Redefining Beauty

by Shelley Noonan


Twenty uniquely created faces stared at me with secret hurts, uncertainties, longings. I saw

in the darkness of their eyes a reflection of the woman I once was. As I shared each morsel of

truth wrapped in hope, a softening glow crept forth in their countenance. The message was

penetrating their souls. It was sinking deeper into mine, too.


Curled into the corner of the couch, a blonde beauty with bright blue eyes confessed, “I just

don’t see beautiful when I look in the mirror. I don’t feel it as true, even though others tell

me I am.”


I sighed. Groaned a silent prayer. And offered my own confession, “Kara, I’ve struggled most

my life with feeling ugly. Not pretty enough. Awkward looking. Afraid to be seen.”

Her eyes grew large, “Really? Even now?”


“Yes. Really. Even now. It isn’t as bad as it used to be. Maybe because it doesn’t matter as

much when you get older? Maybe because in light of eternal things, my beauty is no longer my






The splash of cold water surprised me as I was lost in the suds of my thinking.

“God, how can I get through to these girls about worth and beauty and identity when I

don’t even get it myself? Lord, teach me. Help me to understand.”


Still muttering to the Lord, I grabbed the towel to dry my face, catching a glimpse of myself

in the mirror. For the first time, I didn’t see what others have said. I didn’t see my father’s

face. I didn’t notice the size of my nose or my imperfect complexion. Instead, a chocolate

brown eyed woman settled into her own skin stared me down. There I was, stunning as ever,

soap suds caught in my widow’s peak with wet bangs pushed awry.


But it was me.


Finally me.


A woman learning to let God enter every corner of her life.


A woman in pursuit of eternal worth.


A woman becoming brighter, more beautiful, more like Him (2 Corinthians 3:16-18 MSG).



The next day, the Lord allowed me to bump right into Kara on the way to campus. Before she

could say hello, I grabbed her by the shoulders, looked straight into her eyes, and confessed,

“I finally see my beauty. I think it is because I stopped looking. I’ve been so focused on

seeking God and his perspective, that my view of myself has been entirely rearranged. I

finally see me. Simply me. As God sees me. And in that I see beauty.”


She used her favorite word again, “Really?”


“Yes! I can see me, as God does, with all the things I love and hate, the things that make my

husband crazy and cause him to drool, the silliness that my children adore and the selfishness

my mom abhors. I saw my reflection, but I saw more.


A mess rendered beautiful by God’s grace.


Kara, the secret to seeing our beauty is not to look for beauty, but to live the life of beauty

God purposed for us in the covering of His love and grace.”


The corner of her mouth turned upward, revealing a child-like hope. Her smile captured my

joy, but her eyes hinted that she had yet to know hers. We parted ways.


Lord, teach me more about redefining beauty. Teach me so I can teach them in a way

that makes sense, reaches their hearts, and changes their lives.”



Beauty. We want it. We pursue it. Our need to feel beautiful is almost a burden. But why? Do

we really need to feel beautiful? Is it only on the inside? Should we be able to see it in the

mirror, too?


The pressure to feel beautiful touches nearly every female on the planet. According to Dove®

research, “Only 4% of women around the world consider themselves beautiful, and only 11%

are comfortable using the word beautiful to describe themselves.”


Beauty is about more than appearance. It is the cry of a woman’s heart to feel significant. It

is a question that ought to be answered by God, but is more often sought out elsewhere. The

Enemy constantly rips apart Gods’ purposes for a woman’s life, stripping away her worth and

rendering her life without value, simply because what she sees doesn’t measure up to a man-

made standard. A young girl looks in the mirror and sees only ugly. But she’s comparing it to

the latest airbrushed teen magazine cover model. A woman passes by a window and sees only

flaws. She hasn’t accepted the changes in her appearance that go along with the blessing of

growing older and wiser. The Father of Lies steals, kills, and destroys Godʼs workmanship with

doubt and condemnation about beauty and worth (John 10:10, Ephesians 2:10)


It is so hard to remember that God’s creativity is not defined by man nor limited by shape,

size, or color. Look at the trees on an autumn day. Each one perfectly contributes to God’s

magnificent masterpiece. Should He create humankind any differently? All women are

fearfully and wonderfully made, inside and out. A woman’s beauty is external. Her skin, hair,

features, body are a perfect creation of beauty. Not one is made better than another. A

woman’s beauty also radiates from within as she yields her heart and life to the Lord, putting

on the Designerʼs clothing (Colossians 3:12), and using her God-given gifts, talents, and

passions for His glory!


Redefining beauty is about seeing beauty through the eye of our Beholder. It is not only about

how a woman looks, but is also about how a woman lives in the knowledge of who she is and

whose she is. It is a call for todayʼs women to impact the next generation with a new definition

of beauty.


Will you join the movement to Redefine Beauty?


Download Redefining Beauty resources at


 From every angle, Lisa is passionate about today’s women being equipped with the Word so they can impact the next generation with relevant truth. After more than 15 years of mentoring teen girls and involvement with women’s ministry online and off, Lisa has learned that women of all ages are desperate for honesty, transparency, and authenticity.  She counts it a privilege to be the one at the Gate called Beautiful, offering Jesus, the healer and transformer of lives, through her writing, speaking, teaching, and life coaching.  You can connect with Lisa at More to Be ( and learn more about her dynamic Life Coaching business, Passion and Purpose (



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