I have to admit that I really do not follow celebrities. I am beyond unaware of pop culture, and actresses and their lives do not capture my attention – for the most part. However, like most of you I do catch the occasional gossip through tabloids, bulletin boards, friends conversations, and the like. Normally I tune these things out and get on with my life.
However, a couple years ago, while working at the hospital, I picked up a tabloid magazine, and read the cover story inside. It was titled: Heidi Montag Obsessed with Being Perfect. “We all want to feel attractive, so who is anyone to judge me?” Heidi was quoted as saying. Interesting article. For those of you like me, who don’t follow these magazines, don’t watch gossip television, or who just are not aware, let me fill you in on this young woman’s story.
Heidi Montag is a 20-something celebrity. When she was 23 she had plastic surgery from head to toe with at least ten things being done to her. This was her second bout with cosmetic surgery, as she’d already had breast implants and a nose job in earlier surgeries.
I know, I know. A lot of celebrities have cosmetic surgery or procedures. Why is this one unique? Well, it happens to be one story I actually read, but I’m sure she is not alone among celebrities. For starters, I’m saddened as she is a 23 year old. Have you looked around? Those in their teens and twenties are typically in the prime of life physically. She stated she wanted to feel perfect and confident. Her insecurities run deep. She stated in the article interview, “I’m competing against the Britney Spears of this world…it was her sex appeal that sold. Obviously, looks matter; its’ a superficial industry.” Later she noted, “Sex appeal is really important and it’s not saying that you’re only sexy if you have big boobs. That’s not true at all, and honestly [when I got my husband,] I’d had no surgery. It was my inner beauty that he loved.”
But what got me the most, and caused the idea for this posting, came from her response to the interviewer asking, “Your faith is very important to you. Did you struggle at all with changing what God gave you?” To which she replied, “I prayed about it for a long time and said, ‘God if it’s wrong, then I won’t do it.’ But I never got that feeling. My body is just a shell; God doesn’t care. It’s what’s inside that God cares about.”
Twisted theology mixed with Satan’s lies. Let me explore this with you a little bit. This shows perfectly how the whole counsel of the Bible must be taken together, and that verses can’t be taken out of context. You see, Heidi is right to an extent. Yet the subtlety of the lies she’s believing are also just as dangerous to you and I.
God does indeed say that man looks at outward appearance and He looks inward, that the heart matters more to Him than physical appearance (1 Samuel 16:7). But in context, this is saying that those we think should be chosen of God due to looks are not necessarily who God chooses to do His work. God also does say that inner beauty is pleasing to Him (1 Peter 3:4). Thus, it seems Heidi Montag might be correct on first glance. However, in context again, this verse demonstrates that purely physical beauty is not what God is after. Beautiful women abound, but those who are just physically stunning are lacking a component of true beauty. Remember the verse, “Like a gold ring in a pig’s snout is a beautiful woman who lacks discretion” (Proverbs 11:22)? Again, go back to the Bible yourself and check what I’m saying against it. Do you think my opinion lines up with God’s truth? If not, it is only my opinion. Beauty is a gift from the Creator of Beauty. Women are beautiful to men. Those are facts. However, I think the subtle lie that is coming through is that it is ok to act like the world in regard to beauty and sexuality.
Like gold in a pig’s snout is a beautiful woman who lacks discretion. According to the dictionary this word discretion means, “The quality of behaving or speaking in such a way as to avoid causing offense or revealing private information.” Do the quotes I’ve mentioned suggest discretion? The image of gold in a pig’s nose in my mind is a ridiculous image. Who would do such a thing? However, it seems that our society abounds in a lack of discretion. The lies I see in this article are that we can have it all, that beauty we buy at a price (her surgeries could have cost upward of $30,000) is not wrong, that flaunting our sexuality (lack of modesty in both speech and dress) is acceptable behavior for Christians, and that God doesn’t care what we do with our bodies. These all reflect a religious mindset rather than a relationship with Christ.
Read the whole Bible, and you’ll see that God cares about the heart immensely. Yet Luke 6:45 suggests that what comes out of our mouths (and I would include how we live our lives) stems from what is in the heart. Let me suggest, dear sisters, that if our hearts are focused on loving God with everything within us, obeying His commands, desiring purity and modestly, and surrendering everything including finances and selfishness, then our bodies will display God’s glory in both beauty and discretion!
I’m not saying spending any money on beauty is wrong. I like to dye my hair, and buy a flattering shirt, or a fun accessory. Also, I too am working through my own insecurities related to physical beauty. However, Satan is the master of disguise and lies. In him is no truth, because he is a liar (John 8:44). I happen to think that Heidi Montag may not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ; a relationship that puts everything into perspective, not just the idea that God doesn’t care what we do to our bodies. Because if a child of God surrenders their very life to God, then God does actually care what we do to our bodies, as we are told to offer ourselves as living sacrifices (Romans 12:1). A final question which helps me to identify idols that are subtle (beauty for instance) comes from Leslie Ludy. She asks about whatever something is, can you imagine giving it up or living without? If not, you might have an idol in your life.
Heidi Montag stated, “I’m already planning my next surgery. […] As you get older, there are so many different treatments…Let’s just say there’s a lot of maintenance. Nobody ages perfectly, so I plan to keep using surgery to make me as perfect as I can be.” Idol? Maybe?
Hmm. Oh subtle deceiving lies of Satan! If we want to live as daughters of the King in this world, we must saturate ourselves with God’s truths, so that we can discern the lies around us! (The article I’m quoting from is found in People Magazine, January 25, 2010. Vol. 73 No. 3)