Beauty Begins: A Review

Being a girl is the greatest thing ever. There is nothing like feeling the swoosh of a full skirt against your legs in the summer or the sleepy feeling you get when the hairdresser fixes your hair or watching your favorite chick-flick for the 12th time this year. But, I think the best thing about being a girl runs deeper than our surface fascinations.

I think the greatest thing about being female is the great connective capacity we have to share with each other.

But, I’m only human. And sometimes I forget the truly important things in life and I fall victim to all the nasties plaguing woman-kind today. I – like every other woman in this society – have fallen victim to body image and self-worth issues, and I feel the pain of all women who struggle with that.

As Christians, it’s sad when we fall prey to these lies of the Devil. I am convinced that the Enemy is scared to death of what we gals can do for the Lord, so he is lying to us and keeping us prisoner to our own selves. But, praise God, Christ has come to set us free! He sees us as beautiful, regardless of what the Facebook comments or bathroom scales say.

In their book, Beauty Begins, mother and daughter team Chris Shook and Megan Shook Alpha bring comfort to women of all ages who are struggling with this consuming desire to make themselves beautiful. They zoom out on the issue to redefine the word “beautiful” not as simply a fleeting, surface feature, but rather as one that grows within.

This book is encouragement for all us gals who have ever felt like we will never measure up to the toned, tanned, gorgeous pictures of women we see on fitness websites or fashion magazines.

What really struck me as powerful about this book was the way in which the authors approached our way of defining ourselves as beautiful.Because, let’s be honest, we’ve all heard “It’s what’s on the inside that counts” so many times, we practically say it in our sleep.

Instead of just telling us the same thing we’ve heard over and over, Chris and Megan break it down to a more Biblical, visual level. They help us to reshape our thinking on what being beautiful is really all about – sharing Christ. This quote says it all:

Our natural default thinking pattern runs something like this: Here I am! How do I look? How do I feel? Are you thinking about me? But true beauty thinks, There you [another individual] are! What are your needs? How can I meet them? (122)

Throughout the book, Chris and Megan back up this claim with Scripture and examples of beautiful women from the world around us, including Mother Theresa and Malala Yousafzai. They also rely on a lot of inspiring quotes, featuring individuals like C.S. Lewis, Jim and Elisabeth Elliot, and (Miss Classy herself) Audrey Hepburn.

Chapters cover topics like maintaining quality relationships, surrendering our control to Christ, and redefining our ideal of beauty to reflect Christ. There is also a “bonus” chapter at the end of the book written by the husbands behind the wives who wrote this book. This chapter covers how men can be the godly fathers and support-mates they are called to be.

In my opinion, this book would be an excellent read-together for mothers and pre-teen or teen daughters. The mother/daughter feel of the book is present throughout, and each woman has the opportunity to voice her feelings on her role as a wife/mother or daughter. In addition, each chapter ends with 2 Reflection questions and a prayer, making this an excellent opportunity for mothers and their girls to share their hearts with one another.

Note: This book was provided by Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.


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