In Samuel Richardson’s Pamela, a father counsels his frivolous daughter:
"Be sure you don’t let people’s telling you you are pretty puff you up; for you did not make yourself. It is virtue and goodness only that make true beauty."
I’ve spent years chasing beauty, beauty of the worst sort. I’ve sought public praise and the affirmation of strangers. I’ve aimed to turn heads and inspire envy. I’ve spent more money than I should on more clothes than I need. I’ve worn what I didn’t like because I liked being liked. I have fallen into almost every trap set by my superficial, artificial culture.
Today, I say “No more.”
I am done looking for satisfaction and fulfillment in the way I look. In how fashionable my clothes are. In how well I fit in or how much I stand out.
I will not wear clothes in which I feel uncomfortable out of resignation to the fallen world around me.
I will not buy more than I need to feed an appetite I will never satiate.
I will not seek attention, admiration, or belonging through the shoes I wear or the purse I carry.
No. I will seek virtue and goodness.
I will, as the apostle Paul enjoins, “Clothe [myself] with the Lord Jesus Christ.”
Today, as I step out—one foot first then the other—of an unhealthy reliance on clothes, I put on—one arm at a time—something so much better:
"You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness."
"Created to be like God…"
I can’t help crying as I type these words. Because they’re true. And because they’re beautiful.