What Actually Makes You Beautiful

Photo: Vinoth Chandar via Flickr

A couple weekends ago, I got the chance to go to SeaWorld in Orlando with my girlfriend and her family.

While we were there, poking around in a gift shop looking for penguin stuff, I overheard a conversation that made me sad and a little upset.

Two older folks were there with what appeared to be their granddaughters… couldn’t have been older than 7 years old.   One girl brought over a blue dolphin t-shirt, asking to buy it.

They told her no, but not because it was expensive or anything sensible like that.

No… it was because it was a regular t-shirt… and not a scoop neck or v-neck to flatter her figure.

Seriously. They wouldn’t let her get a normal t-shirt. She’s seven years old… she doesn’t even have a figure!

Needless to say, I was disheartened to hear that, for quite a few reasons.

First off cause it was so dumb.

But also because our society is so focused on the outward appearances of things that we forget what really matters.

In a few months, I’ll be helping the youth group at my parish do a retreat for the high school teens. We’ll be talking about some things from the books Wild at Heart and Captivating.

One of the things both talk about is beauty.

Beauty isn’t something that happens with makeup and a “flattering” outfit.


Beauty is far deeper than that.

God is found and revealed through his characteristics evidenced in the world. He is one, true, good and beautiful. We are attracted to that – we are drawn to things in the world that are one, true, good and beautiful because they reflect God, who is the ultimate desire of our hearts.

Beauty isn’t something accidental to our nature. It’s central to who we are as humans.

You are beautiful, not because you look great or because some ad campaign told you so or even because I told you so.

You are beautiful because you are made in the image and likeness of God, who is the source of all beauty.

It’s not something on the surface. It’s not something that depends on a scoop-neck shirt.

It’s something that’s at the very core of your being.

That’s the reason for modesty. It’s not about hiding the body. Not at all. The human body is a great thing!

But often the more of the body we see the less of the insides we care about.

Modesty is all about letting true beauty shine out and making that the focus.

Focus less on the clothes you wear and more on showing off the insides.

What makes you beautiful isn’t how you look. It isn’t how you flip your hair or that you smile at the ground or that you don’t know you’re beautiful or whatever else One Direction says.

You are made in the image of the God of beauty.

That’s what makes you beautiful.


What do you think?

Who is the most beautiful person you know?  Or what’s a moment of beauty that’s struck you with the fingerprints of God? Tell me the story in the comments!

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What Actually Makes You Beautiful by