The Comparison Trap
By Jenny LaBahn
I have been in the beauty industry for 8 years. If anyone understands the struggle with comparison, it would be me.
I am a hairstylist and I work in a salon with 29 stunningly beautiful women. I cannot tell you how many times I have walked into work and thought to myself, “I need to lose weight; I should have – put on more make up; curled my hair instead of wearing it straight; worn that shirt instead of this one.” You get the idea.
However when I take a deeper look, I realize that what I am comparing myself to is makeup, haircolor, and hairspray. Things of no value.
Those things may accentuate and enhance, but they are not what make a woman beautiful.
The most beautiful women I know, are those who are at peace with themselves.
The Bible says it is unwise to compare ourselves to others.
“…when they measure themselves with themselves and compare themselves with one another, they are without understanding and behave unwisely.” 2 Corinthians 10:12, AMP
I stopped coloring my hair almost two years ago, right before I studied abroad in Paris. When I got home, I decided to keep growing out my natural color. The girls at work were appalled, and ask me quite frequently if I am ever going to color my hair again. Even my clients have become curious as to why I have gone natural. Sometimes it gets to me, and I often think that maybe I should start again. I have even thought, “Maybe if I colored my hair I would look prettier, and then I wouldn’t be single.”
However, I have realized the futility and foolishness in that line of thinking. Something within me wanted to stop being fake. I wanted to stop changing and conforming myself to meet society’s standards of “pretty.”
Don’t get me wrong. I do not think there is anything wrong with make up or haircolor. If I felt that strongly about it, I would be out of a job. I just sensed within myself this striving to look a certain way, to meet a certain unattainable standard. But why? What was the driving force?
I was comparing myself to the woman next to me, instead of accepting the woman within me.
I am the me that God designed. He didn’t make me on accident, and He didn’t form me with some societal mold in mind that He was trying to measure up to. He is infinitely creative and brilliant.
Every time God creates, He does so with intention.
He utilized an equal and exact amount of creativity when He made you, and every other person on this planet. When we choose to compare ourselves with others around us, and the fictitious women we see in the magazine, we aren’t only making life harder on ourselves, we are telling God He didn’t do a good enough job.
God doesn’t make junk; He only makes masterpieces.
And guess what? No one can articulate God’s creativity quite like you can. You were made not to be beautiful, turn heads, and outdo the girl next to you with your beauty regimen. You were made to showcase the hand of God.
And you do that best when you stop comparing, and start accepting, the you that God made you to be.
Jenny LaBahn is a lover of Jesus, tea, books, writing, reading, and rain. Her greatest passion in life is finding intimacy with the Savior. She has a heart for singles trying to find their way in a world of pairs. She is a hairstylist, full-time college student, and also manages to do some freelance editing and writing on the side. You can read Jenny's blog at www.mydoubleportion.com.