Am I Ugly or Pretty?

At some point in every young woman's life, she looks in the mirror and silently asks herself: "Am I ugly or pretty?" Looking intently at her reflection, the blemishes on her face seem to grow in size. Comparing herself to the popular girls at school and models on the magazine covers & music videos, she feels overweight and/or underdeveloped. My hair is too short. My ears are too big. My eyes are too small. My nose is too big. My skin is too dark. Thoughts like these swirl through her mind, building in intensity and growing louder and louder until she escapes from the mirror in disgust, wishing she looked like someone else. I can remember having this experience as a young woman, and know full well what it's like to battle thoughts of insecurity and inadequacy.

Last night, while searching the internet for topics to address on beauty, I came across an article that discussed an uprising in young teen girls posting YouTube videos of themselves asking a world-wide audience, "Am I ugly or pretty?". The girls then encourage viewers to leave a comment below and tell them if they are ugly or pretty. With over 6 million views and thousands of comments on one video alone, the world-wide audience has given its responses, both positive and negative. Today, I would like to give the most honest, truthful response to the question that so many women, young and old, battle with every single day. This response is not just based on my opinion, because when it really comes down to it, my opinion of someone else's appearance is meaningless. I am not their Creator and therefore I can only speculate with my interpretation of them as His creation.

The response is this: You are not ugly. You are beautiful.

No matter what people have to say about your appearance, whether it be a friend or even a family member, you are not ugly, but beautiful and made in God’s image. Genesis 1:27 says that God created man in His own image, in the image and likeness of God! Psalm 139: 14 says that you are fearfully and wonderfully made! Ephesians 2:10 says that you are His masterpiece! So you know what that means? You are beautiful because your Creator says so, and the truth of God’s word always overrides the opinions that people have. Feelings and people change, but God’s Word remains the same.

Always remember this: beauty is not in the eye of the beholder, but in the Creator.

If you are questioning your identity and have been feeling insecure about your appearance, begin to read over the scriptures that I mentioned earlier and speak them out loud over yourself. As you begin to repeatedly read and speak God’s truth about your appearance, you will begin to see yourself as He sees you and walk in confidence as you embrace yourself as His beautiful creation. Also, listen to positive music that delivers a healthy perspective on life and women. You would be amazed how powerful music is, especially when head repeatedly.

So today, I want you to know that you are beautiful! Begin to think positively about yourself! Love yourself, flaws and all! Embrace your uniqueness! Work on being the best "you" you can be! Help others! Make a difference and leave your beauty mark on your community, your state, your nation and the world!

And the next time you face your reflection in the mirror and thoughts of insecurity begin to flood your mind, don't let them win. Remember that you are not ugly, and more than just pretty, you are beautiful. Look at your reflection, smile and confidently say to yourself, "I am beautiful." :)

Emonne Markland | Leave Your Beauty Mark