Ellie ran the antique brush through her long, raven hair—ten times. According to her mentor, it would not only bring shine but also guarantee a win in the pageant. She sighed. Was that true? Did she really believe everything the contestants were told about their daily régime?
Bath with mineral salts, use this brand of oil for your pores, and don’t forget to brush your teeth with a whitener.
Do I really want to win? Was it worth all the stress?
Ellie’s small community strongly suggested she enter. They needed to regain their status as a peaceful town. The latest scandal had ruined their ranking in the top ten. They said it would help if a fun-loving girl like Ellie won. Seriously?
Uncle Morty told her to keep her identity a secret—change her name. Hailey Brown was well-known as the daughter of the man who had caused the negative publicity.
Ellie glanced at the other girls in the room. Each had an agenda to win. The competition was fierce. Pungent perfume overtook her sinuses and she sneezed. She grabbed a tissue. How much more could she take?
The door opened and Uncle Morty appeared. His creased eyebrows told her something wasn’t right. He motioned for her to follow him and they slipped out into the hall.
Ellie placed her hand on his shoulder. “What’s wrong?
Uncle Morty sighed. “I just heard of a plot to sabotage the pageant.”
“Yes, a small group of protestors found out you are in the contest. They plan on leaking it to the press. Our town can’t take more publicity. We’re trying to rebuild. You have to tell Xavier the truth and why you entered. It will gain credibility.”
The head judge? Was her uncle serious?
“I’ll be disqualified for lying. You know the rules.”
“Are you sure?” He stepped closer and took her face in his hands. “You have to do this for us. I know you have it in you. Use your beauty for good.”
She lifted her chin.
“I’ll do it. And if I lose, I lose.”
Let’s face it…we live in a society hung up on beauty. Everywhere you look, you see images of thin, beautiful people. We hear of all the latest fad diets, best anti-aging products, and how you can get whiter teeth in only two hours. Really? Is that even possible?
If you look like this (insert picture of the latest super model), you will succeed.
What a bunch of malarkey! When did the lie begin? When did the emphasis on beauty become so important?
With our first beauty contestant—Esther.
You remember the story. King Xerxes issued a search for all beautiful virgins to come to his kingdom, go through a series of beauty treatments, and then parade in front of him. He would pick the next queen. Let’s look closer to see what we can learn.
Esther didn’t focus on her beauty. Each girl had to go through a colossal routine of beauty treatments. Six months of oil and six months of perfumes and cosmetics. Oh my. I bet they were shiny! This was decreed so King Xerxes could find the most beautiful, soft, and pleasant-smelling virgin in the county. After all, it was all about him. Seriously? Get over it. Before the girl went to the king, she could take anything from the harem. Esther chose nothing. She didn’t get hung up on her beauty. Esther wanted the king to see who she was from the inside. Our society could learn from this courageous woman. We emphasize our looks far too much. If someone is beautiful on the outside but has an ugly heart, don’t you think their true colors will shine through eventually? It’s who we are inside that counts. Like Esther, how about we let everyone see our inner beauty?
Esther took a huge risk. When Mordecai told Esther of the plot to annihilate the Jews, he asked her to approach the king. Well, that wasn’t as easy as it sounds! In those days to go in front of the king without being summoned meant uncertain death. She took a risk and did it anyway. In her words, “If I perish, I perish.” What does this have to do with beauty? In my opinion it personifies her character, which only adds to her inner beauty. How many of us would take a risk like this?
Esther took action. Even before Esther approached the king, she had a plan to reveal the conspirator, Haman. And yes, the king extended his gold scepter, which meant she could approach. Phew! She then put the rest of the plan in motion. God used this beauty queen for His glory and the Jews were saved. Do we underestimate ourselves and think God won’t use us? Are you working on a plan for something in your life and you’re hesitating to put it into action? Maybe it has nothing to do with beauty, but it will enrich your character and that’s what it’s all about.
Are you caught up in the next beauty treatment or fad diet? Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with taking care of ourselves. That’s not what I’m referring to. I’m talking about continually obsessing about our appearance all in the name of trying to look like the model on the next Vogue magazine. We should be concentrating on what’s inside.
What type of example are we teaching the young people of today? That our looks will buy happiness? They will only be loved if they’re beautiful on the outside? Far from it.
Let’s learn from Queen Esther and clean ourselves from the inside out.
That’s age-old beauty.
Do you agree? What are your thoughts on this topic? Share a beauty story with us.
Esther 2:15 (The Message)
When it was Esther’s turn to go to the king (Esther the daughter of Abihail the uncle of Mordecai, who had adopted her as his daughter), she asked for nothing other than what Hegai, the king’s eunuch in charge of the harem, had recommended. Esther, just as she was, won the admiration of everyone who saw her.
1 Samuel 16:7 (NIV)
But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
Beautiful by MercyMe
To all my readers—you’re BEAUTIFUL! Don’t forget that.