So many times, we have been presented with notions that make light of physical beauty and we have been forced to believe that beauty isn’t important. We hear things like “beauty is deceptive” but do we really understand it or do we just pretend like beauty isn’t good just because we do not see ourselves fall into the beauty class? I want to sound different.
Just as physical beauty in itself is not enough, the character is also not enough. Just because someone has good character doesn’t mean they are good for you, sometimes what we think is good in our sight may be bad in someone else sight. Being very quiet may seem like a virtue to me, while to someone else, it is a weakness. During discussions as regards marriage, we are advised not to marry someone because of her beauty but I think we also shouldn’t marry anyone because of their good character alone.
To treat beauty as though it isn’t important is to say the taste of food isn’t important. As much as we eat foods to stay healthy, we cannot overemphasise the importance of making foods delicious so that they can be accepted. There are foods you can’t eat because of their irritating appearance. An Igbo proverb says “the eyes eat before the mouth.” People will always choose what they find attractive, however, they stick to it when the attraction is sustained by character.
Beauty is very powerful, it can attract people for good or for bad and it only assumes the character of the personality wearing it. With all the good character one would have, beauty can give an initial edge. In the Bible’s story of Queen Esther, she wasn’t chosen above other maids because of character, she was chosen because she won favour in the sight of all. Character sustained her afterwards.
“Now the king was attracted to Esther more than to any of the other women, and she won his favor and approval more than any of the other virgins. So he set a royal crown on her head and made her queen instead of Vashti.” – Esther 2:17
There isn’t any rule that says one can’t be beautiful and also be well mannered, beauty isn’t the opposite of good character. We often subscribe to a convention where it is taught that the adorable ones are ill-mannered! For me, beauty expresses that our creator possesses good taste, He designed us in such a way that we can express a bit of His beauty. If I should want to stay healthy, I should want to eat healthy foods but I would still prefer healthy foods that are delicious over the bitter ones. No matter how helpful drugs are, they aren’t attractive because most of them are bitter!
Since no rule says you can’t have good character and beauty at the same time, we shouldn’t treat beauty as less important. Anything that can attract people can also deceive people but in a way, the ability in itself isn’t bad, it’s just because it’s powerful and can appeal to souls. Beauty is a force that draws you to the bearer, the character is the bearer’s expressions towards you.
Although some people appear more attractive than others, we can all be attractive, we can add a touch of beauty to our personality. People will appreciate your good character more when it has a crowning of beauty. Unfortunately, many people believe they aren’t beautiful or that they can’t be beautiful but there isn’t anyone who has a monopoly over the definition of beauty.
First of all, beauty is a mindset, it blossoms out of you when you develop the consciousness within you. People who are conscious of their beauty are very confident, they stand in the mirror and get very pleased with who they see. What you feel about yourself greatly determines the impression you create before others. Beauty is a good impression, it is the first thing that draws people to you and then you sustain them with character.
Without beauty, your good character may not be noticed. We are humans with senses and we are first of all moved by what we see. Only God looks at the heart because only Him sees intentions at first sight! Just the same way you make efforts to develop good character, also make efforts to appear beautiful. Being fair and tall isn’t what beauty means, it would be someone’s spec but not necessarily beauty. Regardless of your colour, size, height and accent, you can appear beautiful and become preferred by a majority among many.
It is not wrong to be intentional about your appearance just the same way you are intentional about what you do. There are things you can’t change about yourself, things like height, size, colour and so on. Don’t focus on those things or appreciate less of it! Don’t try changing what you can’t change, there are other things you can change. You can change your hairstyle, you can take care of your skin and even restore the colours, you can stay fit and work on your weight, you can choose fashion styles that fit you and make you comfortable, you can smell nice! You aren’t forcing beauty out of yourself, you are enhancing the beautiful you and making your beauty more obvious.
Don’t resign from looking great just because you are pursuing great virtues. No matter how strong a house look, everyone would prefer a beautiful house. Why not make it a strong beautiful house? We’ve always heard “to your beauty, add character” and it’s time to also hear “to your character, add beauty.” Take both seriously.