All you have to do is walk down a grocery check-out line, and look at all this flashy magazines to feel our inner barometer drop to record lows.
Of course we know outer beauty isn't what matters, God has told us He "looketh on the heart". But with the way media pounds PERFECTION into our psyche, its hard to escape it.
Well, one of the reasons I have enjoyed HCR's so much is because I feel that I can enjoy an outlet (NOT television and movies) and not have this particular "beauty" image speaking to me with degrading subliminal messages.
However, those message are so ingrained in me that I have, on occasion found myself even feeling bad about myself when I'm reading these stories! Some of these heroines are SO beautiful, with such PERFECT figures and smooth complexions that I find myself sinking farther and farther into the cushions of my couch....
It makes sense that we want to read about a lovely leading lady, and a handsome man. That goes without saying! No one wants to read about a boney, chest-less woman with stubby eye lashes who's covered in moles! (Oh dear, I just described myself. Ouch. *wink*)
And yet, I keep reading. Because even though I'm tempted to wish I had things I lack, in the end, these stories aren't about beauty. That's not the single, solitary thing that attracts the hero to the lady. She is a woman of God who is--in one way or another--working to strengthen her faith, and become a more loyal follower of Christ. That's what the hero is really attracted to!
So, even if I have to read particular novels while working out or wearing tons of make-up to make myself feel better, I know what really matters. Tillie Reece and Charlity O'Conner aren't real. But I am. And God knows and loves me despite my flaws--He loves me, because He made me.
And God never makes mistakes.