“A flaw is not a flaw unless it’s measured against an ideal.”
In 2013, a study by Glamour magazine showed that 80% of women felt bad about themselves after looking in the mirror. Society has a way of telling us that we are not enough, and that we need alteration.
Last year, Sarah Dubbledam, the founder of Darling Magazine addressed this pressing issue by starting a movement called “Real, not retouched.”What’s the movement all about? Establishing a community of women who are empowered by their beauty and not ashamed of it.
In the beginning, God said that everything He made was good. So God hasn’t made anything on Earth that lacks beauty. Our human-ness says that we don’t fit this ever-changing, man-made ideal. God says that it doesn’t affect our worth.
As women, we see and hear messages about “how to get flat abs,” or “the celebrities go-to-guide for a better butt,” every day. The repetition of seeing what we should look like, or how to fix something on our body, creates a pressure that is so “normal,” that we never have the chance to feel beautiful the way we are.
Sarah says, “these pressures are crippling our potential and making us less powerful than we could truly be.” Darling Magazine is different. Rather than featuring a photoshopped ideal of a celebrity from the waist up, Darling features real women doing real activities, and they are never ever retouched. Their goal is to “lead women to practice virtue, wit, modesty, and wisdom, all the while creating beauty and embodying love.”
#RealNotRetouched is a social movement that strives to rewire our brains and the way we see beauty. Sarah explains, “every social movement in history started because of different mentalities. A community of people develop an ideology and start to live it out in the world, and it starts to spread like wildfire.”
1 Samuel 16:7 says, “…the Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
This should be our ideal.
When we begin chasing after the ideal that is set by God, Sarah says, “we begin to develop this upside down kingdom mentality of thinking differently than this world.” She follows with this:
“When this image pressure is lifted, what happens to our relationships with one another? We love much wider and we love much deeper. We rid ourselves of competition, and when we see another woman, it’s not a way for us to measure up to ‘how much does she fit the ideal,’ versus ‘how much do I fit the ideal.’ …We spend less time thinking about ourselves, and more time seeing the beauty in other people.”
We’re so used to commenting on someone’s outfit, or talking about where they got their shoes, but we need to notice and celebrate character over appearance. That’s how to make women around you feel more beautiful.
Because beauty is so much more than what we see. Even God tells us that. So if we are going to be intentional women of God, we need to be intentional in what we see in others’ beauty.
This applies to social media as well. Business Insider reported in 2015 that more than 350 million photos are uploaded to Facebook every single day. We need to start asking the question like, “what are you posting on social media, and why are you posting it?”
Seriously, are you caught up in being an object of objectification?
Does your real life look the way it does on social media?
Sarah and the team at Darling Magazine are creating a “community of women who are women of power, who know truth ourselves, and show truth to the world, so that we can start a new movement and a new mentality of beauty.”
Check out her video below, and learn even more about how you too can join the movement of women who are #RealNotRetouched.