So as I think through what this means, there was just one problem. You’ve probably already guessed it. I didn’t look anything at all like this woman. But I did feel like I’d seen her before. As if this wasn’t the first time I didn’t measure up to her appearance. It was then that I realized that everybody who was anybody looked exactly like her. They were thin but shapely, with fair-like skin, (you might be surprised to know that even in the black community brighter skin is more valued) long hair, tons of makeup, and most importantly sex appeal. I on the other hand had been a little chunky all my life, my skin was darker than most, my hair was too curly to comb and difficult to straighten so forget about it being long, I was too young for makeup and sex appeal was not allowed in my house. Where was everyone getting this idea of a love interest? Or of an attractive woman?

Consequently, it all starts with society’s definition of gender. Or in the case of a woman, society’s definition of what it means to be feminine. From childhood, we are taught gender roles; that we as girls should be gentle, kind, submissive, quiet, pretty, charming, etc. And as we get older, gender roles only become more complex. And more becomes expected of the gender. Along with being all of the above, we are now approached by society’s expectation of beauty, attractiveness, and sexuality.

My college ministry leader (SHIFT Ministry) used to always say that your beauty and attractiveness doesn’t depend on what society says, but ultimately depends on what Jesus and the Bible says about you.  I really appreciate the way he helped me focus on what is important in life and keep my identity in Jesus Christ rather than in what the world tells me about me.  Speaking about my college ministry leader, he now works with a carpet cleaning company in Orlando, and has taken a step back from college ministry.  I do miss him, but anywho, more thoughts tomorrow on Chris Brown’s video…