Ours is a world obsessed with beauty, but so often chasing a counterfeit understanding of what it is.

Film & television producer Rebecca Friedlander set out on a global journey to discover what beauty really means. She tells the incredible stories she found in her new television series, Radical Makeovers and her book Finding Beautiful.

She explains that her heart to do this began to stir while she was shooting a film on a bridge in Florence, Italy.

“There’s this bridge that’s hundreds of years old, and it used to be the place where the meat market was in Florence. And all up and down this bridge that crossed the river the butchers would butcher their animals, and they would throw the pieces they didn’t want out into the river.”

“So you can imagine the river – it’s a big river – but it was so polluted. But there was a king who came and said, that’s enough. We’re not going to pollute the river anymore. He shut down all the butcher shops, and he set up treasure shops and gold shops all up and down the street. And if you visit Florence today, you can still see this bridge with all these treasure and jewelry shops there. When they close at night, the roofs of the shops look like the tops of a treasure chest.”

Rebecca couldn’t help but see the parallel with something much deeper played out in front of her eyes.

“It’s the coolest place, and I remember thinking – that’s exactly what Jesus does when He comes into our lives. The world – they just like parts of us. Just pieces of us. They use this, and they throw us away when they’re done. But what Jesus does, He says, I see you. I value you. You’re not just something for the meat market. I want to invest my gold in you, and I call you valuable. I call you beautiful.”

“And that just really captured my heart. I wondered, what would it look like to create a makeover show that really wanted to go a bit deeper than face value?”

Rebecca Friedlander is a worship leader, prodigious songwriter, a filmmaker, photographer, and the author of Finding Beautiful: Discovering Authentic Beauty around the World.

On the Road with Rebecca Friedlander

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