God’s Dearly Loved Ones,
Two years ago, as part of an advertising campaign entitled #Choose Beautiful, the Dove soap company erected signs marked “Average” and “Beautiful” above entrance doors to buildings in Shanghai, San Francisco, London, São Paulo, and Delhi. Then they filmed thousands of women as they chose which door to enter. A staggering 96% of women chose the door marked “Average.” Only 4% dared to proclaim themselves “Beautiful.” Many felt that it would be too vain to rate themselves as beautiful, while others said that they genuinely felt unworthy to walk through the “beautiful” door. One woman in Shanghai said, “Beautiful, to me, is too far out of reach.”
Dove advertisers claim that feeling beautiful is a personal choice that women should make for themselves every day. The company’s marketing director Jennifer Bremner said, “Dove Choose Beautiful urges women to embrace this personal choice because, when we do, it unlocks happiness and confidence that impacts women’s self-esteem.”*
The Dove people, of course, want us to believe that their products can enhance our beauty and increase that confidence, but as children of God we are already valued beyond description. Whether we’re physically beautiful or not, we mean the world to God, and more. In fact, He loves us just as He loves Jesus, according to our Lord Himself in John 17:23 (“May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.” —emphasis added).
It’s not vain to acknowledge the tremendous love that God has for each of us. Rather, it’s liberating. Once you’ve walked through the Door Himself—even Jesus (John 10:9), the One Who is altogether lovely (Song of Songs 5:16)—you catch a glimpse of how valued and cherished you really are. Recognize and affirm it in others so that you’ll treat them as God wants you to, then recognize and affirm it in the person who stares back at you in the mirror so that you’ll more fully appreciate God’s most amazing love for you.
“Choose beautiful” in the eyes of God, and you’ll unlock more happiness and confidence for yourself than all the Dove products on the planet could ever provide.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
Yours in His love,
(Rev.) Peter A. Brown