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Believe me, you’re amazing



 BY MAJOR MAL DAVIES

 

One song embedded in my life’s soundtrack is the 1977 Billy Joel classic Just the Way You Are. Its beautiful piano line and thoughtful lyrics not only make it one of the most played and loved songs on commercial radio, but it also convinced a generation of us to ‘don’t go changing’ and that we were valued for who we were.

 

Well, in 2010, we got the message again – in a big way! American singer-songwriter Bruno Mars made his debut with an original song also called Just the Way You Are, and it was a top-10 hit in 25 countries. It won Mars a Grammy in 2011 and has sold more than 12 million copies.

 

The lyric is simply a boy singing the praises of his beautiful girlfriend/wife and commenting on how amazing he finds her. It’s something of a universal lyric – what woman doesn’t like to be told she’s beautiful? – and a catchy tune; it’s not hard to see why it sold so well from the UK to Israel to Slovakia.

 

There’s an interesting little note in the lyrics, however, that caught my eye: “When I compliment her, she won’t believe me/ And it’s so, it’s so sad to think that she doesn’t see what I see”. The song goes on to say that she constantly checks, “Do I look okay?”

 

Self-esteem has taken a battering in the past decade, especially among young females. In 2016, Dove did a survey of 10,500 females in Great Britain and asked questions about how they saw themselves and their body image. Only 20 per cent of women said they were happy with how they looked.

 

I’m glad to say God thinks differently. He focuses not on our external appearance but on who we are deep inside; he looks at our hearts. The Bible says: “Your beauty should not come from outward adornment ... it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gently and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight” (1 Peter 3:3–4, NIV).

 

Both Bruno Mars and the Bible tell us: we’re amazing, just the way we are.

 

 

 

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