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Why is Kate Middleton’s nose in the news?

Dr. Jim Denison is a cultural apologist who helps people respond biblically and redemptively to the vital issues of our day. He is also the co-founder and Chief Vision Officer of the Denison Forum, a Dallas-based nonprofit that comments on current issues through a biblical lens.

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The Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, greets the people of Singapore with big, beautiful smile during the Royal visit to Singapore, September 12, 2012 (Credit: Tom Soper Photography via Flickr)

Kate Middleton is one of the most popular women in the world.  She was voted Britain’s “top beauty icon” again last year; slices from her wedding cake were auctioned for $1,375 a piece last fall.  Mattel has released a Barbie and Ken version of Prince William and Kate dolls.  News of her pregnancy made headlines around the world.

Now her nose is in news: plastic surgeons are reporting that the number of women requesting noses like Kate’s has tripled in the past two years.  One woman said, “It was during the royal wedding coverage in April 2011 that I decided I wanted Kate’s nose.”  A psychologist explains the attraction: “The symmetry of Kate’s nose, the angle between her lip and the tip of her nose and the minimal amount of nostril on show, are all near-perfect.”

Such surgery is not limited to women.  Justin Jedlica, a 32-year-old in New York City, has spent over $100,000 on 90 plastic surgeries so he can look like the doll “Ken.”  “I love to metamorphosize myself, and the stranger the surgery the better,” he said.

Not everyone who has chosen such extensive surgery agrees.  Heidi Montag was a reality TV star who underwent 10 plastic surgery enhancements in one day.  Now she says, “I would never do it again and I never recommend it for anyone.”  Why not?  “If you’re not beautiful inside it really doesn’t matter what you look like outside.”

She’s absolutely right.  Our society separates the “inside” from the “outside,” the “spiritual” from the “secular,” and measures success by what it can see.  Possessions, performance, and popularity are the currency of our culture.  But our Creator disagrees.

He told his people, “I have loved you with an everlasting love” (Jeremiah 31:3).  He proved his unconditional love in the most sacrificial way imaginable: “God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).  Jesus’ best friend and eyewitness to the cross agreed: “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us” (1 John 3:16).  There is nothing you can do to make God love you any less, or any more, than he already does.

What motivates his love for us?  “When the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy” (Titus 3:4-5).  C. S. Lewis, as usual, offers a profound explanation of this truth: a Christian “does not think God will love us because we are good, but that God will make us good because he loves us; just as the roof of a greenhouse does not attract the sun because it is bright, but becomes bright because the sun shines on it.”

When I was in high school, our youth minister taught me the most profound single truth I’ve ever encountered: “Always remember the source of your personal worth.”