I spent many years with a very low self-esteem. I’m no Barbie Doll, I’ve always been just a tiny bit curvy, and sometimes more than a tiny bit. Some men in my life referred to it as pleasantly plump, as it wasn’t obese or even what they considered fat, just curvy. They even felt I was very sexy. There are some men who told me that I needed to gain weight, as they are into far heavier girls than myself, and then there were those like the ones I married who liked their women skinny. I’ve never been skinny other than when I was very sick in high school. But I would strive for perfection in other ways, with lots of make-up and the 80’s mega huge big hair. I always longed to see myself through someone else’s eyes because no matter what I still never felt attractive. Many things in life impacted my self-esteem from being the picked on, bullied kid in school to the unfaithfulness of spouses. Those will leave a lot of scars on the self image.
Being sexual creatures we are drawn to physically attractive people. Lust is a powerful force and can tempt even the most faithful, God-fearing men and women astray. Even King David, described in the Bible as a man after God’s own heart, was led astray into deep sin by way of lust. Few of us could claim a faith and walk as David’s so we ought to be very careful to guard against lust. And images are one of those ways we can get caught up or catch someone else up in sexual sins.
As someone who has had a number of professional, nude photo shoots, I’m guilty of causing others to sin through lust. My photos were published on a website that was free, but also on one that was a pay site. And I loved the photos, not going to lie. The photographer was a true artist and they were very classy photos. I did them and the then husband found it very hot. Other than the risks of people we knew finding out, he thought it even hotter that other men were lusting for what he had. And lust they did, I had a number of fans that would email me via the photographer, and through other means. It seemed so harmless at the time, and did my self esteem a world of good, but it was dead wrong. Those photos are still floating around, and needless to say due to those I will not be running for any public office (though I’d run on a complete, open door platform and put those out there myself). But every time someone sees one and lusts, I’ve led that person to sin. That is now my prayer, that those images will vanish from cyberland, and for the heart and soul of anyone who sees them. It is a heavy weight to carry knowing you’ve caused and continue to cause others to stumble by coloring outside of the lines.
Over time I’ve come to learn that true beauty is what you see when the lights are turned off. It is what beauty looks like in the dark. In the dark, or if unable to see a person physically, you focus on the inner portion, their heart. The person who is truly beautiful is the one who is a beautiful soul on the inside. I’ve met many very attractive people outwardly, but their hearts are full of strife, jealousy, bitterness, and hatred. There is nothing at all appealing in those things. Selfish and self centered, they may be pretty on the surface, but inside is one ugly individual.
Even now, as I’ve dated and been told over an over again that I am attractive, hot, sexy etc., it does my self esteem good. But I’d rather be known for the inner beauty. The true beauty of a heart and soul that puts Christ first, seeks to please Him, and is generous, kind and loving toward others. It can take a lot of work to look pretty on the outside, but only God can make us beautiful on the inside, where it counts.