The Invisible Woman

The other side of the False Woman is the notion of being the ugly one.

I call this non-sexualizing yourself. If you can hold up a sign that says, women are not for decoration, you have taken yourself out of the game. Okay forget the sign. But you see women like this everyday. They go to school or work. Some marry. Have children. Go to church. They are great people. It’s just that something is missing. If they only had half a face, it would make sense of how you feel in their presence. That deformity would explain why you feel there is another whole dimension to them as women that is missing. There is a part of them that they have tried to, or have been forced to, shut off. Their internal logic is: if I don’t look like a woman, I won’t have to feel like a woman, then you can’t reject me as a woman.

We all say we don’t care about all that beauty stuff, at one time or another. I think we try to convince ourselves that we don’t care. But the truth is we do care, only we feel we can never win the beauty game. So we quit, and try to become invisible.

 The Invisible Woman has a way of disregarding herself. Or maybe the word is dismissing. She believes she doesn’t count. She feels overlooked or ignored. Even absent.

We all go through seasons of feeling a little beat up with the ugly stick … but this is different. This is a way of life. The Invisible Woman has come to believe she has no womanly attributes of value. She believes this so deeply that she tries to accentuate or make up for her “lacking.”

My friend “Sally” is a perfect example. She told us her story once and said without blinking an eye, “I knew I wasn’t pretty but I was smart. So I learned that if I could make people laugh, they would like me anyway.”

I wanted to hold her and tell her what God thinks:

You are altogether beautiful, my darling,

And there is no blemish in you.

You have made my heart beat faster, my sister, my bride

You have made my heart beat faster with a single glance of your eyes.

Song of Solomon 4: 7, 9

 I am not sure she would dare to believe it. Do you?

Excerpt taken from Unhindered, Chapter 42

Let’s Get RealHere:

What do you believe about your womanly attributes, your value? What do you think of the Song of Solomon passage? Do you believe it’s for you?

The False Woman

Let me give you an couple of illustrations of the False Woman.

There was a photo I got by email. It The photo captures one lone woman, pale and plain, holding a sign that said, “Women are not decorations.” She is glaring at the short-short clad women in Hooters® tank tops standing right beside her. They are bronzed, dyed and pushed up. They look at her with mocking smiles, and pity.

The only caption was “Think she is jealous?

I looked a long, long time at that photo.

My first reaction was, no actually I am not jealous. I am sick. I am sick for both groups of women who have totally missed the point of being a woman. God’s woman.

The False Woman has two faces, or two ends of the spectrum. Most of us live somewhere on the spectrum. One face, or end of the spectrum, is like the Hooters® girl. I call this obsessive desire for beauty the Trophy Woman. The other face, or spectrum end I call the Invisible Woman.

The Hooters® girl has determined that it is only what’s on the outside that counts. She has to look “just so” to be considered a “Worthy Woman.” Her success is measured by her bust size, her waist size and how many heads she turns. So much so, she is paid to turn heads. Not only does she live for that look, she is prostituting her beauty, and gets paid to let guys look down her shirt.

Let’s revisit the email photo. The homely protesting woman has determined that it is only what’s on the inside that counts. She has bought hook, line and sinker that it is only about “Inner Beauty.” She’s decided all that fluff and primp effort is vanity. Somewhere she has believed that she can’t win at the beauty game, so she has quit the game altogether. Can you see her complete lack of effort is just an extreme opposite of the Trophy Woman’s obsessive effort? I have found when you dig a little with the Invisible Woman, just like in the Trophy Woman, there is almost always a gaping wound.

The Invisible Woman wears a mantle of heartache. Her face, her countenance, her posture, screams out unloved, unattractive, uninvolved, unaware of God’s original design of a woman. To somehow separate herself from the Trophy Woman lie, she goes to the opposite extreme.

When I talk about beauty God- style, it is not about denying it, but about embracing it.

 In this photo you can see the pain in the protestor’s eyes. Somebody somewhere told this woman that she was not lovely. And she believed that lie. When you see a woman who is un-tended to, I don’t mean no make-up, I mean un-invested in, un-cared for, you know who I am talking about, she is living out of a definition other than her maker’s.

Whether Trophy or Invisible, both women represent the same problem from the opposite ends of the spectrum called the False Woman. If we don’t live in God’s definition then we settle for the Hollywood cultural definitions of womanhood, we let ourselves be put in assigned boxes:

Got it,

Might get it,

Used to have it,

Never had it.

We have been put in these boxes, like it or not. So when we look around the room and see all the other boxes, we have to do something to make our assigned box seem like home. So we rationalize our health, our body structure, our genes, eating patterns, our drama and trauma stories, whatever it takes, to justify the box we have been assigned to. But guess what? All of these boxes are lies.

All of them. Lies.

Exerpt taken from Unhindered, Chapter 41

Let’s Get Real Here:

Where do you fall on the False Woman spectrum? Can you name the lies and wounds that hold you there? What do you think of beauty God-style?