Item description for Why Beauty Matters by Karen Lee-Thorp & Cynthia Hicks...
Overview Our body. Our blessing? Yes---but the way we think about it is often our curse. Break that curse by learning what the Bible says about physical beauty, and what the latest research on women and body image has revealed. An informative and inspiring look at one of the most important spiritual issues of women's lives!
Publishers Description Why do so many women struggle with beauty? This book explores up-to-the-minutes research and biblical truth to help you understand why beauty is an important spiritual issue for so many women.IN A RECENT SURVEY, 48 PERCENT OF AMERICAN WOMEN SAID THEY FELT "WHOLESALE DISPLEASURE" ABOUT THEIR BODIES. Many of the rest disliked some part of their appearance, such as their thighs, tummy, or hips. Meanwhile, most Christian women recite what they've been taught to believe: how you look doesn't matter; inner beauty is what counts.The truth is, few women know what the Bible really says about beauty, so we're at a loss when a daughter reveals an eating disorder, a friend says she hates her body, or we find ourselves anxious about another birthday or another ten pounds.Why Beauty Matters explores up-to-the-minute research that has made Newsweek headlines, delves into the breadth of biblical wisdom about beauty, and listens to real women as they struggle with the tough issues that make physical appearance one of the most important spiritual issues of our lives.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.59" Width: 5.51" Height: 0.73" Weight: 0.84 lbs.
Release Date Aug 1, 1997
ISBN 0891099794 ISBN13 9780891099796
Availability 0 units.
More About Karen Lee-Thorp & Cynthia Hicks
CHERI FULLER is an author and an international speaker who has taught at every level from elementary school to college. She has written several books, including The Mom You're Meant to Be and When Mothers Pray. Named Oklahoma Mother of the Year in 2004, Cheri and her husband live in Edmond, Oklahoma. They have three grown children.
Karen Lee-Thorp has published or released items in the following series...
Bringing the Bible to Life
Daniel Plan Essentials
Experiencing Christ Together Experiencing Christ Together
Reviews - What do customers think about Why Beauty Matters?
very impressive and a worthy read Apr 16, 2007
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and felt the authors did an honest and thorough job of talking about men, women, relationships, self-esteem issues and beauty. There were many good lines, but here were some of my favorites:
"...All the women who told us that appearance isn't an issue for them have at least one flesh and blood human being in their lives who loves them well; who treats them as beautiful" (p. 36).
Now ain't that the truth? How many times have I (as a single woman hoping to re-marry) been given crappy advice from crabby old married women about seeking out and finding Mr. Perfect. In my experience, long-time married women are the source of the WORST advice about meeting and marrying someone new. And it is also those old married types that do NOT understand that it's hard to talk yourself into believing that you're beautiful. That info needs to come (occasionally) from an outside source.
And that's what I loved about "Why Beauty Matters." It was a sincere and honest assessment of the problem of beauty (or lack thereof). And it has a Christian bend that brings a blessing to the whole issue, as well.
For instance, "Beauty would be the first thing that a man would notice. We Christian men are no different than non-Christian men, but in church, we pretend we are" (p. 71).
Speaking as a 40-something single woman who spent five years obsessing about her weight and looks, I highly recommend this book. It was more than interesting; it was a palpable comfort and a reassuring voice from women who understand the pain of feeling "less than beautiful."
Beauty is in the Eye of Beholder, but Be the Best You Can Be Aug 31, 2005
As a Christian woman who has been told she's beautiful more times than I can count (more so in CA than in the south for some reason), beauty can have it's own curses: namely, men want you because they want to have sex with you, not get to know you; and women tend to resent you and stereotype you.
Let's face it, everyone is not as beautiful as some, but I truly believe every woman has a unique beauty that she can bring out if SHE TRIES. Of course if you constantly eat junk food, hate yourself, don't ever exercise, and dress like a homeless person, then you aren't gonna be beautiful no matter what your genetic potential is.
A lot of women hate themselves and don't EVEN TRY to look attractive. All you can do is be the best that you can be.
Beauty isn't everything, but I do think it's important to take care of yourself and be the best that you can be. My philosophy is that God gives you your look based on what he wants your purpose in life to be.
So it is idiotic to pretend that beauty doesn't matter, but then on the other hand it is also idiotic to treat yourself like a dog and try to look as bad as possible (just look at all the obese women these days and you can see this principle in action).
The Bible does describe certain women in the Old Testament as being very beautiful -- Esther, the Queen of Sheba, etc.
So I don't think God discounts beauty, he created it, but if you are beautiful and have no spiritual beauty then it really doesn't matter much.
Okay but nothing special Sep 2, 2003
This book tackles a very complex subject. It's an interesting read and for that reason alone, I recommend it although some of it's conclusions were a bit of a stretch and superficial. Like someone already has said, their viewpoints on men and their attraction to beauty is basically, "Ladies, this is reality, this is how men are, this is how God made them, deal with it". Not very encouraging and a tad bit superficial and shallow if you ask me. But kudos to the authors for bringing this sensitive topic to light.
Groundbreaking reflections, uneven analysis May 1, 2002
It really was a compelling read, though somewhat uneven in its treatment of the issue. Some of what's in there is groundbreaking, at least for me. Some of it is shallow and poorly thought out.
I found its acceptance of "men are just like this" to be a bit depressing at times. The message seemed to be "well, we MUST have men and men, mostly, can't change, so here's how you live with that". It would have been nice to have given more space to the notion of remaining single if you can't find a man with sufficient maturity and the ramifications of doing that. The fact that women "want" to get married does not really move it into the realm of the "gotta have", especially for Christians.
I wonder if the idea of a large pool of single mature Christian women would make the target audience (or at least my assumption of the target audience, given that it's from NavPress) more than a little nervous.
On the other hand, the examination of the issue of beauty as idolatry AND as a reflection of the health of our feminity was quite interesting and challenging to me. That's what you don't get from the secular books, such as Naomi Wolf.
Feminists are a little touchy about turning the light of examination and analysis into our own souls sometimes and naming our own weaknesses. We want to see all women as Strong and Invincible (cue inspiring music)! Let's dissect Society instead (cue righteous indignation)! There is great value in what feminists have uncovered through this approach but there are definitely things we overlook.
I also appreciated that they called men's search for the caveman ideal what it is...a caveman ideal. And said outright that men who are fixated on this lack maturity. That, yeah, you can want the caveman ideal but, c'mon guys, maybe you ought to consider the other aspects of what makes a good mate? I also appreciated their example of 40-something divorced men cruising the 20-something church singles groups and putting that in the light of "not so healthy". That is a depressingly common occurrence.
It was new to me, too, to have this discussion take place with the language of evangelicals without resorting to proof-texting and while giving credit to some secular research (Naomi Wolf, predominantly). It's a shame they so quickly dismissed Nancy Friday's work because of her sexual activity. Evangelical Christian women have sexual needs and desires (and often history!) too, y'know.
I suppose it's not really in keeping with their focus but I wish they had spent some time examining women's beauty ideals in men. The book spent quite a lot of pages detailing what men want. A lot of pages (I got the point after about 5 pages, they spent much more than that detailing it and detailing the why's). If you turned that around, what false ideals are women laboring under? What bodies are we looking for that reflect our immaturity?
I'm having trouble thinking about the book as a whole because it was uneven in its writing and analysis but parts jump out of my imagination. I think I'll have to re-read it, highlighter in hand.
Important issue but this book falls short Feb 1, 2002
Since reading this book I've brought it up in many conversations and had several friends, both male and female, read it and give their opinions. The subject matter is important (the obsession with beauty is one of the great deceptions of our age) and I hadn't seen another book that dealt with it from a Christian perspective. In the end though, something didn't sit right. I've come to the conclusion that the questions raised are crucial, the diagnosis of the problem has wisdom, but the solutions presented fall short. One of my male friends thought this might be because the authors themselves are "recovering beauty queens" and didn't quite want to give up on the idea of physical beauty as something they can bring to God.
Of course, the opposite idea--"God loves ugly people more"-- is just as ridiculous, and the book emphasizes that. The answer to both extremes is not a celebration of our unique God-given beauty, as they suggest; that is a prescription written out by secularism and shouldn't be spiritualized. Physical beauty isn't reflective of God's character any more than physical flaws reflect sin, as Jesus pointed out when asked about a crippled man. Otherwise Jesus himself, the image of the invisible God, would have been noted for being the most handsome man in Palestine. He was described in many ways but never that way! Eve, whose memory (according to the book) haunts us today in our feelings of how women should look, was perfect in intimacy with God and Adam before the Fall, but she is nowhere described as beautiful. She no doubt was, but the silence of the Scriptures on her physical characteristics should tell us something.
The solution to beauty idolatry is radical discipleship to Christ where the very idea of "beauty" is turned upside down, along with power, love, and status, which the authors correctly identify as the true roots of beauty obsession. Dallas Willard addresses the issue neatly and powerfully in _The Divine Conspiracy_ (pp. 122-23, 210-11 and elsewhere). We do need to examine our thoughts on it, both women and men. Lee-Thorp and Hicks are brave in tackling an issue so subtle and emotional. They are thorough in exposing beauty obsession in modern culture (did you know the designer of Barbie unwittingly modeled her after a pornographic toy?) and the ways both men and women perpetuate it. This is a starting place, at least. However, as a solution they propose tinkering with our self-image and worldview, when what is really needed is new life and that abundantly!