Music Discussions

Scars to Your Beautiful

Dynamic ImageMain Point: The standards of beauty continue to shift leaving millions of girls guessing about their acceptance and value. Maybe it’s time to pursue the greatest form of beauty: inner beauty.

Introducing The Song: Scars to Your Beautiful

20-year-old Canadian singer and songwriter Alessia Cara is currently enjoying a Top 10 hit on Billboard’s Hot 100 with her latest release entitled Scars to Your Beautiful. Part of her Know-It-All album, the song challenges the metrics of beauty promoted by our culture, opting instead for a calming and self-reassuring standard based on truly loving yourself.

Interestingly, the song hits home for the singer, herself. Growing up the child of a hairdresser, Cara often experimented with different hairstyles and different hair products. Consequently, she began losing her hair in elementary and middle school. Whole chunks of her locks would fall out in the shower causing her sheer terror. The mental anguish she experienced as a kid is reflected in some of the painful lyrics embedded in the song.

In spite of her imperfections – and the ensuing insecurity – Cara has sworn to appear makeup free for every performance of (and interview concerning) Scars to Your Beautiful. She even attended the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards without any makeup!

The message she wants to get across to girls is that each of you are beautiful exactly the way you are. Hopefully, that’s a message that catches on in the hearts of young ladies everywhere. Take a look at the song’s lyrics as we watch her music video together.

The Music Video:
Click the following link for the online video:

The Song’s Lyrics:

She just wants to be beautiful
She goes unnoticed, she knows no limits
She craves attention, she praises an image
She prays to be sculpted by the sculptor
Oh, she don’t see the light that’s shining
Deeper than the eyes can find it
Maybe we have made her blind
So she tries to cover up her pain and cut her woes away
‘Cause cover girls don’t cry after their face is made
But there’s a hope that’s waiting for you in the dark
You should know you’re beautiful just the way you are
And you don’t have to change a thing, the world could change its heart
No scars to your beautiful, we’re stars and we’re beautiful
Oh-oh, oh-oh
And you don’t have to change a thing, the world could change its heart
No scars to your beautiful, we’re stars and we’re beautiful
She has dreams to be an envy, so she’s starving
You know, cover girls eat nothing
She says beauty is pain and there’s beauty in everything
What’s a little bit of hunger?
I could go a little while longer, she fades away
She don’t see her perfect, she don’t understand she’s worth it
Or that beauty goes deeper than the surface
Oh, oh
So to all the girls that’s hurting
Let me be your mirror, help you see a little bit clearer
The light that shines within
There’s a hope that’s waiting for you in the dark
You should know you’re beautiful just the way you are
And you don’t have to change a thing, the world could change its heart
No scars to your beautiful, we’re stars and we’re beautiful
Oh-oh, oh-oh
And you don’t have to change a thing, the world could change its heart
No scars to your beautiful, we’re stars and we’re beautiful
No better you than the you that you are (no better you than the you that you are)
No better life than the life we’re living (no better life than the life we’re living)
No better time for your shine, you’re a star (no better time for your shine, you’re a star)
Oh, you’re beautiful, oh, you’re beautiful
And there’s a hope that’s waiting for you in the dark
You should know you’re beautiful just the way you are
And you don’t have to change a thing, the world could change its heart
No scars to your beautiful, we’re stars and we’re beautiful
Oh-oh, oh-oh
And you don’t have to change a thing, the world could change its heart
No scars to your beautiful, we’re stars and we’re beautiful

Transitional Statement:
So many young girls are pursuing an image of beauty that’s impossible to attain, all at the demand of a sex-saturated culture. That pursuit only ends in upset because even the prettiest of girls can’t compare with Photoshop. Maybe that’s what pushed Alessia Cara to write a song about girls pursuing inner beauty instead. Inner beauty, unlike image-driven beauty, doesn’t fade over time. In fact, it grows! Cara’s recommendation is that girls should chase inner beauty because it’s healthy and permanent. Of course, striving for inner beauty isn’t always easy, especially in a culture like ours, but the Bible has several recommendations to help along the way. Let’s take a look at what they are in our small groups.

Divide into Small Groups:
Let’s go ahead and split up into our discussion groups, and then afterward we’ll come back together for a final word.

CLICK HERE for a quick training article on how to maximize your small groups using our small group format—a great resource to equip your small group leaders.

Discussion Questions:

  1. AROUND THE CIRLCE: As we get started, let’s all take a second to share our names and what we do to get ready to go to school or go out with friends or go out on a date.

  2. ASK A FEW: What was Alessia trying to communicate in her song? (Leaders – She was trying to convince her listeners that each of them is beautiful just the way they are. The best form of beauty to pursue is inner beauty.)

  3. ASK A FEW: What were some lines of the song that stuck out to you? Why?

  4. ASK A FEW: Could you identify with any of the people being interviewed during the music video? If so, in what way(s)?

  5. ASK A FEW: In an interview about her song, Alessia said, “These weird things are instilled in us. You know? That tell us that we’re not good enough or that there’s only one kind of beauty. This song basically is contradicting that idea. It’s saying, ‘Well, if the world doesn’t like how you look then they should change. They should change their perspective.’” In what ways does the world tell girls they’re not good enough?

  6. ASK A FEW: Cara sings over and over again that the world needs to change its perspective on beauty. Do you agree or disagree? Why?

  7. Read the following passage:

      1 Peter 3:3-6 (NLT)

      Don’t be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. 4 You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God. 5 This is how the holy women of old made themselves beautiful. They put their trust in God….

  8. ASK A FEW: Peter wrote this passage approximately 2,000 years ago. Based on these verses, it sounds like women living way back then also had questions about beauty and image and self-worth. Does that bring you some sense of relief? Why or why not?

  9. ASK A FEW: Peter literally says not to be concerned with hair, jewelry, or clothes. Think about those words for a moment: do not be concerned with them at all. Do you ever see yourself being able to literally and truthfully say that you’re unconcerned about those things? Why or why not?

  10. ASK A FEW: What’s going through your mind when you get dressed and put on makeup?

  11. ASK A FEW: What do you think Peter meant when he talked about “beauty that comes from within”?

  12. ASK A FEW: Peter says to “clothe yourselves with the beauty that come from within.” Let’s name some ways we can actually do that.

  13. ASK A FEW: Why do you think the Bible calls inner beauty “unfading”?

  14. ASK A FEW: Peter makes it sound like godly women in ancient times made themselves beautiful by their actions and their attitudes instead of their accessories. Is it possible for us to do the same thing today? If so, what does that look like?

  15. ASK A FEW: If I were to ask you to name the “prettiest” person you personally know, who would you choose?

  16. ASK A FEW: Now, if I were to ask you to name the most “beautiful” person you know, would your answer change? In other words, is there a difference between “being pretty” and “being beautiful”?

  17. AROUND THE CIRCLE: How would your life change if you started chasing inner beauty that never fades instead of outer beauty that shifts with appearances and perceptions?

  18. AROUND THE CIRCLE: What steps are you willing to take right now to pursue inner beauty?

Wrap Up:
There’s a lot to like about Alessia Cara’s song “Scars to Your Beautiful.” First, she seems to be genuinely concerned with the lives of young women (and young men, too). Second, she shares with them a positive message about self-worth and self-value that isn’t based on outer appearances, but on something far more meaningful. Lastly, she outlines hope for those who are brave enough to pursue a lasting, inner beauty instead of superficial looks.

All across her song, she echoes this line again and again: no better you than the you that you are. Not only is it poetic; it’s true! There is no better you or no prettier you, than the right now you. You are enough. And you are enough because God made you!

We talked an awful lot about pursuing inner beauty during our discussion together. What does it look like to pursue inner beauty? Let me offer you a few ways you can do that in your lives.

  1. Give God thanks for your life and your health. He made you perfect in His sight. When you’re putting on makeup, thank Him for choosing you. When you’re putting on a ring or a watch or a bracelet, thank Him for giving you 10 fingers. When you’re getting dressed, thank Him for blessing you with a healthy body. Giving thanks gets your attitude and perspective properly fixed on Him.

  2. Live humbly. Peter says to have a gentle and quiet spirit about you. Instead of focusing on being the center of attention, focus on being a helper and a servant. Maybe you could care for a friend in need, or even an elderly neighbor. Whatever you choose to do, share of yourself in such a way that builds others up. Not only does it please God, says Peter, but it is also a tried and true method for making oneself beautiful.

  3. Live holy. It doesn’t really matter how gorgeous your exterior is if you don’t honor God with it. God wants us to live holy lives; He tells us that over and over in His Word. One of the easiest ways you can do this is by dressing modestly. Another way is to not ever allow yourself to be put in a compromising situation with someone. Live your life in such a way that you have peace. Live in such a way that others have praiseworthy things to say about you. Beauty is far more than unblemished skin.

Alessia Cara knows the sting that comes from chasing after a shifting sense of beauty. Her advice is good advice: be you, and if the world needs to change, let it.

Again, none of this is easy to do. Everything about our lives from the moment we first looked into a mirror says to chase after attention, after a certain look, after a fleeting image. God’s Word says we can chase after a beauty that doesn’t fade. That’s what I suggest we do.

If you want to talk about this more after we pray, then hang around and speak with one of our adult leaders. They’ll share even more ideas with you about how we can pursue inner beauty together.

Close in Prayer


Jonathan McKee

Jonathan McKee is the author of over twenty books including the brand new The Guy's Guide to FOUR BATTLES Every Young Man Must Face; The Teen’s Guide to Social Media & Mobile Devices; If I Had a Parenting Do Over; and the Amazon Best Seller - The Guy's Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket. He speaks to parents and leaders worldwide, all while providing free resources for youth workers on Jonathan, his wife Lori, and their three kids live in California.

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