Standing in line at the market, you glance over at the glossy magazines glimmering with toothy models . . . complexions flawless, figures perfect, hair shimmering and smiles sparkling! How wonderful life would be if you had such beauty, you wonder to yourself . . . your self-image takes a deep nose dive south.
Anyone who has ever seen a movie or commercial, or thumbed through a fashion magazine, or even seen a billboard ad has been influenced to believe that a certain type of “look” is beautiful while other types of “looks” are unattractive.
There’s an old saying, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. There is much wisdom in this statement. Just less than a century ago, a round, plump woman was considered attractive and very much desired. The concept of beauty is one that changes and varies based upon the time period and location one finds him or herself in.
A famous actress known for her “beauty” once gave a marvelous piece of wisdom. She said something to the effect that her attractiveness had much to do with her accentuating her positive features and actually covering or not highlighting her not so flattering features. Avoid focusing on body features you are displeased with. Most everyone has something about their body they dislike as well as aspects that fit present day attractive standards. This could be one’s voice, hair, height, shape, feet, eyelashes, eyebrows, smooth or blemishless complexion, the list is endless. Focus on these aspects of yourself and accentuate them.
Bare in mind that most all models and celebrities splashed across magazine covers and movie screens have had some form of cosmetic surgery. And then even the photos have been air brushed to remove imperfections. What you see is not reality--it is fake. The images are virtually impossible to achieve.
That being said, know, that “attractiveness” can be a gift as well as a trial. And it certainly isn’t a determining factor of whether or not one will be “successful” in this worldly life. It is truly Allah The Most High who grants success.
A greater and nobler matter to concern one’s self with than beauty is related to the following ayat:
"Verily, the most honored of you in the sight of Allah is (he who is) the most righteous of you." (Quran: 49:13)
Living in the materialistic societies in which we live, it is so easy to become deluded and misled to believe that such superficial and insignificant matters such as beauty should be our primary concern. The above ayat makes clear what should be most important to us.
Our primary focus should be trying to please Allah and working on becoming one of the most righteous. This will give us success in this world as well as the hereafter.
Also, know that if you fail to resemble the air brushed, phony images that you see in the movies, on TV and in magazines, don’t let it deflate your self-image and sadden you. Feel content in knowing that Allah tests the one he loves. Your feelings of inferiority (although not warranted) may be a trial from Allah to purify you and bring you closer to Him.
Remember too, that having attractive features is only one “blessing” that Allah may give someone. There are countless others which you may own that Allah has not given the one who has beauty. A few examples are the ability to receive high academic grades, having a happy family life, good health, certain skills and abilities, and the list goes on and on.
And if you should count the favor of Allah, you could not enumerate them. Indeed, mankind is [generally] most unjust and ungrateful.” (Quran: 14:34)
(To be continued, insha'Allah)
Order and read the entire book today, insha'Allah at: http://www.grandmajeddah.com/Mom-Im-Stressed-Stress-Help-for-Muslim-Teens-and-Youth-145.htm
Grandma Jeddah is the mother of 11 children and 13 grandchildren. She has taught hundreds of students for over 30 years at an Islamic school in Los Angeles, California.She is the author of, Discipline without Disrespecting: Discover the Hidden Secrets of How to Effectively Discipline Your Muslim Child--And Keep Your Peace of Mind while at It. Order her e-books at: http://www.grandmajeddah.com/