Does “Scars to Your Beautiful” have a truly hopeful and positive message?

Hello, friends, followers and passerby! Every Monday, starting today, I’ll be talking about songs. They may be pop, contemporary Christian, hymns, country; basically there’s no limit as to what genre, although I’m not likely to review songs that are heavy death-metal 😉 Today we’ll be looking at a very popular pop song: “Scars to Your Beautiful” by Alessia Cara.

Here’s a link to the lyrics, and here’s the audio version on Youtube.

Statement by Alessia Cara:
“Often times, the world both directly and indirectly tells us that we shouldn’t be happy with ourselves if we don’t fit certain beauty standards. Scars to your beautiful is a reminder that beauty isn’t only one look, shape, size, or colour. It isn’t even always tangible. It comes in an endless amount of forms and we need to recognize that.”


The overall message of this song seems to be a proclamation of self-worth and a redefinition of beauty. It’s a message of inner beauty. Alessia wants to tell people that it doesn’t matter what the world thinks of you. “You don’t have to change a thing, the world can change it’s heart”, and “No better you than the you that you are” are the main lines of the song, explicitly pointing out the main theme of “Be yourself, not what the world wants you to be”.

This song is surprisingly clean- no language issues, and no inappropriate themes.

For someone struggling with depression and identity issues, this song might temporarily comfort them. For that reason, I see some good to it. However, there is no backing for Alessia’s claims. She repeatedly tells us about this hope that’s waiting for us and this inherent beauty, but what is that hope, and where did that inherent beauty come from? It’s all a bit vague, and it’s shallow because Alessia provides no grounds for her statements.

A large bit of this song actually does align with Biblical principles. It is true that we aren’t supposed to conform to what the world wants of us. It’s also true that we have inherent worth. But the other part, about being who we are, being stars, not changing, and already being the best we can be, isn’t true. The Bible offers clarity to this vague “hope waiting for you”, while correcting the “Be Yourself” ideology.

We have the hope of Christ. We have inherent worth because we were made in his image.

He calls us not to conform to the world, but to let him transform us. The ugly truth of the matter is that in and of ourselves, we’re pretty awful messed up people. Yet Jesus took all of that awful messy sin upon himself and paid for it once for all. He has taken away our scars and made us beautiful. He cleansed us and made us holy and pure in God’s eyes (this is justification, being made right with God). Yet we still sin and mess up. There is a better you than the you that you are right now, a you in the future that will be perfected and holy when God is done working in you. But that you isn’t here yet. In order to get to being that you, you have to put effort to grow in Christ-likeness as he works in you (this is sanctification, becoming more like Christ).

I like the musical aspect of this song, and there is a bit of truth in it. But when it comes down to what really matters, a message of inner beauty with no grounding is not enough to save us, and not enough to provide true hope. 

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