Check out the link and please join in the discussion....
Whether you are a girl, woman, mother, grandmother... we ALL get hit with this message. We are constantly being bombarded with the pressure that we all need to look perfect, in style, weight even attitude!! In a society that promotes all things are acceptable it builds a VERY specific image that I believe all of us fight against or try to achieve at some point of our lives.
The illusion of a sexual body image is what I believe is at the core. I am one of the first to admit.. I spent years of my teens playing with the line of trying (in the christian circles) to create an acceptably sexy. I wanted to be thought of as beautiful, but even more than that I wanted to have the "boys" attention and the envy of the "girls". As much as I hated it when it came my way it definitely appeased a hole in my self-esteem. Especially when having a childhood that struggled with acceptance. So why was I looking for acceptance from... people...???!!!!
I believe I absolutely still struggle with this from time to time. Although the fact that I am married and I have a husband that adores me inside and out tames the comparison beast a bit. I still fight the image of somehow even though I have 5 children that I should still have the sexy figure that I did when I was married at 19. I fight the thoughts that even though my husband compliments me... the reality of the difference in my body is evident and I have a hard time hearing it. I am still fighting the acceptance of other people.
I have read a book called Grace Based Parenting, by Tim Kimmel and almost right in the beginning it touches on certain life ingrained needs. 1. A secure love, 2. a significant purpose and 3. a strong hope. When we are not be fulfilled by God given principles and understanding we look else where to be fulfilled.
When my oldest was 4 years old she asked Adam when she was getting ready for bed if she could talk to him. She in a matter of fact, "filling dad in with the days news" proceeded to tell Dad that she didn't think she was beautiful. She said that she doesn't think her face is very lovely and that she would rather have the face and hair of a friend of hers. Now this is without the massive onslaught of media!!! With his heart aching for his little girl Adam brought Leanna on a journey of trusting what God says is true and that God has place dad in her life to reveal truth too. He let her know that she has an irreplaceable role in this world and that what God develops inside her far outweighs the beauty on the outside. She went to sleep that night knowing that she was irreplaceable and loved by her family and God. Now knowing how a girl thinks, God encouraged me to take a moment and talk about outer beauty also. So the next day I made sure to take a moment with Leanna and I placed her infront of a mirror. What is on the inside is 100% the first priority but I wanted to encourage her to look beyond the negative thoughts of herself and to SEE and pay attention to aspects of herself that God created and that she really likes. Take the attention away from the negatives and really notice special features. She told me that she loves her eyes and that she likes that her lips are pink. Touched my heart.
We all need to take a moment to cherish who God has made us, shining on the inside and then to take a moment and grasp the beauty that each and everyone of us has on the outside also, natural and God given.
Now looking at my girls I not only just want to teach them self worth, and what true beauty is, but I HAVE to teach them!!!! Bringing my self to a place of continued self acceptance and peace in God's love for me is just the beginning.
Here's where I would like the discussion to begin...
1/ What are things that you might be fighting with yourself? What are you doing to overcome it?
2/ What are you doing now to teach your girls what true beauty is?
3/ What have you done and seen the positive and negative of such parenting?