Magazines, billboards, and television constantly display the image of worldly beauty. From hair styles, to make-up, to clothing, etc we all are bombarded with society’s view of beauty. We see images of the “perfect” complexion, the “perfect” hair color/style, and the “perfect” figure. There is even a beauty category for children; the world usually calls these children cute and adorable. As a mom of a child with mental disabilities and facial abnormalities, I am constantly reminded of the world’s view of beauty when we’re out in public. When we go places together, my daughter constantly gets comments on how cute she is. However, my son just gets stares or those awkward smiles of pity.
In a world where looks and appearance are everything, it’s very difficult to not feel isolated if you don’t fit the status quo. When you’re a family that has been affected by disabilities, you really feel the weight of the fact that you definitely don’t fit the world’s beauty standard. In my son's early years, I used to dread having to go out in public. I felt like my child was a magnet for stares and I would get asked personal questions as I mentioned in this post. Many times I would go into my car and weep. It’s been 7½ years now and it still bothers me, but the Lord has enabled me to be more prayed up and saturated with His Word when I’m about to enter those situations.
Focusing on biblical truths like the ones that I listed here has been a great help for me in not becoming an emotional wreck when we go in public with my son. The passage of scripture that encourages me the most says,
For he grew up before him like a young plant, and like a root out of dry ground; he had no form or majesty that we should look at him,
and no beauty that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief;
and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
When I read that Jesus knows exactly what it’s like to not fit the world’s standard of beauty, my heart is truly encouraged. Whether you are a parent of a child with special needs or disabilities or if you just don’t fit the world’s view of beauty, I hope you will be encouraged today by knowing that the Lord Jesus Christ can relate. He endured more shame, rejection, and isolation than anyone has ever experienced. In spite of all that, He endured the agony of the cross on our behalf (Read the rest of Isaiah 53). Now that’s a Beautiful Savior!