ug • ly – unpleasant or unattractive, especially in appearance
“Hey, ugly!” “Damn, you ugly.” “Ol’ ugly ass girl.”
Despite being a woman now in full embrace of her authentic beauty, those excruciatingly painful insults remain with me.
I have albinism, a rare genetic disorder that atypically alters my appearance. Consequently, I have been called ugly more times and in more ways than I care to admit. I have learned firsthand the power the label “ugly” has to critically injure and incapacitate the soul and self-worth.
I know a few things about wearing the label “ugly.” Wearing it makes you feel unloved, unworthy, rejected, and alone. Your jealously of those deemed attractive by conventional standards consumes you. And if you are how I was, the mere compliment “You’re beautiful”—deceptively offered by someone who discerns the depth of your insecurity—might entice you to quickly and easily give yourself away to someone who never deserved you.
Can you relate?
If you can, on this glorious Sunday, I write with good news! If you have believed you are ugly, you have believed a lie. Yes, a whole lie. The truth is that God, the Creator of the universe, has unequivocally declared that He carefully and uniquely created YOU in His perfect image. (Genesis 1:27 NLT) He also subscribes to the notion that no one can honor and praise Him and, at the same time, mock you, who, in true divine fashion, are an exquisite extension of His very essence. (James 3:9 NLT)
Allow me to dispel the myth that “beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” True, a beholder may have an opinion of and preference for what appeals to her or him. But remember, real beauty is always dictated by who you are and never by how you look.
Your healing journey to fully grasp this truth may be long and loaded with tears, confessions, and resolutions to forgive all those who ignorantly and maliciously mislabeled you. But today, I fervently invite you to proclaim over yourself, “Body and soul, I am marvelously made!” (Psalm 139:14 MSG) You can be free from the destructive power of the label “ugly” and of any detrimental label(s) others falsely assigned to you, or perhaps, you falsely assigned to yourself.
You are a magnificent creation. And God, whose image you bear, dares any naysayer to suggest differently.