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Is our Obsession Worth the Cost?

In the U.S., consumers spent $9,400,000,000 on cosmetic surgeries in 2003. This amount increases each year. Customers spent $12,400,000,000 on cosmetics in 2004. That doesn’t count the $22,000,000,000 spent on fashion, or the amount spent at hair and nail salons.


That also doesn’t count the non-monetary cost of obsessing over looks.

Ashley picked up her older sister’s magazine. A beautiful celebrity smiled at her from the cover. Inside, the celebrity modeled the latest fashion. She stood arm-in-arm with her live-in boyfriend next to an article that told of their “love.”

Ashley looked in the mirror. Would she ever have enough money to buy clothes like she saw in the magazine? Would any boy ever want her? She looked at her tiny tummy and exclaimed, “I’m fat!”

Like 8,000,000 others, Ashley started down the path to anorexia. The media fed her twisted thinking. Ashley celebrated her twelfth birthday weighing seventy pounds. She died at fifteen.

The magazine seemed like nonfiction, but it had nothing to do with reality. Its air-brushed pictures presented unreal models. It didn’t show the emotional pain celebrities endure. It didn’t show the models throwing up or downing pills. It didn’t show the dysfunctional relationships or destructive behavior of many celebrities.

Does our self-esteem come from such a shaky base as our appearance? Are we encouraging those thoughts in others—especially youths?


Do we compliment others on how they look or on their character? I never read about Jesus saying, “Nice robe, Pete.”


What if we use the powerful words available to us and point the focus to God? A friend once told me Christians are like signs pointing to God. If we are unattractive, people might reject our message. If we are too wrapped up in looks, people might stay focused on us instead of God. Let’s find the balance God wants us to have.


To our children:

Instead of “I like that shirt,” could we say “I like the way you care for the body God gave you”?

To a friend:

Instead of “Nice car,” could we say “It’s good to see how God is blessing you”?


Would you share some positive comments we can say to one another that will foster self-esteem based on truth?

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