A healthy attitude toward physical beauty can mean the difference between happiness and unhappiness.
Why do we appreciate beauty?
In ways that are still a mystery, the human brain perceives beauty. The Bible does not explain how this happens, but it does reveal why we have an aesthetic sense: God endowed us with his attributes. (Genesis 1:27; Ecclesiastes 3:11) He also created the highly complex human body, giving it amazing form and function. In that regard, an ancient songwriter said: “I praise you [God] because in an awe-inspiring way I am wonderfully made.”
Today, though, attitudes toward physical beauty are often unbalanced
Hand in hand with the focus on the body is growing overemphasis on sexuality, especially that of women. “Virtually every media form studied,” says a 2007 American Psychological Association (APA) report, “provides ample evidence of the sexualization of women.” The Bible firmly encourages us to avoid being influenced by such trends
“Do not let your adornment be external . . . , but let it be the secret person of the heart in the incorruptible adornment of the quiet and mild spirit, which is of great value in the eyes of God.”
—1 Peter 3:3, 4.
Why is it wise to have a balanced view?
Concerning physical beauty, some say: “If you’ve got it, flaunt it!” In cultures where such thinking is common, adolescent and even preadolescent girls learn to view themselves “as objects of others’ desires . . . , to be looked at and evaluated for their appearance,” says a report by the APA. That view can be most harmful. In fact, it has become a major social and health concern that, according to the APA, may lead to “a host of negative emotional consequences.” These may include anxiety and “even self-disgust . . . , eating disorders, low self-esteem, and depression or depressed mood.”
“Remove troublesome things from your heart, and ward off harmful things from your body, for youth and the prime of life are futility.”
What attitude reflects a sound mind?
The Bible associates “soundness of mind,” or sensibleness, with modesty. (1 Timothy 2:9) Consider: Modest people are not superficial or vain, obsessing about their looks, but they have a healthy, balanced view of themselves. They also consider the feelings of others and thus earn admiration, respect and, above all, God’s favor. (Micah 6:8) Moreover, they are more likely to make true friends and attract potential marriage mates who are interested not just in physical intimacy but also in a lasting and happy union.
For many good reasons, then, the Bible exhorts us to focus on the inner person
“Charm may be false, and beauty may be fleeting, but the woman who fears Jehovah will be praised.”