Beauty: To What Extreme?

Written by Kay Harms

As I watched the final tear-jerking moments of Extreme Makeover, I couldn’t help but feel envious. While the latest recipient of a plethora of cosmetic enhancement procedures walked into a room full of amazed family and friends, revealing her new “identity,” I sat on my sofa feeling fat, lumpy, and old.

Granted this woman had already won my heart with her life story of rejection, abuse, and poverty. She was a deserving candidate for an all-expenses-paid radical makeover if ever there was one. But as I watched her successfully undergo breast augmentation surgery, I was reminded of my own struggle to even “fill out” my bathing suit each year. As she revealed her sparkling new smile, I became more conscious of my medicine-stained teeth. And as this mother of six lost her belly with a simple incision, I bemoaned the crunches I would need to do before bedtime to stay in a matronly size ten.

I turned off the television and headed for the track to work off my fat the old-fashioned way. With pride oozing from my pores, I ran, contemplating the recent fascination with extreme makeovers. Quickly I decided that such radical measures to improve one’s appearance were pure vanity, and, therefore, strictly off limits for godly women such as myself. But things tend to change as I run. All too often God has gently changed my prideful heart as I have pounded the pavement. While I gloated over my conclusion that cosmetic surgeries, cosmetic dental procedures and treatments such as collagen injections were basically a combination of vanity and poor stewardship, I was reminded of a few points I had overlooked.

What about the $80 I had spent last month to have my hair highlighted? And the $25 I had spent on a pedicure? Or the $20 I had spent on over-the-counter teeth whiteners? I had spent large sums of money for purely cosmetic reasons without ever questioning the spiritual implications. Why was I now questioning the integrity and maturity of people who had simply done the same, albeit on a larger scale? As I finished my final lap I realized that I had been too quick to form an opinion about something I had not put adequate thought into, prayed over, or checked out in God’s Word.

The cultural trend

As with most reality-based television programs, Extreme Makeover does not actually reflect the reality of today’s culture. This ABC primetime show has enjoyed success because it offers an altered reality. However, according to the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), the reality of the cosmetic makeover trend is that extreme is “out” and subtle is “in.” ASAPS’ November, 2003, survey of 1,000 American households revealed that 39 percent of women are dissatisfied with at least one facial or body feature and 25 percent of the women surveyed would consider cosmetic plastic surgery. Still, among those who would contemplate surgery, only 27 percent would favor an extreme change.[i]

While only one quarter of American women may choose to alter their appearance through surgery, an ever-rising number of women are deciding to have other types of cosmetic procedures done. According to ASAPS, approximately 5.28 million non-surgical procedures were performed in 2002. These purely cosmetic treatments include Botox and collagen injections, microdermabrasion, laser hair removal, and chemical peels.[ii] Women of all walks of life are suddenly in a position to contemplate more appearance-changing procedures than ever before. Today these procedures are widely available, tested and proven safe, financially attainable, and socially acceptable.

The dilemma

While most contemporary Christian women have no qualms about wearing cosmetics or acrylic nails, fewer of us have seriously contemplated such invasive procedures as augmentation mammaplasty (breast enlargement), abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) or rhytidectomy (facelift). Until recently, only movie stars and millionaires considered these surgeries.

But with the cultural trend of going to more extremes for appearances’ sake, it is normal to ask the simple question, “Is this okay?”

To accurately evaluate the issue of cosmetic enhancement, I must put all the cards on the table, side by side. When I honestly look at the issue, I come to the conclusion that while some procedures may be more costly, invasive, risky or drastic, ultimately they are all similar in nature: artificial and unnecessary. (I am only addressing surgeries and procedures done for primarily cosmetic reasons, not those done for medical reasons.)

I also have to admit that all cosmetic enhancements share these defining qualities, including acrylic nails, tanning lotions and teeth whiteners. The tint I put on my hair, the makeup I won’t do without, and the pedicure I get at the beginning of each summer are all artificial and unnecessary.

Then why do they seem more extreme?

In honesty I must admit that my inclination to deem some cosmetic procedures acceptable and others extreme really has an ugly root: envy. If I can’t afford the procedure or I am nervous about the surgery or my husband doesn’t want me to have the treatment, then I may arrogantly label what I can’t have as extreme.

Still, once I have put all of these cosmetic procedures on a level playing field, I need to make some decisions about their validity. Certainly opportunities for physical enhancement will only become more readily available and feasible. It is not unlikely that one of my friends, family members, or fellow church members could have what I might consider an “extreme makeover” in the near future. The conclusions I reach now about these enhancements will determine how I treat these people after they have had their teeth professionally whitened, their breasts enlarged, or their wrinkles erased. Will I talk behind their backs out of jealousy or will I be glad for them? Will I silently condemn them or rejoice with them? At the same time, perhaps I need to re-evaluate even the low-cost, non-invasive, cosmetic procedures I undergo on a regular basis.

The Biblical perspective

The subject of cosmetic enhancements is only vaguely mentioned in the Bible. Fortunately that absence of direct instruction does not leave us helpless. As with every other area of life, God has provided the necessary principles that will guide me through my personal decisions about cosmetically enhancing procedures—extreme or otherwise.

  1. Principle #1 – My body does not belong to me, but to God.
    Any time we consider the body and how to treat it, we must begin with the fact that, as Christians, our bodies belong to God and are to be used only to bring him honor. Because my body no longer belongs to me, I need to treat it as if it were a precious item on loan from a friend. That means I will consult the Owner before I do anything to change it.
  2. Principle #2 – With my focus on pleasing God, I can make confident choices concerning my appearance.
    With my self-esteem anchored in who I am in Christ, I can proceed forward in making wise choices about my appearance as well as other personal decisions. I can know that my efforts to beautify my face and body are not attempts to gain worth and value, but simply to be the best I can be.
  3. Principle #3 – God graciously allows me to make personal choices, but I am expected to make wise and godly decisions that distinguish me from the world.
    The Bible teaches that as a recipient of God’s grace I can make personal decisions with a clean conscience. I need not fret over displeasing God if I happen to “mess up.” But in Titus 2:11-12, I am reminded that God’s grace is the very thing that teaches me to “say ‘No’ to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live [a] self-controlled, upright and godly [life] in this present age.” This principle leads me to see that while I have freedom in Christ, that freedom is never to be used in a way that will tarnish my Christian testimony. That is not to say I will have to decide against certain cosmetic procedures, but it does mean I must consider how some procedures may affect my relationships and my effectiveness as a witness.
  4. Principle #4 – My focus should be on my inner woman.
    The Bible makes it clear that God is more interested in a beautiful heart than a beautiful head of curls. In 1 Samuel, David is anointed king rather than his tall, handsome brother because David has a heart for God. And in 1 Peter, women are reminded to put more effort into developing a gentle and quiet spirit than an outward beauty. Still, both of these passages go on to indicate there is nothing wrong with a lovely appearance or external grooming. David is said to have had “a fine appearance and handsome features” (1 Samuel 16:12) and Peter indicates that some outward adornment is the norm. The principle here is while outward adornment and beautification are fine, they should never become what drive me. If I spend more money, time, and effort developing my outward beauty than my inner woman, I need to rethink my priorities.

The bottom line

Now that I have identified envy as the root of my criticism of some of the cosmetic enhancement procedures I have often deemed as extreme, and now that I have searched the Bible for God’s authoritative word on the issue of outward beautification, I must admit that my opinion on the matter has changed somewhat. While I still am not planning to go under the knife myself, I no longer feel decisively superior to those who do. And my husband and I have talked a little more seriously about saving money so that I can have my teeth professionally whitened.

I know that my greatest source of beauty is a thriving and fruitful relationship with Christ. I know that a daily diet of his Word and the consistent exercise of prayer are what will ultimately enhance even my physical countenance the most. Still, I want to look and feel my best so that I can represent my Lord well. Therefore I am at peace with my personal decisions to tint my hair, wear cosmetics, and even indulge in the occasional pedicure. I also am at peace with the choices others make. I have learned that I cannot judge motives, nor can I arbitrarily decide what is extreme and what is acceptable.

The bottom line is I can’t make such personal decisions for someone else, but I can make confident, responsible, God-honoring decisions for myself. You can too.

If you are a believer in Jesus Christ, God has given you His Holy Spirit to help you live life according to His perfect plan, making Godly decisions on the way. Why not pray this simple prayer to tune into God and by faith invite Him to empower you with His Spirit:

Dear Father, I need You. I acknowledge that I have sinned against You by directing my own life. I thank You that You have forgiven my sins through Christ’s death on the cross for me. I now invite Christ to again take His place on the throne of my life. Fill me with the Holy Spirit as You commanded me to be filled, and as You promised in Your Word that You would do if I asked in faith. I pray this in the name of Jesus. As an expression of my faith, I thank You for directing my life and for filling me with the Holy Spirit. Amen.


[i] American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, “When It Comes to Plastic Surgery, Extreme is ‘Out’, Subtle is ‘In,'” News Releases, 2003, <>(January 8, 2004).

[ii] American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, “2002 ASAPS Statistics: Nearly 6.9 Million Cosmetic Procedures” News Releases, 2003, <>(January 8, 2004).

39 Responses to “Beauty: To What Extreme?”

  • Jamie Jamie says:

    Hi Mary Ann, any comment you post on this article will be seen by anyone. If you want to have a private conversation with a mentor you can fill out the Mentor Request Form at Your conversation there will be as private as any internet communication is able to be.

    Hope to hear from you soon.

  • Mary Ann says:

    Just want to know how private this site is before I post. Thanks

  • Doris Beck Doris Beck says:

    I too am glad that you found this site! It’s hard to find good biblical teaching on body image in a world that tells us that no woman is perfect and everyone has room for improvement! But the author is also so right in saying that, ‘The bottom line is I can’t make such personal decisions for someone else, but I can make confident, responsible, God-honoring decisions for myself. You can too.’

    So continue to ask God for wisdom and guidance and He will give it! And in the meantime, go out and buy a good bra or too…it’s amazing how that will also help and can add. :-)

  • Amalinda says:

    Im so happy to have found this site.Like most women here,Im also in a dilemma-Im 25 yrs olf and because of my under developed breast,im seriously considering BA..But I feel as if by doing so id be terribly defying God whom i love,trust,fear and respect with all my heart.Everytime I undress I avoid the mirror by all cost because for me its a constant and daily reminder of how lacking I am.I will pray for God’s guidance and wisdom.One thing im certain of is that nothing would please me more than staring at the new me. .I WILL KEEP U POSTED.God bless

  • Sharon says:

    good article and good comments

  • Mishka says:

    Kay, this is a blessed article. Thank you for the principles. I believe this will touch people from all walks of life. I read an article from which discussed problems of girls with flat pairs and I do think those with mountain pairs also have their own problems. I guess if people would only be selfless they’d know that there’s a lot more to be thankful than to struggle about. I really love this part “The bottom line is I can’t make such personal decisions for someone else, but I can make confident, responsible, God-honoring decisions for myself. You can too.” Results are fruits of the choices you made.

  • Manisha says:

    The problem with this argument is that if the woman is only moderately enhanced by cosmetics and nail polish, she won’t be able to attract any man for a monogamous marriage. Please remember that even Christian men need to be physically attracted to their wife in order for the marriage to work.

  • Shelley says:

    Dear Father God,
    Lord I lift up my sister to You at this time in her life that You will surround her with Your Mighty arms, just like a mother bear comforts her cub. I pray that you will help her with this issue that she is facing in her life. In Jesus Mighty nme amen

  • jocado says:

    I really needed this article. It is the best I have found and exactly in line with what the Lord has been speaking to me. I was always small breasted and felt so much humiliation and rejection as a young lady growing up in a non-Christian home. In fact my home life was contaminated with the misuse of God’s creation of man in every way. Eventually seeking love and attention from anyone I.became very promiscuous. One toxic relationship after another, always ending in heart ache…eventually I found myself at rock bottom. I was lured into working at a mens club by older female.friends and by my own desire to be noticed. It was my rock bottom. Only a.month or so into it I cound a Gospel track on a phone booth. I cried at the new revelation of life presented and prayed for Christ to forgive me. The Lord sent a tornado into my life to root out all the bad in my life and in his infinite mercy sent me the man of my dreams with a pure heart. I enrolled in Bible College, became class president, graduated top of my class. It was there that God.showed me how beautiful I was to him and I was completely freed from the past. I also recieved a call to reach out to the sexually exploited children in our world…13 years later, 3 kids in 3 years, all nursed…left me faced an inversion of one nipple, the other stretched and both flat. It made me sick to my stomach. I wouldnt even show my husband. The absence of my pregnancy breasts was deflating in every way. My husband prefered my smaller size alot. But we discussed our options and he was fine with augmentation so I could fill out clothes ect… So I visited 3 docs who said my small size choice of implant would not work and I needed to go a little larger. I wanted no sight of any changes and only to fill up a little. Any how I gave in to their professional opinions and went with a B cup.The implants are beatiful but I find my self.crying all the time. I never wanted to lower my high standards of sacrificing all for the one who was sacrificed for me. I didn’t have a.hint of sexual immorality in mind and have never since I was saved…but now I feel scared that men could be attracted to me and fall into sin. I just want to hide. Ifeel like I was to hard on my previous postbaby state and acted impulsively in making a drastic life altering decision. I loved my old body and want it back but how, now? Ive often thought this is the worst decision Ive made as a Christian and maybe I overlooked Gods warning signs and presumed upon his grace to much. After several breakdowns and Gods reassurance of forgiveness and forbearance and foreknowledge I know nothing will separate me from his love. But I will forever miss the me that he created and have to learn to love the new me and or make necessary changes if the feelings dont subside. Most of.all I want people to see.him through me and not my figure and I feel like I messed that up but I know his life changing power again for me. Please.keep me in prayer.

  • Janet says:

    Thanks for the prayer Kate. It helped immensely. Also, thanks for your encouragement Julie. I am no longer constantly depressed. I still feel that I will not get used to them and will probably get them explanted within the year, but only time will tell. At least my perspective has changed as I remember that God is bigger than this too, and this is not the end of the world.

  • Julie says:

    Please give your body and most importantly, your mind a chance to heal. At first I was questioning whether I did the right thing and would have panic attacks that I had ruined my body and essentially, my life. My surgeon told me that it often takes a great deal of time before a woman is able to accept the implants and new breasts as her own. She said 4 months, but I know it took me longer. It’s been two years this month since my surgery, and every morning it’s still like looking at a new body when I get out of bed. The difference is, is that now I really like what I see. I’ve grown accustomed to the way they feel when I sleep (on my stomach) and how they behave differently from before. These differences are strangely comforting. When I feel doubtful, I go to my surgeon’s website and look at my before and after pictures. This assures me that I’ve made the right decision because I really did not like the before pictures and how I felt in my old body. It was definitely a process, but ultimately, I am happier now with my breasts than before my surgery. By the way, just a side note, I too have an autistic son. You are still a good mom, and this has nothing to do with him! Don’t beat yourself up over this decision. It hasn’t taken anything away from your relationship with him, or your ability to give great care to him (because I know you are!). Be good to yourself, give yourself time, and take a big breath in and out. You’re going to be OK!

  • Kate says:

    Dear Heavenly Father, I want to pray now for my sister Janet. Father, we are so needy. To whom can we turn but You? Our help comes from You. I pray Father, that as Janet determines what she will do next, that You send the right people her way to minister to her and the right research her way to inform her decisions. I also pray that Your Holy Spirit will fill her, so that she will have the right attitude and discernment. Help her to see Your hand in her daily life, to see how You are caring for her, to see how You have not overlooked even the tiniest detail, to see how You understand her heart, her struggle and her desires. Father, we are dust so we thank You for Your Son Jesus, whose righteousness we wear. We are grateful Father to be cloaked in Jesus’ beauty and majesty, to be a delight to Your eyes because of who we are in Christ. Father, grant us peace and have mercy on us as we cling to You, determined to fight the good fight, to finish the race, to see You through the storm of every circumstance. I thank You Father for hearing these prayers in the precious name of Your Son, our Lord, Jesus. Amen.

  • Janet says:

    Thanks for this. I want to share my story 1) because I need prayer, and 2) so that those considering breast augmentation can have another perspective. I also do not feel God is black and white. I feel it is an extremely personal decision that every woman has to decide for themselves, and if married, with their spouse.

    I am a 36 year old single mother to a wonderful 6 year old autistic child. My ex and I have been separated almost a year and our divorce paperwork is in progress. I still love him and wish things could work, but he has a mental illness that was just impossible to live with. I can say that he always loved me for who I was, and he never wanted me to have a BA although I was self-conscious about my small breasts. I always wished I had bigger breast, and only seriously considered a BA when my Christian friend had it done about 6 years ago. Her body looked great, and I envied that. There’s one problem – envy.

    Anyway, now that I live more than 1,000 miles from my ex and we’re divorcing, I thought I can finally do it. i felt like I was doing it for me, and that I would feel better about myself. In some ways it was well thought out as I’ve wanted one for 6 years and felt like I’d done thorough research. In other ways, it was a rash decision as I really hadn’t researched everything – the good and bad, nor was I aware of women who regretted it after because everyone on the forum I was on seemed so thrilled after. Anyway, about 4 or 5 days postop, as the pain lessened, I suddenly became very depressed and anxious, and I wished I had never had the BA for many reasons. Although my body looks “better” in a bathing suit, I really feel like my pre BA body suited me better. I have a new perspective on it, and I feel that it wasn’t that bad after all. I wish I had been more accepting of myself before. Why did it take this for me to realize that? My new body feels so alien to me. My breasts are hard and feel so foreign. I feel like I only want to wear baggy shirts now to cover them up as much as possible. I feel like I should’ve spent my money better as my car is not in the greatest shape. I feel like I should’ve spent my spring break enjoying my son instead of laid out in a bed. I feel like I just wants these things out of me and like I’m a fool for spending so much money, and I’d have to pay more money to get them out. I also now realize complications are not uncommon and they are not lifetime devices, so women w/BAs have to be prepared to go through surgery again, pay more money, and endure pain at any time. Some women have to do several revisions. Some women say their implants have seriously affected their health. I just don’t want to have to do several surgeries – at most one more – to take them out! I don’t want to have to take time off from my son. I want to fully be there for him. I’m having trouble sleeping and find myself weeping off and on. I’ve done some research and have found many women (non-Christian) who say they regret their BA afterward. Some of them say that it’s just postop blues, and they’ve grown to love them. Others say they never got used to them and removed them (some right away and some awhile later) and feel loads better after explanting. My roommate, who is also a Christian, says that I’m nuts and give it time, and I should not think of explanting. She actually wants to do it too, but hasn’t yet because of money. I think it’s fine for her if she’s sure. I just now feel like they’re not for me at all. I can’t get more time off of work for another surgery until the summer, so I have to give it time, and maybe my feelings will change, but right now I feel downright miserable, and I feel like it’s the biggest mistake of my life. I know God loves me either way. Many Christian women have them and love them and good for them. I think it’s just not right for me and my circumstances in life. If God has another partner in store for me in the future, I know he will love me w/my small breasts, even if they will now be scarred and maybe stretched (although many women who explant, especially when it’s done early say they have good results). I’m not sure what I’m going to do. I know for sure if I get any complications, I just want them gone. If I don’t get any complications, it’s a major decision I have to face about explanting. Please pray for me for peace and wisdom as I wait the next couple of months.

  • ibelieveinmiraclesforever says:

    Thanks for this article. I have been thinking of going for chemical peels, because I suffered from acne scars. D: Everyone has been telling me to take care of my body, exercise and eat healthily. Yet, all of their advice fall on death ear. I couldn’t tell you how much I regretted. I regretted mistreating the body that God has given to me. I am so sorry God that I didn’t give your body the best. Now, I am trying to construct back to how it was. Therefore, this made me decide to undergo chemical peel to improve my skin texture. Also, I decided to eat healthily and exercise regularly because now that I have learnt that this is not my body, but god’s body. therefore, I will and must take good care of it. I am sorry God for the lack of knowledge. Thank you for telling me preaching this message to me. (:

  • Jamie says:

    This is a wonderfully honest article. I got breast implants when I was 19. I was a Christian, but not walking with the Lord. It was an impulse….I didn’t understand the possible repurcussions of this major decision. Fast forward 16 years and 12 years of marriage. It was time to replace the implants, because they don’t last forever. Only 10-15 years. I decided that I did not want to replace them, just take them out. My husband was skeptical, but wanted me to be happy and healthy. I told him if he didn’t like it, I would put them back in, but I wanted to try “without.” I just felt at this point in my life “breasts” didn’t matter. That they SHOULDN’T matter. Well, I had them out with good success. My result was pretty good, considering. Well, 2 years later, my husband comes to me and says he would really like for me to put them back in. He loves me the way I am, but if they could be better, why not? This initially hurt me very much. How dare he? I have been angry at him for over a year, and have grown increasingly insecure. Our marriage has suffered, our sex life has suffered. I have been praying about what to do and recently decided to see a surgeon. The problem is, I almost did start to feel superior because I took them out. Like, I’m so good, I don’t need implants. I began to see women who got implants as pathetic or desperate. And this is ridiculous, because I know may Godly women that I really admire who have them. Needless to say, this has been a devastating inner struggle for me. My poor husband won’t even talk to me about it because its such a sore subject. He wishes everyday he never said anything. But, I told him, before I had them out that I would put them back in if he wanted me to. So, my conflict has been “is it ok for Christian women to have breast implants?” Most articles I have found online are horrible- “its a sin, its vanity, your’e spitting in God’s face…” Seriously?????? I have prayed about this and can honestly say I have not received a definite answer, but I don’t know that I ever will. I really believe God doesn’t really care about breast implants themselves, just how you portray yourself and live your life. Deep down, I guess I was never that happy with my breasts after the removal either, but it wasn’t that important to me. But I do want to please my husband, and feel confident. So I am having surgery next month. I think just that fact that this is a moral struggle for most of us imparts that our hearts are in the right place. I pray that anyone having this struggle would find peace with their decision. This article helped me very much

  • Alfred says:

    What a well researched and timely article!
    I started reading with this thought: It seems to me that any person’s self-esteem will be raised with a make-over (extreme or minor). With consideration of the Biblical principles, however, the whole issue is seen in a new light!
    Dena, I like what you say “Sharing is not possible if the person won’t receive you.” –because a person needs to first accept you before being able to accept what you say. Therefore “to be an effective witnesses for the kingdom” you need to look attractive. To that I need to add that Ms. Harms said being beautiful on the inside will have an affect on outside beauty, for what is in the heart cannot be hidden.
    Our relationship to God is all-important! Blessings to everyone who read this!

  • Dena says:

    Thank you so much for this article. Each person needs to go before God for themselves on this. I am a makeup artist and a motivational speaker. But my greatest job is being an example for Christ. Thee worst problem I have is that people are afraid if what they don’t understand. They don’t explore what they don’t understand. I see spouses giving googley eyes to an attractive person, yet they don’t want there own spouse to improve there look. Giving all types of excuses for your mate to stay the same or in some cases dumb down (in appearance). You marry to add to one another not take away. My fiancé comments on my makeup. However he comments I do take into consideration but I belong to God, me and them him. You have to talk with your spouse concerning things of this nature but if you are made to feel less that or that you shouldn’t do something to make them feel better you are going to essentially have issues. Men don’t understand what we are faced with. They are critical of us and then the women around us are too. When will we judge the actions of men and not what they choose to look like. If the time we spend on critiquing ones outer appearance was used to uplift the kingdom where would we be? ? Who would you rather witness to you? A nicely dressed, well groomed person or a stringy haired, not so neat looking person. God sees only our heart. But we are human, we notice outward first in most cases. My job is to be an effective witnesses for the kingdom. And I do what is in my power to be must effective. Sharing is not possible if the person won’t receive you.

  • Doris Beck Doris says:

    Good for you for losing 60 pounds! You Go Girl!! That is so awesome and takes a lot of discipline that most people don’t have. But I also understand your feelings about your breasts. It is hard to go through so much work to lose all that weight and then still not feel good about your body. I think that is one of the most difficult things about being a woman is that constant battle that we have with our self image.

    Let me pray for you right now:

    Dear Heavenly Father
    I lift Blessed up to you right now and ask that You would help her to see herself as You see her and as her husband sees her. Help her to be assured that she is precious in Your sight, and that You have created her just the way she is. Show her what it is that You have for her Lord, whether to go ahead with surgery or to be content with how she looks. Guide her thoughts Lord and help her to daily take her thoughts captive. Change her heart Lord, and may it be totally focused on You. Amen.

  • Claire Colvin Claire Colvin says:


    The thing that stood out to me most in your comment was when you said, ” I will have to ignore my feelings and hopefully they will go away.” Whether you decide to pursue surgery or not, I would strongly encourage you not to just ignore your feelings, but rather to spend some time with them, to process them and see what you can learn. You mentioned earlier in your comment that “I know I am not supposed to feel this way”. There are no right or wrong feelings, feelings are not moral, or legal, they’re feelings. They are reactions to things and sometimes we can take some control over how we feel and sometimes we can’t. There can be a lot of value in exploring those feelings rather than just tucking them away.

    Often our feelings, our reactions are rooted in something. We’re afraid of something, feel shamed by something, love something, crave something, are intrigued by something etc etc etc. I don’t know your story, but I wonder if you might have trouble accepting your body as beautiful because it used to look a certain way? Sometimes when a person looses a lot of weight it takes awhile for their brain to catch up. They still think of themselves as being a heavy person, or they still feel all the negatives things they felt about their body when they were heavier. If you can, take some time alone and ask yourself, “How do I feel about my body?” Have you celebrated your success? Do you have a positive or negative view of your body overall?

    There is an incredible post happening over at SheLoves Magazine right now where a bunch of women are writing love letters to their bodies. In a world full of negative body messages with everyone telling us we need to be younger, thinner, prettier, (what happened to citius altius fortius – faster, higher, stronger?) these women are writing about how they feel about their own bodies. There are over 100 women who have written so far. The posts are sad and hopeful, apologetic and celebratory. I’d encourage you to read through them. Where do you fit? Have you accepted your own body?

    I’m not a doctor so I cannot advise you on whether or not you should get the surgery, but I do know women who have had breast surgeries (some for augmentation, others for reduction) and they have been so, so happy with the results. If there’s something that makes you sad every time you see it in the mirror and there’s a way to make it not sad anymore, I don’t think that that is a bad thing. There’s finances to consider and it may not be something you can do now. There are risks to every surgery, and you have to consider that as well. But I think it’s a bit like getting a tattoo. If it’s something you’ve wanted for a very long time, if you’ve prayed about it and discussed it with the people who love you, if it’s something that is going to make you happy every time you see it, then why not?

    Whatever you decide, don’t deceive yourself into thinking that you’re not allowed to have certain feelings, or that your emotions are some how incorrect. Honour your feelings by taking a good close look at them. If Satan is whispering lies to you – you’re not enough, you’re not worthy – then fight those lies with the word of God. See if you can find the root of what you’re feeling and see what can be done about it. Don’t push your feelings away, bring them out into the sunshine.

  • Blessed says:

    Thank you so much for posting this. I used to watch Extreme Makeover, and it made me squeemish LOL. I don’t like watching surgeries.

    I have lost a lot of weight (60 pounds) and nursed two beautiful children. My husband has loved me and my body through all we have been through. My breasts have always been large (I’m a D cup), but they now sag low and appear deflated. I am working on my health and shaping up my body as much as I can. I am proud of myself. But I am disheartened sometimes when I look at my chest. It affects my desire to be intimate with my husband. I feel shame and I know I am not supposed to feel this way. He assures me that he loves me as I am, but he is also understanding as to why I want an augmentation. I don’t want to be bigger, just lifted back up off the ground (lol). Even if I have to go a bit smaller to avoid attracting attention, I would do it in a heartbeat. I feel like I’m being vain, especially considering the number of women who have reconstructive surgery because of cancer.

    After reading this post, I have decided to first pray about my feelings, and ask God to change my heart. I don’t want anything to come between my husband and I, and intimacy is an important part of our relationship. Cosmetic surgery is not on our priority list, so I will have to ignore my feelings and hopefully they will go away.

  • love is God says:

    hi just wanted to thank you for your article you have a gift that God is using for his kingdom. I pray that God may continue to use you . i love the way your article has such a non-judgmental approach. personaly i am planning to have a breast reduction as my breast are very large which causes me to have back pain . and does not allow me to run as much as i want to. I have been debating to whether or not i should get it but i think i am just gona go ahead and free my self from this burden lol (my E CUP breast). God bless you

  • Holly says:

    Thank you so much for this! I have already booked my breast surgery. I talked to my sister-in-law who “lovingly” tried to talk me out of it. And for the last 2 days, it has been weighing so heavily on my heart. If I am doing this for the right reasons. I have been praying and searching. This was the BEST written article that I have read as to Christian women and whether or not they should undergo this type of thing. I finally am starting to feel like maybe God is not so black and white after all. My husband was not on board with me doing this at first at all, he loves me the way I am. But as we’ve talked about it, he has decided that if it is important to me, and if it makes me feel better that I should do it! Thanks for this! And God bless you all, no matter what you struggle with! I know my Father loves me just the way I am….this is my way of putting my best foot forward and hopefully finding that acceptance within myself too!

  • Laura says:

    Thank you for the article and the responses. I have had five children and now my breasts, which started small, but were very inflated when my milk came in, are completely flat. I have thought seriously about having surgery for the last ten years, but always concluded that if God wanted me to have a womanly chest he would have given me one. My husband doesn’t mind my completely flat deflated chest, but I have been wearing large pads in my bra to give the appearance of breasts. My husband and I prayed about it and the answer I got from God was twofold. God showed me If it was important to my husband that I have the surgery then His answer was no, definitely don’t have the surgery. But if my husband is in love with me for my inner beauty, then the surgery is fine for me to have. I believe that the surgery, for me, is as significant to my feeling good about myself as orthodontic braces to correct cosmetically crooked teeth. It’s been a difficult decision, but when I have the surgery I will definitely feel like a woman, even without clothes on.

  • Julie says:

    Since originally posting a response, I have had augmentation surgery and couldn’t be happier with my decision. I was worried that people would judge me, too, but now I realize that it’s just none of their business! It’s my decision to tell people or not, and I’ve found that the people that I have told have been very supportive (even the Christians). I also know that the people who do judge are not good acting like good Christians, and I don’t worry about them (I used to be someone who judged others about their decision to have breast augmentation). This is decision is between you and God; don’t let the fear of judgment from others persuade you either way. Best of luck!

  • Doris Beck Doris says:

    Lake and Ann, thanks so much for taking the time to not only visit our site but also to write a comment. I know how much this does impact how you see yourself as a woman. It is sad but very true that the most difficult part of it is how we communicate it to Christians because of how judgemental they can be.

    Ann. your advice was right on! To pray and ask for God’s wisdom and direction and He will let you know the direction to you. This isn’t a trite decision that you have made easily, but instead you have sought His face on it which always the best place to go!

  • Ann says:

    Thank you for your writing…but I think unless you have lived a life with very small breast or none then one can not truly understand the desires of women who want breast implants. (at least one that is small breasted) I have three children and after nursing the last one and loosing all my baby weight I lost all my breast volume. I have always been very small, like a AA, and now I am flat. My husband is not bothered by it, but every day I am. I have prayed and sought God for comfort and direction. Yes I struggles with several versus, especially 1 John 2:15, but I also believe that God wants me to be confident and desires for me to be intimate with my husband and feel good about myself. I feel very beautiful inside but I don’t feel like a woman on the outside, as God intended.

    So finally 3 kids in 6 years, I have found the Doctor that has given me confidence and peace about undergoing breast augmentation. I do have to admit I do see a lot of women doing the procedure that have breast. But I know exactly how every woman feels that is almost flat chested. You are limited in what you can wear, you feel like a little girl when you wear a bathing suit even if it is a one piecce, but most of all you don’t feel like a woman. I just want to feel like a beautiful confident woman. It’s not envy or jealousy of women that have breast it’s an inherent feeling of wanting to be beautiful inside and out.

    For any women out there contemplating the procedure, I just advise you to pray and ask for God’s wisdom and direction. I know after 6 years I have his blessing now to do this, but I was ready not to. You will know in your heart.

  • Lake says:

    What a fabulous article. Indeed, as both Christians and in society both, we make judgments about others’ choices, depending on our personal viewpoints or experience. I have been struggling with an option to have breast augmentation since finishing breastfeeding 2 1/2 years ago. I lost almost all of the small breasts I originally had and am disproportionate. My husband does not care but it bothers me every day as I dress and have had to replace shirts and bras continuously to hide it as they continue to shrink. I wish it didn’t bother me so I continue to pray. I know the Holy Spirit will give me peace about the right decision. If I choose to do it, I want to be sure I communicate in the best way possible to both Christians (who will judge me) and non-Christians, who may question my integrity. Thank you again for your article.

  • cfast says:

    Prince, have you tried to talk to her about your feelings? She probably doesn’t know how you feel about her wearing makeup or even what you think about her not wearing any makeup. You should really speak to her about it before you get married.

  • Prince says:

    The internet is really an amazing pool of opinions. One has to be guided by the Holyspirit in order to get a clear understanding. My quest for answers on this topic lead me reading through many blogs. I am about to be married to one I have come to admit is really attached to cosmetics and makeup and I am truly deeply worried for her. I am much more attracted to her physically when she has little or no makeup on. I remember seeing her once when she had just woken up from sleep and how beautifully different she looked from other times we had met after her makeup and all. I am also concerned that this attachment to cosmetics and makeup has cost her quite a lot. For example she is hardly punctual. She almost always shows up late at work, events, even church services sometimes. She would hardly go out without makeup and can even makeup on the road! Now that she is to be married to a man who does not appreciate excessive makeup, I wonder what still motivates her?
    Prince, Ghana.

  • Doris Beck Doris says:

    Sharon and Shelley, I have to agree that God’s makeover gives new meaning to the words, Extreme Makeover! :-) What a blessing to know that He loves us just the way we are and too much to leave us that way.

  • Shelley Anderson says:

    Yes! God is the best makeover in all of life. he continues to do makeover to the planet and the universe as well. I am happy in what God has made me to be in this life.

  • Sharon says:

    while outward beauty is nice inner beauty is i think better, i agree with you shelley, God is also making over me too by continous healing of my issues.

  • Shelley Anderson says:

    Make overs! Only God can do a Makeover in our lives with Him. My makeover was my personal relationship with Him. He is still molding and repairing me to be the person that he wants me to be in this life and to be ready for the life after with Him, when i will see Him face to face and he can say “WELL DONE MY GOOD AND FAITHFUL SERVANT.

  • Oge says:

    Thanks for your article. Its helped me personally as a beauty and makeover consultant. Its beautiful to know that God owns our body and desires that we work more on beautifying our hearts. I intend to share these insights with other Christian women battling with issues of outward beauty! God bless you.

  • Shelley Anderson says:

    Well! I like what has been written even though I have never gone through makeovers. I am blessed to have God design me and old me Himself into the creature that i am. People have told me that I look younger than my age of 57 and i appreciate that commment. I do pray that the Lord our God will do His makeover for you as you seeks His guidance.

  • Haeley says:

    Thank you so much!! Your insight has helped me make a confident descision!!

  • Julie says:

    Thank you for this post! I’ve recently had to have a very large mass removed from my right breast, and since I was small breasted to begin with, it left very little left. Thank God the mass was not cancerous! I am very grateful, but my insurance will not cover reconstruction (since it wasn’t cancer). I’ve always been the one to talk my friends out of breast augmentation surgery, and now realize that this has made me feel superior. Now that the shoe is on the other foot, I realize why some women may feel it necessary to alter their bodies. Your article has made me think about my motivation behind wanting to fix my “problem”, and has taken a lot of the guilt I was feeling about doing so away. I know I’m not doing it to attract attraction (I’m happily married), but to feel normal again. I would not have considered the surgery had I not had the mass removed, but I am now looking forward to being able to actually fit into bathing suits, bras, clothes, etc for the first time!
    Thank You,

  • Lis says:


    I’d like to respond to what you’ve written, and know that I’m praying for you and your wife today…

    The truth is, there will always be someone more beautiful, always someone more handsome. And even the “most” beautiful will some day not be the most beautiful. We will all be old someday. So that love that begins with physical attraction needs to endure through many changes along the way. Enjoy the time you have now while you’re either young or relatively young, and know that as you honor and protect your marriage, God will make it beautiful as both you and your wife grow old together.

    In your marriage vows, you vowed before God and people to be faithful to your wife as long as you both shall live. Each husband and wife should strive for that. Confess to the Lord the times your thoughts have been unfaithful, ask Him to help you, say “No” to any tempting thoughts that try to come (tell them to be gone in the name of Jesus and refuse to listen to them. Instead, take the opportunity to remind yourself of the things you do love about your wife and thank God for those things and for her), and make a fresh commitment to be faithful to your wife no matter what.

    You have not received “damaged goods.” Your wife was “fearfully and wonderfully” made by God.

    You were attracted to the woman you married when you were dating her, and you knew about her facial/neck hair at that time. Regardless, it would not be fair to deny your wife of your affection and love. Imagine how you would feel if she thought that way about other men either physically or character wise. It would hurt very much.

    Sin starts with thoughts. Don’t let yourself fantasize about other women. That kind of thinking is very dangerous, because it can lead a person deeper and deeper into sin. Confess this thinking to Lord and seek out accountability with other Christian men.

    A husband and wife should be able to get to the point where they can share their desires with one another. This must be done very gently, because many women already struggle with body image. Maybe the hair bothered her before, but because you loved her and married her how she is, she feels safe to be vulnerable with you. You don’t want to lose that. So, some gentle ideas of how to address this with her would be to affirm your love for her, and that you find her attractive (look past the hair, and mention specific things that you find physically attractive about her). If it’s just a matter of waxing, gently ask if she would be willing to wax. If not, does she ever mention that she doesn’t like her facial hair. If she does, you could mention that you’d be happy for her to have it surgically removed. But don’t push this hard, because she needs to know that you love her and care about her first. Don’t go into this with a focus on wanting to change your wife. Your wife is precious and valuable to the Lord, and I pray that you will see how precious she is…what a treasure she is.

    About the command for husbands to love their wives and Christ loves the Church: Jesus was perfect and we are not. But there is no excuse for sin either. We are to confess sin and resist temptation. God has enabled us to live by His Holy Spirit who guides us in truth and helps us to live Holy lives (He’s the one who makes you feel uncomfortable about comparing your wife to other women. Follow His leading.). That doesn’t mean we will attain perfection, but it does mean that we have been enabled to say NO to sin and to have victory over sin. We are no longer slaves to sin, but we are slaves to righteousness. It’s so refreshing knowing that we don’t have to sin, and I can attest to the fact that when I’m living rightly, my heart is light and free. So yes, it is possible to strive to love your wife as Christ loves the Church. My husband acknowledges that he fails at this, just as sometimes I fail as well. When he’s not gentle enough, he asks the Lord and me for forgiveness. And he shows me that he honors me and chooses me above all else when he fights against temptations to lust. These things grow my respect for him.

    I don’t know that this is a difficulty for you, but if you are looking at pornography, you are hurting your marriage. Go to Focus on the Family and read the many helpful articles there. Jesus said that lusting after a woman is the same as committing adultery. So, looking at porn is the same as committing adultery. Marriage is hurt by porn. It makes husbands dissatisfied with their wives and therefore deprives their wives of the affection of a satisfied husband. And in the end both husband and wife lose out on intimacy with one another. If porn is a problem for you, I encourage you to seek help right away.

    Anyway, I praying for you and for your marriage today.

    He loves you and your wife so, so much!

    In Him,

  • Thomas says:

    Thank you for this insight. I have been married now for three months. I am madly in love with her heart and desire for our Lord. Inwardly, she is the most beautiful person on this entire planet. Outwardly, she beautiful and well proportioned. Something that I knew about my wife before we were married has begun to bother me though. She has a lot of facial hair.

    I love her, I believe we were brought together by God’s will and not ours, yet I find her facial hair to be a huge turn off for me. I don’t like feeling stubble when we kiss and put our faces together. And when I can see the hair on her neck, it just really bothers me.

    I feel like such a jerk because I thought that “love conquers all”. We have talked about it, but it is a very sensitive subject for her, so I don’t want to go over the line. Who am I to ask her to modify the body that God gave her? Is this more an issue with my heart than her physical appearance? Some times I feel like I have received “damaged goods” (forgive my sinful heart!).

    I love my wife and want to support her in the best way possible. Scripture commands us to love our wives as Christ loves the Church. Is that something I can really do? I even find myself thinking, “If only she looked more like that girl I would be happier.”

    Am I going to destroy our marriage?

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