Photo by Kristina Paukshtite
So here’s a moment of transparency. I’ve been feeling a bit like a potato lately. Before you say “umm, this girl is crazy,” let me explain what that means.
I once saw a meme that showed a cartoon of a girl with her parents who were telling her she was beautiful. The next box showed her with her grandparents, also telling her she was beautiful. The third box had a picture of her with her friends telling her how gorgeous she was. The final box pretty much embodied my life experience and made me laugh so hard that my sister came in from another room just to see what I was laughing at (and we now reference this cartoon frequently). The last box showed the girl with big, love sick eyes, practically tripping over herself while looking at a boy, complete with little hearts around her head. Meanwhile, the thought bubble over the guys head read “Why is that potato looking at me?”
If you didn’t laugh at that, read it again. Because, seriously, it’s pretty hilarious. I enjoyed that because it pretty much embodies how it feels to be rejected by someone you desperately like, but from a sarcastic, funny lens. Over the past 32 years, I’ve experienced feeling invisible (and a bit potato-like) to the opposite sex more times than I can count. Aside from the entirety of my middle and high school years, when I had practically no male friends and limited male contact, I went through college and grad school with several experiences where I said to myself “Am I invisible here?” while out with my more conventionally attractive friends.
Have you ever felt that way? Maybe you’ve gone out with your friends and they get what seems like all of the guys (or girls) to talk to them, while you stand there smiling, hoping that someone will look at you, only to be completely ignored. Or worse yet, given the once over glance and then ignored as they turn their back on you to talk with your more attractive friends. If this description embodies your past experiences with the opposite sex, then read on my friend, because I’m going to discuss this further.
Because of the aforementioned potato meme, my sister and I use this term to describe when we feel unattractive in a joking way, because it almost always makes us laugh. While my sister and I might joke about being potato head dolls in a world full of Barbies, it’s hard to not take at least part of that to heart if you’re not careful.
Physical appearance is something that is:
a) Highly subjective (beauty is in the eye of the beholder, remember)
b) Fleeting (your 24-year-old beauty will likely change by the time you’re in your 90s) and
c) holds absolutely no influence over your soul eternally (God doesn’t see us from the outside, He only sees the way that our souls look).
**These are important points to remember when trying to combat the lies that you may believe from the enemy.
The enemy is always waiting in the shadows for an opportunity to capitalize on our insecurities. He wants to influence us to find any excuse to move us away from God. For many people (women and men alike) physical appearance is the Achilles heel of our minds that he can easily manipulate. And in our modern society which places such a great emphasis on outer beauty, we see people often neglecting their inner beauty in exchange for their version of worldly beauty.
1 Peter 3:3-4 reminds us that “Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hair styles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.”
The description of “outward adornment” still holds true today. How much did you spend last year on hair cuts, special hair care products, nice clothes, and other trinkets that would somehow enhance your appearance. While it’s not inherently sinful to want to look nice (personal hygiene is important for overall health after all), when it comes at the expense of your humility and enhancing your “inner self” then your obsession with your appearance may be walking a line along sin. Peter isn’t telling us to throw out all of our clothes, don a potato sack (pun intended), and never brush our hair again. He’s merely emphasizing that we should spend just as much, if not more, time focusing on our inner beauty and creating a quiet spirit that is pleasing to God.
Remember that God doesn’t see our outer shell in the same way that we do. To us, the outer appearance is what everyone sees and is therefore the most important way we present ourselves to the world. God sees what’s on the inside. He takes the time to get to know what’s behind the shell, the mask, the facade because He’s the one who crafted it all. He knows and judges us based on our internal appearance. God doesn’t judge us based on our hair color, perfect skin, or the fact that we get to shop on Rodeo Drive and have the latest and greatest hand bag. Honestly, I doubt that God would even notice.
So the next time you feel like a potato, if you’re out with your friends and being ignored by the opposite sex, try to remind yourself of your positive internal attributes. If the guy (or girl) that you like is not attracted to you because of your imperfect, worldly exterior just remind yourself that you are deeply loved by someone who actually cares about your soul, not just your perfect hair. Take the time to exercise and hone your humility, gentleness, and quiet spirit and hold that truth that God loves you deep in your mind. Don’t allow the enemy to use your insecurities as a way to draw you away from a God who truly loves you.
I will leave you with this verse from Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable- if anything is excellent or praiseworthy- think about such things.”
Remember to think of such things and face the enemy with the confidence of your loving, heavenly father.