Survival of the prettiest

Will Jesus like what he sees?

What would Jesus see?

For a school that didn’t teach evolution, the rules for survival were harsh in charm class.

Early in the Christian Charm Manual, the sweet girlies are instructed to muse: “Does my face reflect the image of Christ’s beauty within me?” This lesson contains a one-two pretty punch: Step one, invite Jesus into your heart … Step two, be sure you’re attractive.

This page spells out the prayer of confession. But the Charm Marm doesn’t settle for mere conversion. Immediately below the prayer is the following pronouncement:

The above prayer of commitment is an important step in the development of inner beauty. When a girl’s heart has found peace with God, harsh tension lines relax; a new softness and gentleness appears; a lovely new radiance and glow – the light of His glory – shines through from within. Yes, a NEW LOOK WITHIN and a NEW LOOK WITHOUT go hand in hand. To be truly attractive, a girl must have both!

Now this is shocking beyond belief. And I do mean “beyond belief” in so many ways. Can you imagine Jesus admonishing Peter, James, John, Mary or Martha about their attractiveness?

  • You must give away your goods to the poor – except for those face creams. You’re going to need those later backstage at our Disciples Who Glow talent contest.
  • Yea verily, all you need is faith the size of a mustard seed … and a whole new look. For I say unto you, you cannot have new life within and wrinkles without.
  • Blessed are those of you who are truly attractive – I’ve got some extra loaves and fishes for you later.

Clearly, it’s ridiculous; nonetheless, somehow many of us are convinced – in more subtle ways, typically – through our religious programming to look outside of ourselves for validation. When we’re persuaded that how we look matters, our psyche assumes we need outside approval for other facets of our lives, too. Many of us who grew up in fundamentalist organizations realize at some point in our lives that we’re always looking externally for approval or for answers. As a result, we’ve given away our own power, bit by bit.

Undo the Charm Marm: Ignore your critics and listen to yourself. Seriously. You can start by simply sitting quietly whenever you can sneak in a few minutes. Ask yourself how you’ve forfeited your authority by looking to others for approval. Nothing that’s external – whether it’s how you look or where you live – matters as much as that quiet space within yourself. This is your inner wisdom becoming your companion again. This is you and your soul getting back in touch. This is something to write home from charm school about.

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