – one from the participant’s description, the other from their partner. (Time Magazine)"

From the two sketches collected at the end of the experiment, it was concluded that the sketches created when the woman was describing herself to Zamora, resulted with a picture of an unfriendly and ugly looking woman . However, the sketches created when a woman was described by a stranger, resulted with a picture of a lighter and friendlier looking woman.
Dove concluded from their experiment that:

"Women are their own worst beauty critics. Only 4% of women around the world consider themselves beautiful."

I ended up looking up that video again and re-watching it several times so the message could penetrate through my rather thick skull. Although it was weird watching the same 3 minute video over and over again, I'm really glad I did. Like most women, I struggle with seeing myself in a positive light. It seems like every time I look in the mirror, no matter how much time I spend getting ready, I can always find something wrong with me. Society tells us that beauty comes in a specific color, shape, and size, but not every girl fits that description.
 I don't fit that description, but that doesn't mean that I am not beautiful. When I was looking through my senior pictures I didn't realize that. I let Satan and society convince me that my pictures were ugly, because I didn't fit that definition.
I felt insecure, and the only way I could fix that was by looking to my Creator. 

Sometimes when I feel insecure, I have a difficult time coming to God and talking to Him about what's going on. Sometimes I feel silly for worrying about such small things like my senior pictures. Even though I know that Jesus loves me no matter what, I get scared that Jesus might laugh at me or think that I'm stupid.  
So telling Jesus that I didn't feel beautiful was really hard to do, but I did it. I realized that Jesus didn't die on a cross, just for me to turn around and doubt His love for me. Christ is waiting for us to come to Him with our problems, no matter how big or small. Christ is waiting for us to come to Him, so He can remind us of our worth and beauty. 
My struggle isn't gone, but every time I come to Christ He changes my heart a little more. Eventually, it'll be a thing of the past, but for now, when I don't feel beautiful I give it to Christ and let Him hold my struggling heart. 

After some time with Christ I looked over my senior photo gallery once more, and realized that my pictures turned out just fine. Stephanie did a great job, and I couldn't be happier with my pictures! 
I am a beautiful daughter of God, even when I don't feel like it. Jesus always sees me for who I am, and He sees you too.

There could never be a more beautiful you. Never forget it 


Here is the link to the Dove Real Beauty Sketches video!




  1. Allie, what an awesome post!!!!! God led you through such a beautiful process of self-acceptance...YOU ARE BEAUTFUL!!!!!!!!!!!

    1. Carrie you are so sweet! Thanks so much for your sweet comment and support! God bless you!!