Earlier this week I watched a PBS documentary on Amazon Prime about slavery, it was called Slavery and the Making of America. At the time I was just looking for something interesting. What I found was a very well produced documentary with scholarly input on a subject matter that is very emotional for most people of color. Inside of the documentary I couldn’t help but focus on the life story of a woman named Harriet Jacobs, as she wrote about how her beauty affected her life as a slave in the 1800s.
You will have to either watch the documentary or read Harriet’s autobiographical book “Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl” to get the full depiction of her life story. Nevertheless, what stood out to me the most from the documentary was not just how mistreated she was as a slave, but rather how she felt her appearance negatively affected her life, as she considered her beauty as a curse rather than a blessing.
Perspective is everything.
So many women in today’s society go to great lengths just to feel beautiful. I always thought all women, regardless of age, economic status or race, want to feel beautiful. But, when I saw the story of this mixed-race African American slave girl (as every day she faced sexual advances and feared being raped by her master and much more), I learned of how she despised her beauty. This really made me think about how beauty may have also been a curse for women and young girls in present-day America.
One thing I know for a fact, almost every beautiful woman I know has been victimized by a male (boyfriend or friend, classmate, family member, teacher, coworker) in some way or another during their life.
One of the curses I feel come with being beautiful can really be a curse and a blessing – Attention. A lot of women who use their beauty to get what they wanted early in life have trouble later in life when their beauty fades. (1 Peter 3:3-4 – 3 Don’t be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. 4 You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God.)
Another curse that comes with being beautiful or attractive is – Jealousy & Envy. Not being able to know who to trust is so hard. How many beautiful women live lonely lifestyles due to the hardships of finding trustworthy friendships. (Galations 5:26 – Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.)
Lastly, this curse is one I hate the most – Disrespect. I cannot stand being disrespected. So many beautiful young girls are growing up listening to music lyrics that dishonor them, and desiring relationships with young men who disrespect them. Beauty will sometimes be a factor that causes people to not learn how to respect others nor respect themselves.
We all know that being attractive can be both a blessing and a curse, so the key is knowing who you are and what you want. Never be limited by your outer appearance and use everything to your advantage. Be blessed and stay beautiful 🙂