What Makes You Beautiful?

You're insecure,
 Don't know what for,
 You're turning heads when you walk through the door.
 Don't need make-up,
 To cover up,
 Being the way that you are is enough.
-From "What Makes You Beautiful" by One Direction

Move over Justin B…apparently 1D has stormed the beaches enough to invade your YouTube territory, baby! "What Makes You Beautiful" is much more than an internet splash with over 140 million views and rising like the tide…

Or maybe a small assembly of teen and tweenage girls have watched and replayed the video hundreds of thousands of times since its February release?

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Either way, the overwhelmingly hair flipping boy band is moving rapidly in one successful direction, and they are proving what they believe by putting it in a song. And their message is-

Somebody is beautiful.

Who? Well at least the three girls in the video are to Liam and the mates - and apparently the standard for beauty consists of an innate twirling ability, the capacity to take 1D seriously, and mad sparkler waving skills.

And I may be mistaken, but it feels like "beautiful" is mainly equated with physical appearance:

You don't know you're beautiful,
 If only you saw what I can see,
 You'll understand why I want you so desperately.
 Right now I'm looking at you and I can't believe,
 You don't know,
 Oh oh,
 You don't know you're beautiful.

And if that's true, then this song is yet another run of the mill "looks mean everything" kind of deal - right?

I grieve for people who are trapped in that game, because the "I'm valuable because I'm pretty/handsome" worldview is the express lane to a shallow life. All external beauty fades, and before you know it, you'll end up turning into a surgery obsessed person with your skin stretched out more than a used rubber band…(Hollywood, anyone?)

But I would like to show you what really makes you beautiful:

Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out;
 you formed me in my mother's womb.
 I thank you, High God-you're breathtaking!
 Body and soul, I am marvelously made!
 I worship in adoration-what a creation!
 You know me inside and out,
 you know every bone in my body;
 You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit,
 how I was sculpted from nothing into something.

Your thoughts towards me-how rare, how beautiful!
 God, I'll never comprehend them!
 I couldn't even begin to count them-
 any more than I could count the sand of the sea (Psalm 139:13-15;17-19).

When God looks at you, He sees beauty because He handcrafted you from conception. All the unique features and intricate facets of your being are the result of God's artistic endeavor. And because we are a direct production of the Potter's hand, we are in His loving thoughts more than 140 billion times a day!

And…we're beautiful.

Maybe not by the world's petty, small minded, one dimensional, superficial and super facial standards - but we are defined as beautiful because we reflect the image of the Beautiful One who created us. And when you download this truth into the core of your self-perception, everything changes.

And your life can start moving in a different direction, knowing that God is making you more beautiful each day in eternal ways. Here's the way C.S. Lewis describes this process:

Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on; you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make any sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of - throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were being made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself."
―From Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis

I love waking up each morning knowing that I am a holy construction project that is becoming more stunning in His sight each day. I've been set free from the shackles of our shallow society's standard of what makes people beautiful - and that's a good thing.

And this is a huge motivation for sharing our faith with our friends who don't know Jesus - right? People watch videos like 1D's Volkswagen commercial because they desperately desire for someone to tell them that they are beautiful. And what great news we have to share with them, wouldn't you agree?

When people place their trust in Jesus Christ for salvation, He empowers them to shatter the world's warped circus mirror that supposedly defines our worth and replace it with the true image of the God who chose to die rather than live without us. He changes the lyrics to-

If only you saw what He can see,
You'll understand why He loves you so desperately.

So friends, no more smiling at the ground. Look up to heaven where you know God is smiling down on you…that's what makes you beautiful!

Lane Palmer serves as a writer for Dare 2 Share Ministries (D2S) in Arvada, Colorado, a ministry committed to energizing and equipping teenagers to know, live, share and own their faith in Jesus. For more information about D2S, please visit

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