When I was a teen, it was difficult to feel beautiful. Just when my type of hair or features would come into style, another feature of my appearance would go out of style. It never seemed like everything about me ever fit the mold of pretty or beautiful.
I would imagine many teen girls today feel the same. Those models in the magazines always look so beautiful. There is some little part of our brain that always thinks “If only I…”, then we would look just like that. (Ironically, becoming friends with several professional models in my twenties help free me from this notion. Although they were still beautiful, they often barely resembled their photographs.)
I’m always looking for books to encourage teen girls to look at themselves in healthier, more godly ways. Something that will give them the confidence, feeling less than takes from them. The confidence they need to truly reach their godly potential.
Recently, I was contacted by Tiffany Dawn, the author of The Insatiable Quest for Beauty. She offered me a chance to review her book. As a read through it, I appreciated that she attempts to keep the tone of her book conversational rather than preachy.
As someone whose quest for beauty (and a boyfriend) led to extremely unhealthy eating habits, she knows how desperate the search for beauty can be for young women in their teens and twenties. She does a great job of telling her personal story while weaving in godly advice.
I always get a bit nervous when eating disorders are addressed with teen girls. I’m afraid the discussion can push a girl on the edge into deadly habits. Dawn does a great job of mentioning some of the problems with eating disorders, but more as a starting point for discussing why the temptation exists and how to overcome it.
The author counsels girls with eating disorders to get professional help. I think she makes it fairly clear, her advice is for those beginning to dabble in unhealthy habits in their pursuit of beauty. As she shares the issues, she gradually leads the reader to the realization she had that the answer is in focusing on strengthening your relationship with God. Getting her feelings of worth and love from Him, helped her recenter the rest of her life.
Although each chapter contains a few questions and a bit of room for journaling, it isn’t really set up to be a Bible study or journaling experience. It could be part of a teen Bible study on godly beauty and/or dating, but the study leader would need to add quite a bit of Bible. The author does mention godly principles, but hasn’t written the book as a Bible study so it lacks the normal scripture references.
If your daughter struggles with feeling beautiful, I think this book gives her some great thoughts to consider and plenty of practical advice. I would encourage you to discuss the information with her either as mother/daughter or perhaps by hosting a teen girl Bible study on the topic. Dawn’s book can give them the perspective of a young woman recently in their shoes, while you can add the perspective of an older woman who has seen standards of beauty change multiple times just in your lifetime.
However you decide to share this book and the information in it with your daughter, it’s an important discussion to have with her. Knowing where her true beauty is found and developing a stronger relationship with God will help her through some of those tough times that come with being in your teens and twenties. Give her as many tools as possible to navigate those waters in godly ways.
A copy of this book was given to me for free in exchange for my honest review. An affiliate link is included for your convenience.