We are all created in the image and likeness of God. And while we are taught from a young age by family and friends to love and respect ourselves for who we are, our appearance-driven, social media-obsessed culture creates an environment in which we are often comparing ourselves to one another and obsessing over our perceived flaws.
There is perhaps no more heartbreaking example than the recent reports of an Iranian teenager undergoing some 50 different cosmetic surgeries in an effort to look like her idol, Angelina Jole. Sahara Tabar, a 19-year-old from Tehran who admitted she “would do anything” to look like the actress and humanitarian, has gone viral on Instagram for all the wrong reasons after posting a series of photos chronicling her stunning transformation.
While it is certainly not uncommon for people to admire the appearance of others, Tabar’s obsession with Jolie appears unhealthy. In addition to the dozens of surgeries (which were reportedly performed in a very short period of time), Unilad reported that the young woman began a strict weight loss regimen, started wearing colored contacts, and changed her hair several times.
It is unclear whether or not Tabar is satisfied with the outcome of her procedures, and while it is certainly no one’s place to judge her or her decisions, her story serves as a reminder of just how difficult it is for young people to navigate the literal and digital worlds we live in. The Golden Rule reminds us to love one another, but in order to do that we must first learn to love ourselves and remember, as Jesus tells us in John 15:9, “as the Father loved me, so have I loved you: continue in my love.”