I was looking through my Facebook timeline the other day and came across a picture of Jay Z and Beyoncé’s daughter, Blue Ivy. She looked like the average kid with her hair in two braided ponytails. She wore a plain pink T-shirt, white-washed jeans, and tennis shoes. The caption read, “Blue Ivy is getting tall.” Several other comments mentioned her cuteness. But there was one comment that caught my attention. “Well, she sure doesn’t look like her parents are worth millions.” What? What exactly is the child of millionaire parents supposed to look like? Should Blue Ivy wear gold-laced ponytail holders, platinum trimmed sneakers, a fur-lined T-shirt, and gold threaded jeans just because her parents are wealthy? She’s a six-year-old kid.
On the surface, the comment seemed rather shallow, and I should have been able to shake my head and move on. But, the more I thought about it, I realized that my reaction was not so much to the comment, but to the meaning and mentality behind the comment. You see, the comment emphasized the fact that we often place too much emphasis on what we wear, what we drive, or where we live because we want to project the image that we are financially well off—even if we aren’t. In other words, we boil our worth down to the material things we possess. While we focus on materialism and attempt to mirror the baller lifestyle, many of those who are truly balling are wearing “regular” clothing and driving “regular” cars because they know their financial worth and don’t have to prove to others how much money they have.
Warren Buffet, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, is worth $75B and still lives in the home he purchased over 50 years ago. Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, is worth $72B and wears a T-shirt and jeans every day. Leonardo De Caprio drives a Toyota Prius (like myself). Michelle Obama has been known to wear clothing purchased from Target and H & M. These examples prove that there are individuals who are confident in their “self” worth and don’t find it necessary to create an image to flaunt their “financial” worth.
The only image we should strive to project is the image of our creator. We were made in the image of God. This means we were made to reflect His character through our social behavior in building quality relationships; through our moral behavior by shunning evil and seeking good; and through our mental behavior by reasoning and being able to choose. Our true worth is based on who we were made to be, not how we dress ourselves to be seen. Blue Ivy, you are a cutie in your plain T-shirt and jeans because you were beautifully and wonderfully made. And your mommy and daddy’s money had absolutely nothing to do with that.