Hey beautiful. Did you know that you are beautiful? But here’s the thing. I don’t think it means what you think it means.
I scroll through Instagram, and I see that selfie you took in front of your bedroom mirror. After you tried on several outfits, did your hair and makeup, and got the pose just right. Or hey, maybe you #wokeuplikethis. That’s cool. And you know what? This letter isn’t about why you shouldn’t take selfies. Just 12 years ago, when I was 16 and bored and figuring out my life, I took a million selfies too. (With my digital camera, mind you. And there was nowhere to post them.) But here’s what’s changed. Here’s why I’m worried about you, beautiful.
When you pose for that perfect picture, you wear that crop top, or that backless halter, with your tight jeans that help boys see every little thing about your curves. You stick out your butt as far as you can, maybe even stick out your tongue or look down at yourself. You scream, with every single detail,
this picture is about my body.
And before you roll your eyes, little sister, I’m not writing this to judge you. This isn’t about a dress code. This is about your worth, and the fact that your Instagram feed doesn’t show it. Your instagram feed shows - screams - I’m sexy. Look at my body.
I know what it feels like to want to be wanted. We were designed to be delighted in, and that is not a bad thing. You were beautifully wired by a master designer to be loved, pursued, and treasured. You are worth loving. So there’s nothing wrong with you when your heart cries out for that love. That attention. It’s part of who you are.
And that's what breaks my heart when your picture comes across my feed. I know who you are. You are a precious daughter of God, an irreplaceable part of God's story, chosen and beloved. But that identity is hidden so deep. We can't see past the sexuality you're throwing at us, dear one. And you've been sold this lie that no one wants to see past it.
Here’s the problem. This world tells you that you have to use your body to get love. You’re getting such mixed up messages about womanhood: you’re powerful, you’re independent, you're strong, but it’s still all about being sexy. So a generation of women is desperately trying to be powerful but thinks their bodies are their only weapon.
And if your response is, not me! I’m smart. I’m creative. I’m motivated. I’m strong. Then my response is YES. You are. And that is why you don’t need to supply the world with a daily feed of your body in clothing and a pose that say, “Come get me.”
You are smart. You are strong. You are so many things, and you don’t need to be anyone’s sex object to have value.
And you know what? There’s nothing wrong with being sexy — for the one man who will treat you like the incredible treasure that you are. And respecting yourself enough to save your body just for him — not for the eyes of everyone you know — is the sexiest thing you can do. And something that won’t leave you hollow inside.
So as briefly satisfying as those comments on your selfies are, from the flame emojis to the 'wow wow wow’s, I promise that you matter more than an emoji that takes 1 second to send. There is more to love than a number of likes or comments on your picture. You are more than your body, and your body is more than someone else’s show. Don’t give it away, beautiful. You’re worth way too much.
Healthy self image and sexual integrity are part of the foundation in the fight against sex trafficking. Want to help wake our world up to the problem of slavery? Share this post and tell the women in your life they're worth more!