The Sufficient Single
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Pretty in Pale

This is the story of a girl who was told all her life that pale wasn’t pretty.

For years she basked in the Florida sun only to end up with burnt skin and freckles that could be mistaken for constellations. “My sunburn will turn into a tan,” she told herself. She looked over at her friends and noticed it only took them less than an hour to turn fifty shades darker.

“I’m like so pale,” her tan friends complained. Rolling her eyes, she interjected their conversation by comparing her arms with theirs to make them feel less pale about themselves.

In college, this girl had the idea of getting a spray tan. It could be a quick fix to her pale problem, just as long as she didn’t end up like Ross in the Friends episode: “The One Where Ross Gets Tan.”

Even though her tan came out less unfortunate as Ross’s tan, she noticed the different colored creases from her knuckles as she clutched the steering wheel on her drive back to campus. “You’re fine,” she reassured herself, “Just don’t make fists with your hands for a week. It’s not like you’re headed to the boxing ring anytime soon.”

This is the story of a girl who was told all her life that pale wasn’t pretty, and that girl was me.

So why did I allow my thoughts to conform to the world’s standards of beauty for so many sunburned skin years? This is such a backward way of viewing my worth. My worth comes from Jesus.

Notice the difference in the way today’s society has crowned the ranking of skin color:

  • “Wow, you have such pale skin!”
  • “Wow, you have such tan skin!”

There’s nothing wrong with a little Vitamin D people, or sun-kissed skin. But what’s your motive for laying out in the sun, or rather, avoiding it? If you desire to have darker or lighter skin in order to feel worthy, you’re chasing after a validation that’s fleeting, misleading and temporary.

Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.

Proverbs 31:30

So how do we love the skin we’re in?

It’s when we begin to understand that our beauty does not come from the world’s standards, but by God’s standards that we realize the shade of our skin doesn’t define us; only God does.

God sees us as far more precious than jewels (Proverbs 31: 10). We are his masterpiece (Ephesians 2:10), his creation. We are beautiful because we are made in the image of God (Genesis 1:27). And for me, God made me pretty in pale.

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