A few years ago—all right, decades—Huey Lewis and the News sang “It’s Hip to be Square.” The point of the rock ‘n roll song is that he now lives a more sedate life than in his youth.
I used to be a renegade, I used to fool around
But I couldn't take the punishment, and had to settle down
Now I'm playing it real straight, and yes I cut my hair
You might think I'm crazy, but I don't even care
Because I can tell what's going on
It's hip to be square
Now he’s more mature than sophomoric, he’s looking at fitting in with what’s “normal,” and that means changing his tastes, how he dresses, and how his favorite bands (who have also aged) now dress in business suits.
In this society, it’s cool to be hot. To be “hot” is to be the ultimate in cool. But in most cases, it’s used to mean sexually desirable. Sex sells. It sells products, and it clinches the deal when a couple is even slightly attracted to one another.
What are the differences between "beautiful" and "desirable"? I am the former, but evidence and experience say I'm not the latter. I figure that if I were desirable, there’d be something to show in the way of a dating past. Either men don’t ask me out, or when I work up the courage to ask them out, they’re suddenly very busy being busy, and are very regretful that they’re leaving town. I’ve been praying for the Lord to take those withered, atrophied places in my heart and make me whole again.
Where I feel weakest, the most vulnerable, is that no matter how I improve my mind, or develop my talents and skills, no matter the quality and quantity of my work product, no matter how I treat other people with respect or compassion, no matter how well I dress or groom myself, I am apparently not "enough" to satisfy my father (who says he’s disappointed in me), or my former boss (who made work life extremely difficult), and certainly not a potential boyfriend. I’m always the friend, but never the girlfriend.
I'm never going to be slim or athletic or be able to take back the accident that disabled my knee. I'll never be able to join the bubble-headed flirty girls' club because I have integrity. I find it impossible to be silly or superficial.
I feel like I'll always be the sisterly, platonic friend described variously as a sweetheart, trustworthy and loyal, dependable, brilliant and witty, dresses beautifully, is easy to be with, great for the ego, amazing, awesome, funny, lovable, sweet, precious, blah, blah, blah, but ultimately, not desirable. I’m not arm-candy. I’m not someone to show off to male friends to prove he’s “still got it,” or that he’s so cool that he can get the “hot” chicks.
The electronic and print media constantly emphasize that you're nothing without a partner. Because you haven't been chosen. Everything is about love and romance and being validated by others. Intellectually, of course, I reject that. But my heart has totally sold out to that idea.
Further, dressing modestly (I’m not talking a nun’s habit), without putting everything on display for free, doesn’t get or keep male attention, either. Men are visual creatures. They think of sex every few seconds. So if their attention is fixated on that high-maintenance woman, I don’t stand a chance.
Recently, though, I’ve had several compliments in Facebook, from complete strangers. Single men, actually. (Oh, yes, I checked.)
“Even though you and I haven't actually spoken yet, I friended you because I was completely struck by the beauty and kindness in your face . . . the world needs more of that, and it is often found in our most fragile people :-) Remember that someone up in the cold, damp Northwest is smiling when he thinks about you :-) ”
“I apologize if I may seem out of line, but I saw a post you had on a friend-of-a-friend’s page about her being prettier than you. She is just pretty in her own way. You have some very appealing qualities yourself. I really like your hair BTW, it is original and attractive on you.”
Both comments arrived at unexpected moments when I really needed to hear a spontaneous, unfished-for compliment that made me feel feminine and appreciated. Don’t get me wrong: I like the inward person I’ve become, and I strongly believe in looking beautiful on the exterior at all times, even when alone. But I have this deep hunger to be appreciated and loved as a total package, a whole human being—not for one or the other.
I guess I want a man to see my inner beauty and love everything about me. That's how many women think about men. In a woman's eyes, the man they love is absolutely gorgeous and becomes more so all the time.
People judge by outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart. 1 Samuel 16:7 NLT
One of my friends said to me, “If God won’t change the circumstance, he will use it.” What do you think?