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Ever since fifth grade, I’ve struggled with low self-esteem. I’ve had difficulty with my weight off and on ever since I can remember, and I have a tendency to equate my weight with how beautiful I am. Yet, even when I’m thin I still feel ugly. I guess that’s what happens after years of being picked on at school when your skin isn’t quite so thick. I’ve always been “too sensitive,” as my family put it.
Even now, though I know that true beauty is not what is on the outside but truly what is on the inside that counts, daily it is a fight for me to look at myself in the mirror and be satisfied with my figure and with my face. I thrive on words of affirmation, and when I don’t receive them often, my love tank is bone dry and all I can help but feel is fat and ugly. (You’d think that I’d know better after writing this post on beauty.)
But there are other days that I do feel good about myself. When I put on a nice outfit, shower, take the time to put on my makeup–it’s then that I feel beautiful. (I even take a selfie every now and then–gasp!) When I positively influence the life of someone else–it’s then that I feel beautiful.
Because of all of this back and forth, I was immediately attracted to Beauty Begins: Making Peace with Your Reflection by Chris Shook and Megan Shook Alpha. After all, I’m in desperate need of peace with my reflection.
I loved that Beauty Begins spoke to the emotions I’ve struggled with since childhood. But I also loved that Chris and Megan take the time to examine beauty through God’s eyes and why beauty matters, though not in the way we think. The mother and daughter duo examine many different ways in which we were made beautiful and how we can feel beautiful, and it involves so much more depth than you’d imagine. I’d love to share with you the ins and outs of the book and the main ideas that touched my heart, but then you would have no reason to read the book. So, moving on.
I am almost always a fan of sections at the end of each chapter that allow the reader to reflect on the text and process the information. This is one of those books that includes such sections. Even better–each chapter ends with a prayer, and I am a big fan of written prayers. The best part of all is the chapter at the end of the book called “A Challenge to Men,” which encourages men to make a difference in the lives of the women around them, helping them to feel beautiful in the ways that God made them. We need that, women, don’t we?
It’s hard to get on my “life-changing books” list, and while this isn’t on that list, it’s definitely a recommended read–especially if you’re currently in the midst of the beauty struggle. I hope you’ll consider checking out Beauty Begins and begin a transformation that will hopefully affect the way you see yourself forever.