Am I Pretty?


You are altogether beautiful, my darling, beautiful in every way. Songs of Solomon 4:7

I used to dream of living secluded from society as I know it. A life away from mirrors, fashion models, diets, and even my friends and family. Any place far enough away that everybody forgets about me and nobody will know what I look like or weigh. To me, living in a mental ward sounded like freedom. A place where I would have no access to food and would only be fed during my scheduled meals times. A life absent of clothes sizes, but with a plethora of loose-fitting hospital gowns. Never having to fear running into an old friend or having a photo of myself tagged on Facebook. Ahhh bliss.

During my journey, a close friend of mine was visiting from Arizona. She listened as I explained how badly I was struggling and then she asked me,”What does recovery look like to you?”

Recovery doesn’t often look the way we want it to. I was never ready to face the reality of recovery because I wanted it on my own terms.
Once I’m fit…then I’ll be recovered.

Everyone will look at my body in awe and THAT’S how they’ll know I’m recovered.

I can’t recover now because I’m fat, and that means I failed at my eating disorder.

And so the cycle carried on and I only strayed farther away from my “dream body” as I continued hurting my metabolism, my spirit, and a chance at a real life of freedom.

The truth is, my family doesn’t need me to be skinny. They need me alive and healthy. My friends don’t need me to look like a Kardashian. They need me to be there when when a boyfriend breaks up with them. They need to me laugh. They need me to listen. They need me to be.

Some days I still awake with fear that people will judge me by the way I look. I look in the mirror and ask myself, “Am I pretty?” I’m afraid people will see how uncomfortable I am in my own skin. I’m afraid that they will not want to be my friend because I am not “pretty enough.” The reality is, maybe it’s true. Maybe people won’t like the way I look. Maybe people will criticize my body and judge me. Maybe. But my identity doesn’t rest in their opinions. My identity rests in my maker.

So here’s the truth, you will never be good enough according to society’s standards. There will always be one more pound to lose, one more celebrity to compare yourself to, or one more girl at school who has better hair than you. But there will never be another you. Only you can make your friends laugh the way you do. Only you can make your parents as proud as they are of you. Only you can dream your crazy, wild dreams and actually be brave enough to believe they might come true.

You are pretty, but beyond that, you are brave.
You are strong.
You are loved.
You are priceless.
God awaited the day you were born and yes, you, you are worthy.


Watch my testimony on youtube about how I recovered from bulimia, EDNOS, and self hate here:

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11 thoughts on “Am I Pretty?

  1. lsavannah says:

    Thank you for posting this. Cultivating this type of thought is something I’ve been struggling with lately, and each reminder offers the hope that God can get me through the times when it feels like I’m going crazy.


  2. biblecommentator says:

    Thanks Rihanna – a lot of people have these struggles – including guys (although I must admit that I have never despaired of being pretty 😉 ). The pressure to “look good” is one we feel in North America because we are constantly bombarded by messages that tell us that we should look a certain way – a way we don’t look.

    Marketing is specifically designed to send a message to tell us that we are not good enough (or good looking enough) but if we buy and use their product then we will be better off and happier – what a scam!

    I find it interesting that different cultures have different ideas of beauty – some believe bigger is better – being large shows that you are wealthy enough to eat whatever you want. In ancient cultures paleness was a sign of royalty: in Song of Solomon 1:6 the woman’s comments reveal that a tan was a sign of one forced to work outside.

    I am glad that you have discovered your value – God has created each of us for a reason. We have value because He created us and He loves us.

    Not too long ago, I was reflecting on my own sense of worth and I felt I heard God asking me this question: “If I was the only one who loved you, would that be enough?”

    I was stuck. There is only one answer that I felt I could give – it had to be enough. I knew that God loved me, but I had been chasing others for that love – in terms of acceptance, approval and friendship. But those things can be fickle – friends can leave, popularity has a high exacting price at times, and I might mess up and do things others won’t approve of: but God’s love for me never goes away.

    When I really faced this truth head on, for a moment I stopped chasing everything else and quietly said to God: “Yes, if you are the only one that ever loves me, it will be enough.” A huge burden lifted from me there and I felt God’s love on a whole new deeper level that anchors my sense of worth in Him. No one can shake that, because ultimately it’s His love that matters the most.

    Deeply knowing God’s love for me has reoriented my life – it has helped me see that is is not only okay to be me – it is a good thing – God wanted me and wants me to become the man he created me to be: and that’s a pretty cool thing.

    Since that day I have found a new freedom to give up my pursuit of being the “perfect Christian” and instead have begun to try to figure out how God has wired me – to learn about how I can be the me that God wants me to be!


  3. Rudy Landa says:

    I recently met a new co-worker of mine that looks like he should be in a magazine…. he looks like Jason Statham and even more hammer-chiseled than him… I asked him what the secret to his hollywood physique was and his answer floored me….quite possibly the most honest answer that I have ever gotten from anyone in the fitness world….he said… “to look like me you have to be self-centered and selfish…. I don’t date, I don’t have a social life and I have only ONE hobby outside of working out….. I prepare all of my meals at the beginning of the week and I know what I’ll be eating the whole week”….

    You know? I actually contemplated trying this……I lasted 2 days. He is right, Hollywood actors and people in magazines LIVE for the way they look…personal trainers…2-4 hours of gym time and training daily….the luxury of 8-9 hours of sleep every night……but…if we have ANY aspirations to live for anything or anyone else other than ourselves and the way we look then we MUST find a way to embrace the realities of the way God made us….and not only to be content but to celebrate them….if God intended for us to be visually flawless (society’s idea of “flawless” anyways) then God would have created us that way… to a certain degree…obsessing about creating a better product than God made is kind of arrogant of us as human beings.

    I’m divorced and have been in the dating world for a few years….I hear (or perceive) the insecurities that so many ladies carry with them….I have seen how many of them are SLAVES to a life of depriving themselves of so much LIFE in the name of “fitness”…. please don’t get me wrong…I’m usually up at 5:30 AM to get to the gym before going to work.. I set short term and long term goals for myself….but my body is the temple of the Holy Spirit….it is NOT the temple where I worship ME….and I really believe that God is a jealous God then I don’t need to be trying to get anyone else to worship me.

    Again, I firmly believe in taking care of the body God gave me..I’d really like to be healthy to enjoy the grown-up years of my children and someday grandkids………For many years I didn’t and so over the last few years I’ve been trying to catch up to where God intended for me to be,…but I REFUSE to make an idol out of myself or my body… and in all honesty….I refuse to make an idol out of a woman’s body and hold them to expectations that are unrealistic, shallow and detrimental.

    I have seen people who are killing themselves in the gym hoping to look a certain way to find someone who looks a certain way to marry/date them………….good luck. I’m not saying that having a CRAZY attraction to someone of the opposite sex is not important, vital even, for a potential spouse or significant other, but if that’s the only base line…..may the odds be in your favor because the statistics for marriages these days are already stacked against you. I would much rather be married to a woman that I love so much that love absolutely blinds me to any blemish that she sees in herself, than a woman who I can’t see anything but perfection outside and is absolutely poisoned by conceit and self-centeredness on the outside…..the truth is…. NONE of us want to be under someone’s microscope…. so why should I do that to someone else.

    The cliche’s are so true, beauty comes from within, pretty is as pretty does, and most of all….. for me as a man…. the sexiest woman is the one who gives herself permission to feel sexy and to be confident… regardless of how much of a Kardasian (eww) she might or might not look like.

    I saw your video of your conference at that church where you shared your testimony…. you are a brave young lady and absolutely beautiful every bit on the outside as on the inside….. not creeping, just making my point.

    thanks for the good reads. Keep up your good work… God bless.


  4. Ashley says:

    Your words are giving me inspiration. I never told myself ‘OH! Your so pretty’, when i look myself in the mirror or whatever. I am always nervous when im around people because im afraid they would critizise and bullied me. But after reading this. . I have the courage to step out from the corner and be with my friends. I am very ashamed to myself that i used to think myself as a cow or an ugly animal. Ha! Funny,right? Ummm. .maybe not. . Your the only one who makes me feel like a super model, miss world or whatever but not a cow. . Thanks to you. . love you so so so much. . But don’t take that personal. . Haha. . Bye. .


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