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Answers to 10 Questions Young People Ask

 QUESTION 2

Why Do I Worry About My Appearance?

Why Do I Worry About My Appearance?

WHY IT MATTERS

Some things are more important than what you see in the mirror.

WHAT WOULD YOU DO?

Imagine this scenario: When Julia looks in the mirror, all she sees is fat. “I need to lose weight,” she tells herself—even though her parents and friends tell her she’s “stick-thin.”

Recently, Julia has thought about taking extreme measures to lose “just five pounds.” All she has to do is starve herself for a few days . . .

If you felt the way Julia does, what would you do?

STOP AND THINK!

Your perception of yourself can be like a reflection in a distorted mirror

It’s not wrong for you to be concerned about how you look. In fact, the Bible comments favorably on the physical appearance of a number of women and men, including Sarah, Rachel, Abigail, Joseph, and David. The Bible says that a woman named Abishag was “extremely beautiful.”1 Kings 1:4.

However, many youths are obsessed with how they look. That can lead to severe problems. Consider:

  • In one study, 58 percent of girls claimed to be overweight, when, in fact, only 17 percent were.

  • In another study, 45 percent of women who were actually underweight thought that they were too heavy!

  • In their quest to lose weight, some youths have fallen victim to anorexia—a life-threatening eating disorder that really amounts to self-starvation.

 If you have symptoms of anorexia or any other eating disorder, get help. Start by confiding in a parent or another trusted adult. The Bible says: “A true friend shows love at all times, and is a brother who is born for times of distress.”Proverbs 17:17.

THE BEST IMPROVEMENT YOU CAN MAKE!

Really, it’s the inner person that makes one either attractive or not. Consider King David’s son Absalom. The Bible says:

“No man was as highly praised for his handsome appearance. . . . There was no flaw in him.”2 Samuel 14:25.

Yet, this young man was full of pride, ambition, and treachery! The Bible, therefore, doesn’t paint a pretty picture of Absalom; it portrays him as a man of shameless disloyalty and murderous hatred.

For good reason, the Bible gives us this advice:

“Clothe yourselves with the new personality.”Colossians 3:10.

“Do not let your adornment be external . . . , but let it be the secret person of the heart.”1 Peter 3:3, 4.

While there’s nothing wrong with wanting to look good, far more important than your appearance is your personality. In the long run, praiseworthy qualities will make you more attractive to others than a strong body or a beautiful figure will! “Prettiness can get quick attention,” says a girl named Phylicia, “but who you are on the inside and your good qualities are what people will remember about you the most.”

A LOOK AT HOW YOU LOOK

Are you often disappointed with the way you look?

Have you ever considered resorting to cosmetic surgery or an extreme diet to correct a physical flaw?

What would you change about your appearance if you could? (Select all that apply.)

  • HEIGHT

  • WEIGHT

  • HAIR

  • BODY SHAPE

  • FACE

  • COMPLEXION

If you answered yes to the first two questions and selected three or more features in the third, consider this: There’s a good chance that others don’t see you as negatively as you see yourself. It’s easy to go to extremes and worry about your appearance too much.1 Samuel 16:7.

Learn More

Young People Talk About Healthy Lifestyles

Do you find it hard to eat right and exercise? In this clip young people share what they do to stay healthy.