This post comes in response to a post by Antoine Edmonson. In his article, “We Look Cute Together,” he shared his thoughts on physical attraction, true happiness, and the stark divide between the two. Although I haven’t yet figured out what role romantic relationships play in a Godly lifestyle, I know for a fact that they are supposed to be more meaningful than what the world has been suggesting. According to society, beauty is skin deep and love can ignite at first sight. Hopefully, you haven’t been buying into this age-old myth that has fabricated insecurities and inspired genocides.
As a short haired, all natural African American woman, I have to remind myself every day that I am beautiful. I am constantly wondering if guys find me physically attractive and if I’ll ever be considered wife material. Thankfully, I know that my worth isn’t found in my looks or in others’ opinions of me, but if I’m being honest, I my flesh would appreciate someone other than myself calling me pretty.
I’ve had multiple male acquaintances tell me they would never date someone darker than a paper bag or that their wife needs to have long enough hair to pull on in a ponytail. (Yes, people actually said these things with absolutely no shame.) I’ve even been told that dark skinned women are less hygienic than light skinned women, as if color has anything to do with personal upkeep. While these examples may seem extreme, such sentiments stem from small seeds of discrimination and excessive selectiveness.
I tell people all the time that I would rather fall in love with someone through their words, music, or personality, rather than a superficial first glance. I have seen countless relationships, including my own, fall apart because of faulty foundations. I used to determine how much nonsense I was willing to put up with based on how cute my boyfriends and/or friends with benefits were. In high school, I was too busy working to convince my beautiful cheating boyfriends of my worth to notice the young men who wanted to love and respect me for who I was. Looking back, I could have saved a lot of tears had I dropped my infatuation with broad shoulders and deceitful smiles.
At this point in my life, I want to be so in love with a person’s mind that by the time I look up, I have no choice but to accept their appearance. I no longer turn around when random men ask me for my number on the street. They don’t know me so why are they interested? If they’re only attracted to my looks, we have nothing to discuss. For this reason, I find it funny when women go out to find a man or when men go out looking for women. If you are searching for a serious relationship, what makes you think you’ll be able to identify it with your eyes? If you’re not looking for a meaningful connection, therein lies the problem. I believe that if God wants to bring someone into your life, He’ll introduce you to them. I’m not suggesting that you shouldn’t go out, but your motivation for leaving the house shouldn’t be to find a spouse. I’ve learned that when you’re walking in purpose, you’ll “randomly” run into everyone who is supposed to be there.
Of course, physical attraction is vital to a relationship. I would not feel comfortable marrying a man that I didn’t want to take pictures with, but I also wouldn’t reject a man because of an undesirable physical feature, unless I truly felt it would strain our relationship. Since when did we become qualified to judge God’s artwork? When you declare what type of person you can’t see yourself with, you are claiming that God made you prettier or more handsome than that person. People often fail to realize that one’s appearance has nothing to do with them. I truly don’t understand why physical compliments are attributed to an individual as if they contributed to their own creation.
There is nothing wrong with finding certain people attractive, but God should get the glory for every person that catches your eye. In addition, it is important to make sure your perception of beauty is in line with God’s. With billboards, commercials, and movies promoting long, straight hair, flawless skin, and anorexia, it can be hard to recognize beauty outside of a Victoria’s Secret model. As easy as it is to blame the media for our shallowness, we can’t afford to keep scapegoating inanimate images for our shortcomings.
It is our duty to actively redefine perfection. I have become so far removed from mainstream media that Issa Rae is my personal Cover Girl. Now, when I watch television I’m no longer wishing I could look like the lead character. I immediately identify what they’re trying to sell me and brainstorm ways that I can sell God’s version of beauty once I create my own TV show.
If Jesus were still on Earth, he would not come close to being named the Sexiest Man Alive. (Isaiah 53:2-3) We must begin to reevaluate our emphasis on physical attraction in developing friendships and relationships. I have experienced the power of intellectual and meaningful bonding for myself and it is mind blowing. After getting to know people for who they are, you’ll find that “your type” starts to expand.
Ladies, if Jesus approached you barefoot and in torn clothing, would you give him the time of day? Fellas, if you passed a bald headed young lady with a flat chest, would you care to know her name?
It shouldn’t be shocking to see an “attractive” man dating a non-desirable-by-society’s-standards woman. We should rejoice when people don’t look cute together. That should indicate that they actually might be meant for each other.