Faith and Life

Understanding the Truth, I No Longer Seek to Change My Appearance

By Tong Yu

This is an age when people advocate physical attractiveness and make a living with their looks. Consumed with the latest trends, they all pay close attention to their own image. Especially in the last few years, “big eyes and little face,” “palm-sized face” and “skinny beauty” have become aesthetic standards in the new age. As for me, tall, slender and fair-skinned as I am, I inherited my father’s little eyes and plump face. They became my Achilles heel and made me incompatible with the aesthetic standard of “big eyes and little face.” Therefore, although having a slender figure, I used to be dissatisfied with my little eyes and wide face, and then began to try to change my appearance.

Pursuing My Dream of Having Big Eyes

By chance I met Aunt Li who I knew well in my childhood. As a competent plastic surgeon, she often went to the major domestic and international cities to alternate techniques of plastic surgery. Upon seeing me, she said, “Xiaoyu, you’re such a beautiful girl, with a delicate high-bridged nose and a rosebud mouth. It’s just that your eyes are kind of small. Once you have big double eyelids, you must be a beauty. If you want, I’ll perform embedding double eyelid surgery for you for free and you’ll be pretty without being cut open. Presently, many girls of eighteen or nineteen have tried it.”

Hearing her words, I felt so happy. I thought, “If I can have double eyelids through mini plastic surgery, it’ll be really a dream coming true.” Despite my fear of the surgery and worries about the unsuccessful result after that, when I imagined I was about to have big eyes and that others would revolve around me and compliment me, I became brave. Whatever it took, I couldn’t miss this chance, and I would try it.

Thereupon, I arrived at the hospital at the hour appointed. After carefully checking my upper eyelids, Aunt Li and the chief physician found that the skin around my eyes was too soft and not tight, without much fat, so it was not suitable to perform embedding double eyelid surgery for me, and they told me that even if I underwent it, the result would not be ideal. When I heard this, I felt as if I was doused by a bucket of cold water from head to toe. Then I said goodbye to Aunt Li reluctantly and walked out of the hospital. Emotionally, I fell to my lowest point and became moody, thinking, “Alas, I’m entirely without hope. I’m afraid that I’ll keep company with my little eyes all my life.”

Later, I learned from my classmates that frequently using double eyelid tape could convert my slight double eyelids into natural and distinct double ones. This news reignited the hope in my heart. Hence, I began to frequently use all kinds of double eyelid tape, and even wore them at home, hoping that someday when I woke up, my dream of having big eyes would come true. However, a few days later, I found that this method wouldn’t work at all. Aside from the pain from my repeatedly sticking double eyelid tapes and taking them off in the mirror every day, I felt wearing the double eyelid tapes to work and study made me feel uncomfortable, so I had to take them off because I could not bear the uncomfortable feeling much longer. After trying doggedly several times, I finally gave up using double eyelid tapes.

Failing to have big eyes, I felt quite helpless and my heart was very heavy.

Following My Dream of Having Little Face

As kinds of face slimming exercises prevailed on the Internet, in changing my appearance, my thought of having a thin face sprouted up. I thought: Once my face becomes thin, won’t my eyes look bigger? This way, my face won’t look flat and I’ll be even more beautiful.

I hurried to download several kinds of facial exercises videos, and began to massage my cheeks with massage oils according to these videos every day. Besides, I also threw back my head from time to time to make my chin pointy. Ten days later, this method produced slight effect: My chin and cheeks became a little thinner. Yet I found that this method acted slowly and that my face would return to its usual shape if I didn’t have facial massage. I thought, “This is not OK. I must find a suitable way for myself to make my face thinner.”

Once, I met a friend learning to be a model. Seeing her face was very little, I was green with envy, so I asked her the secret to having a thin face. She told me that she often went on a weight loss diet and took exercise and that her face would naturally be narrow when she lost weight all over. I was yearning for a “palm-sized face.” Hearing her words, I felt as if I had received the most valuable treasure and began planning to go on a diet to lose weight. I ultimately had my wish granted when I got a 21 Days Weight Loss Diet Plan, which was this, “Eat nothing but honey water in the first three days; only eat vegetables and fruits in the following eight days; live on porridge in the last ten days. If you follow the diet plan strictly, you will lose over 5 kg.” After seeing that, I was excited. I knew I was already thin, but in order to have a thin face, I made a higher demand for myself based on that diet. That was, I would eat nothing but honey water in the first four days, only eat one apple a day and drink water when I was hungry in the following seven days, and only eat some vegetables and fruits in the last ten days. It was thus that I didn’t eat any rice but only lived on water and apples in the first eighteen days, and not until the nineteenth day, did I eat some porridge. Moreover, during those days, I also took vigorous exercise, jumping rope, for thirty minutes every day. Even if I felt dizzy with hunger and was going to faint when I stood up, I dared not slacken for even a moment.

After the strict diet of 21 days ended, I, over 1.6 meters in height, reduced my weight from 45 to 40 kilos and was all skin and bone, unable to walk steadily. However, for all that my face became thinner, it was still somewhat chubby. When a good friend of mine saw me, she said, “You’re already skinny; how is your face still chubby?” On hearing her words, my heart sank again. Looking at my sallow face in the mirror due to losing weight, I was quite annoyed, thinking, “I’ve suffered hunger for about twenty days; not only has the brilliance on my fair face disappeared, but my skin has become sallow and coarse. This is not at all a state a girl of twenty ought to be in.”

After losing weight, as the suppressed appetite prompted, I couldn’t keep myself from eating all that I couldn’t eat before the diet. As a result, in only half a month or so, my weight increased to 45 kilos again. To make matters worse, I woke up one day to find that I got many pimples around my right temple, which grew thicker and couldn’t be got rid of even if I squeezed them. After seeing a doctor, I knew that my eating and drinking too much after the diet resulted in the hormonal imbalance, so that these pimples erupted on my face. Looking at so many pimples on my right face in the mirror, I felt grieved and sorry. I wanted to cry, to complain…. I kept asking myself in my heart, “I’ve tried; why can’t I get the effect I want? Could it be that I didn’t work hard enough?”

No Longer Being Confused and Agonized

One day, I read a passage of God’s words, “When a new trend sweeps through the world, perhaps only a small number of people are on the cutting edge, acting as the trendsetters. They start off doing some new thing, then accepting some kind of idea or some kind of perspective. The majority of people, however, will be continually infected, assimilated, and attracted by this kind of trend in a state of unawareness, until they all unknowingly and involuntarily accept it and become submerged in it and controlled by it. One after another, such trends cause people, who are not of sound body and mind, do not know what the truth is, and cannot differentiate between positive and negative things, to happily accept them as well as the life views and values that come from Satan. They accept what Satan tells them about how to approach life and the way to live that Satan ‘bestows’ on them, and they have neither the strength nor the ability, much less the awareness, to resist.

From God’s words, I found the source of my suffering—the evil trends of Satan. I thought: Yes. Satan does its best to trumpet that this is an age when people care very much about physical attractiveness and make a living with their looks, and it also praises “big eyes and little face,” “European-style double eyelid,” “palm-sized face,” “skinny beauty,” and so on. Through this Satan deceives and controls people. Because we don’t have truth, we can’t differentiate between positive and negative things and will naturally accept these erroneous thoughts and views, being firmly bound by these evil trends involuntarily. As a result, we are of the opinion that only those who are good-looking will be thought highly of and admired by others, and we take one’s appearance as the standard of measurement by which to judge his worth. Come to think of it, in order to have a beautiful appearance, so many people don’t spare undergoing cheekbone reduction surgery, going on a diet to lose weight, having liposuction to be thin, and so on to change their appearance. Even though a small number of them have achieved their aim and become beautiful, their bodies have suffered impairment and various diseases subsequently emerge. What is more pathetic is that, after the operations failed, some people’s faces were disfigured, some became disabled, and some even gave their lives. I am also one of the victims. In the evil trend of Satan, “big eyes and thin face,” I became a trendsetter. In order to become beautiful, I started to change my appearance by any means necessary. I wanted to make my eyes bigger by undergoing mini plastic surgery and went on a diet to lose weight. Finally, however, not only did I not get the effect I wanted, but I also made my stomach damaged, leading to the hormonal imbalance. As a consequence, my former fair skin turned sallow and I had many pimples on my face. Just like that, I was foolishly tricked, exploited and entrapped by Satan.

Then I read another passage of God’s words, “Which details of the first juncture—the place of one’s birth, one’s family, one’s gender, one’s physical appearance, the time of one’s birth—is a person able to choose? Obviously, one’s birth is a passive event. One is born involuntarily, in a certain place, at a certain time, into a certain family, with a certain physical appearance; one involuntarily becomes a member of a certain household, a branch of a certain family tree. One has no choice at this first life juncture, but rather is born into an environment that is fixed according to the Creator’s plans, into a specific family, with a specific gender and appearance, and at a specific time that is intimately linked with the course of a person’s life. What can a person do at this critical juncture? All told, one has no choice about any single one of these details concerning one’s birth.

God’s words awakened me to the truth that: People’s births and appearance, including the sizes of our eyes, faces, and so on, have all been long since decided upon by the Creator. It is no wonder that I still have the slight double eyelids no matter how I wore double eyelid tapes, and no wonder that my round face can’t become “palm-sized face” no matter how I went on a diet and took exercise. When I looked over my childhood photograph album, I found that from when I was a child, I had a big head which didn’t match my long and thin arms and legs, and that when I smiled, my eyes were narrowed and my face was always plump. Seeing those pictures and pondering God’s words, I couldn’t help blushing at my foolish acts. I thought, “My appearance has been ordained by God long ago and it won’t change simply because of any of my actions. I should obey the ordination of God, accept the appearance God has bestowed on me, and not rely on my own efforts to change all that God has given me; in this way, won’t I feel relaxed and happy?” After knowing the sovereignty of God, I decided not to spend my energy on changing my wide face and little eyes anymore.

After these farces, I regained all the weight I had lost and my face also became round again. These experiences helped me to know the evil trends of Satan from the revelation of the words of God, and through these experiences, I also tasted the pain brought by my opposing and fighting against God’s authority. Up till today, scars from pimples still remain around my right temple, which reminds me all the time that only by accepting and obeying the sovereignty of God’s authority and no longer blindly following the trends can I live freely and without restraints.

Later, I put more energy into reading God’s words and performing my duty, and meanwhile, I often met with my brothers and sisters and had fellowship on God’s words, no longer focusing on whether or not my eyes were big and whether my face was round. I lived a happy life. I saw the following passage in The Sermons and Fellowship on Entry Into Life, “In God’s family, no one looks at appearances, goes according to height or according to the relative superiority of knowledge. Whoever has truth, whoever has reality, whoever has humanity is a good person, and a person of high quality, and someone who is worthy of respect. Such a person has dignity and integrity. In addition, whoever in God’s family reaches the standard in doing his duty as God’s creation, and can put into practice various aspects of truth, gaining approval from people, this person is a good person in whom God is pleased, and whom the brothers and sisters support. Whoever is an honest person, and whoever lives by God’s word is the person who is most respected and is after God’s heart. This is our view on treating people. This is the view of life and value that every person who pursues truth should possess.” I thought: These words are very clear, and this is the view of life that we truly should have. Whether one has a good appearance is not important; only the one who has a beautiful spirit is genuinely beautiful. What’s most important is gaining the truth, being an honest person and performing his duty well, and only by doing in this way can he receive God’s favor. God’s will is that we should pursue the truth, fulfill the duty of a creature of God, but should not live for our appearance. Thank God! I am willing to obey God’s sovereignty and predestination, read more of God’s words and continue to walk the correct life path of pursuing truth and satisfying God. Amen!