3 Lies Every Woman Needs to Stop Believing

What do you see when you look in the mirror? Is your worth defined by your outward appearance or by something far more important?

If you’ve flipped on a radio station or picked up a magazine recently, chances are you’re aware of the highly controversial teen pop star Miley Cyrus. Miley made headline news with her performance (which we won’t describe) at the 2013 Video Music Awards. She stirred up further controversy with her provocative music video for the song “Wrecking Ball,” in which she appears nude. 

Miley’s reputation, however, was not always so shocking. As the former star of Disney’s Hannah Montana TV series, Miley once portrayed a far more wholesome image. Miley Cyrus grew up attending church and even wore a purity ring. Now she has become known for her increasingly provocative clothing and sexually explicit routines.

What happened to the wholesome image?

Miley is not the only celebrity to undergo an outward transformation. Well-known singer Katy Perry also grew up in a religious home and lived a conservative lifestyle until her music career began to take off. Now she is known for her sexy clothing, provocative music videos and hard-edged lyrics.

With such influential role models on the scene, what kinds of messages are being sent to us about beauty and femininity? Is it possible that society is broadcasting some very powerful messages that are actually false?

Consider the following three false messages that are currently being sent to women—and especially to young girls—through celebrities and modern fashion.

False Message No. 1: You’re not good enough the way you are.

Truth: Your worth is not determined by what you see in the mirror; your worth is determined by the God who created you.

Both Miley and Katy have undergone complete transformations. But what was wrong with how they looked before?

What’s your definition of beauty and femininity? Do you look at celebrities like Miley and Katy and admire their style and popularity? Do you look at yourself in the mirror and believe you need to change too—to somehow meet the standard they set?

This belief that you aren’t good enough comes from many places, but mostly it’s shaped by the culture we live in. Our society is very image-driven. It puts more emphasis on what we look like than on who we are, and it bombards us with an ideal that doesn’t actually exist. So if you struggle with feeling insecure about yourself, you are not alone. In fact, according to Rader Programs, four out of five U.S. women are dissatisfied with their appearance.

Yet God’s Word tells us something very different. He says we are special to Him, no matter what our shape or size might be. He created us in His image (Genesis 1:26); and when He was done, He said that everything He’d created was “very good” (verse 31). That means you too! God has an incredible plan for you, and it’s not based upon the shallow values found in our society. You are a priceless treasure to God.

False Message No. 2: It’s all about the image.

Truth: True beauty is not dependent on how you look, but on how you act.

Society wants you to believe that your beauty is determined by how you look. But what does God have to say about beauty?

Notice how God looks at us: “For the LORD does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7). The same principle is applied specifically to women in 1 Peter 3:3-4: “Do not let your adornment be merely outward … rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the … beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.” As Proverbs 31:30 says, “Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, but a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised.”

God cares more about what’s inside us—our character and the standards we live by—than the packaging itself. That doesn’t mean you can’t dress with style or flair! There are lots of ways to create a unique look that’s fashionable, but still tells others you should be valued and treated with respect. Though many would say Miley is still an attractive young woman, there’s no beauty in how she’s behaving, and her outrageous actions have made her the target of many others’ disdain and disrespect.

False Message No. 3: Being sexy and alluring is fun and powerful.

Truth: You teach people how to treat you. When you treat yourself with respect, others will too.

Some girls use their bodies as a tool or weapon to get what they want: attention, love or sex. It’s true, sexuality is one way to manipulate or coerce someone. But what message does that ultimately send others about you? The attention you get from flaunting your sexuality does not last, and it brings other consequences, like being the target of other people’s lust and disrespect. Proverbs 11:22 gives this insight: “As a ring of gold in a swine’s snout, so is a lovely woman who lacks discretion.” Without discretion, we cheapen ourselves, turning something beautiful into something crude.

It’s not too late to change!

It doesn’t matter how you’ve viewed yourself or defined your worth in the past. Today is a fresh start! Find out what the Creator of the entire universe says about you, and stop listening to those false messages that society is sending.

Don’t be a target for others, be the priceless treasure you were designed to be!

About the Author

Debbie G. Pierce and Vivienne Villaescusa

Debbie Pierce, LPC, NCC, is a licensed psychotherapist and has practiced for 20 years. Vivienne Villaescusa is a member of the Church of God, a Worldwide Association.