Beauty Pageants have been around for years. Beautiful women flaunt their figures and their pretty faces before the ogling eyes of men and the envious observations of those women whose beauty is not deemed worthy of the parade. For many years it was the “Miss Teen”, “Miss America”, and “Mrs. America” pageant. More recently we hear of the “Pint-sized Pageants” where even six-year-olds compete.
The unspoken message of these pageants is that beauty determines worth and when the flower of beauty fades so also does one’s value. That simply is not true. Every human being is of equal worth in the eyes of God, each uniquely created to fit into His plan.
Of the six things God says He hates, “a proud look” (Proverbs 6:17) is one of them. Isaiah seems to describe a beauty pageant when he says, “Because the daughters of Zion are haughty, and walk with outstretched necks and wanton eyes, walking and mincing as they go…therefore, the Lord will strike with a scab the crown of the head of the daughters of Zion” (Isaiah 3:16-18).
When God says, “Let not the mighty man glory in his might” (Jeremiah 9:23), He might also have said, “Let not the beautiful woman glory in her outward beauty.” “Pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall” (Proverbs 16:18).
The harm that has befallen little girls and women because of this emphasis on outward beauty is difficult to calculate. One thing is certain. Beauty pageants make them less aware of this truth: “Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart” (I Samuel 16:7). Beauty pageants are an open defiance of Scripture: “Do not let your beauty be that outward adorning or arranging the hair, of wearing gold, or of putting on fine apparel, but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible ornament of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God” (I Peter 3:3-4).
God would remind us that no matter how beautiful the outward appearance, the heart (our inner being) by nature is not. “Out of the heart comes forth evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, false witness….” (Matthew 15:19). For this reason we are taught to pray, “Create in me a clean heart, and renew a right spirit within me” (Psalm 51:10). This is also why God gave us Jesus, “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace” (Ephesians 1:7).
The true beauty, which all those who believe in Jesus will desire, is called the fruit of the Spirit: “Love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control” (Galatians 5:22-23).