18 Jan “Excuse me Madam”
I stopped after hearing these words, one busy day, on my way to office. I saw an elderly lady standing, wanting to have a conversation with me. She introduced herself as an employee of an XYZ company, which is into manufacturing of cosmetics. The moment she told this, I got a sense of the conversation that is going to take place between us for the next few minutes. It was not a new experience for me, so I listened to her. She continued that her company had come up with this exclusive product to enhance the complexion of dark skinned people, and people like me can become fair quickly.
I was running out of time and had to end the conversation. I replied, “Aunty! Sorry to interrupt you; I am already late to office. This is my natural complexion and not due to sun tan or pollution. And the most important thing is “I am very happy with it.” Why are you worrying about it?” She did not expect those words from me and started scolding me in the regional dialect. From the next day onwards she stopped smiling at me as I have not taken the most promising solution offered by her. Making a person believe that they are of little worth (low self- esteem) is a key strategy of many marketing companies and that is what she tried to do with me.
The dictionary says that self-esteem is confidence in one’s worth or abilities. A person having low self-esteem has less confidence in handling things. Low self-esteem is a common problem this generation suffers from. Beauty, complexion, obesity, height are highly connected with self-esteem. Making people believe that they are not worth it because of their height, weight, complexion or skill set is a marketing strategy.
Being a tall and dark girl myself, I had low self-esteem before I knew the Lord Jesus Christ. I struggled a lot to do anything in my life confidently and boldly. But fortunately the power of the gospel hit me so hard that I could not stop thanking God for the way He created me. The truth has set me free from the suffering of low self-esteem.
1. False Belief System
We live in a society where our belief system is shaped by our cultural background; the system passed on to us by our parents and by the media. We were never taught by anyone to process or think about others’ comments regarding us before we believe. For this generation, their belief system is driven by Social Media and Mass Media. To sustain in the market companies have to make people believe some message so that they can make them run behind their products. One of those messages is strongly implanted into the minds of society – fair skin is beautiful and a dark complexion is not beautiful. As Christians our belief system should not be driven by the media or society but by the Word of God.
2. Reason for Low self esteem
Even before we know the truth, the wrong thing is implanted into our minds. There are somethings in our lives which we cannot choose. A few examples of these are our complexion, height, our place of birth, our parents, our mother tongue and in fact our name too. All our physical features are purely based on our genetics and God has created every human being so unique that you can never find two people the same in this world.
Media however, has set the standard and made terms like tall, fair, size-zero, six-pack, gym body etc.,. These terms are strongly injected even into the educated minds and give an impression to everyone that “one who doesn’t fit into this standard is not beautiful”. Every single person in this world, had at least once in their lifetime stood before a mirror and compared their appearance with that of a celebrity. Remember, a celebrity’s appearance, is a product of hours of makeup and crores of money. All these concepts are making an individual believe that they are of less worth and this is causing people to feel inferior to others, which in turn is choking their confidence to take up any challenge.
3. Looking through the eyes of creator
Truth will set us free. It is very important to know the truth. Creation realizes the value/worth when it looks through the eyes of the creator. God has created every human being in the way He wanted to be. All humans are created in His image. God used all His creative skills to create every unique masterpiece that we see. Next time when you see someone, look at the creativity of our sovereign God. David, a man after God’s own heart , thanks God for the way he was created in Psalms 139:14 Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous – how well I know it. We are not designed the way we wanted but we are designed the way how God wanted us to be.
4. Purpose behind our physical appearance
Is it possible to believe the fact that there is a purpose behind our physical appearance. Yes, it is true. God has created everything with a purpose and we might not know the reason behind it. But it is true. Here is a real incident from Amy’s life.
As a child, Amy wished that she had blue eyes rather than brown. She often prayed that God would change her eye color and was disappointed when it never happened. As an adult missionary to India, however, she realized that, Indians have brown eyes, and she would have had a much difficult time gaining their acceptance had her eyes been blue. Yes our God, the great Grand Weaver will make sure that even the smallest things in our life play a major role in his eternal purpose.
5. Don’t write a review for God’s creation
It is very common to comment on the appearance of others. But always remember that all human beings are created in the image of God and God will never make a mistake in His creation. So, if we are passing some comments about physical features of others
, remember we are reviewing God’s creation or product. You can see God’s image in the fellow passenger with whom you are travelling, the poor beggar who is begging for his needs and in every other person whom you meet daily.
God is the perfect creator who created every human being in His image. Self-esteem plays a vital role in boosting the confidence of the individual. As long as we look at ourselves through the world’s view, we will not realize our worth. It is very important to look at ourselves through the eyes of the creator to realize our worth. Next time when you look at yourself in the mirror, instead of wishing you look like someone, thank God for His wonderful creation and you are his unique masterpiece.
The author is a young graduate from Bangalore failed in more than 26 exams before joining a Research Lab of a PSU given by God.