Friday, April 8, 2011

Beauty Pressure

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ei6JvK0W60I

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?

13 comments:

  1. at first I was like I HAVE ONLY BOYS! but in saying that, I have a responsibility too. I am committed to training up men who love a woman for who they are. They will be someone's knight in shining armor able to honour their wife with love and respect and tell her often how beautiful she is. And at the same time guard their heart for God's best as they follow Him in all they do. WOW!

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  2. WHOOO HOOO thanks for touching on a side that I didn't even think of!!! FORSURE you moms with boys have a responsibility too!!!! GREAT POINT!!!!

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  3. Wanted to add this thought by
    Ruth Robertson Shelley: In the Beth Moore Esther Study...."It's Tough Being a Woman"....she talks about it one of the weeks...it's tough being a woman in a world where beauty is a treatment!!! How profound is that!!!

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  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  5. Diana Wilhelm says: As the pendulum of morality has swung so far over even the last ten years. I am not surprised that we are now facing these problems in our society. Our precious innocent children are being bombarded with secular ideas of beauty sexuality. It makes me angry to see how media continues to prey on people making women feel more and more insecure with the beautiful perfect souls that God has created. It is time to take back our true identity not only as women but as precious loved women of God.

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  6. I'm not sure if a guy is allowed to post a comment to this but I am going to anyway. My wife is expecting July 1st and we are having a girl so this thought has been going through my mind for awhile as well. My brother-in-law and I were speaking and he said something that I believe deserves repeating. As fathers our affirmation of beauty is very important. Not just what we say to our girls but what our girls here us saying about other women. If a girls father is making comments about half naked women as being attractive or beautiful that girl is going to believe to get a mans attention that is how she needs to appear. If as parents we want our children to dress and behave a certain way, they need to not only hear the affirmation for them but also others.

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  7. GREAT ADDITION!! Absolutey you can comment! Thanks for being brave enough to be heard on a mainly women oriented blog!! Excellent, excellent point!!! I think we need to pray for a continued revelation on what the impact our actions even in the small thought unimportant way can effect our children. For the positive and negative. Hey ps. Keep your eye out... I do plan on having a guest guy entry sparatically!!

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  8. Linda Peister Brodrecht:
    Beauty that is only skin deep is not God-honouring. Let’s teach our daughters & granddaughters that their hearts & character are the most precious & beautiful parts of them. That’s what really ma...kes a woman beautiful, that attracted our “princes” & enables us to have loving marriages that last.

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  9. For me, it's always been about my weight. Even when I was skinny, my full hips (hour glass figure) was picked on and I was called fat. I look back at pictures of myself as "that girl" and wish so much that I could change that girl's mind. That she was beautiful and shouldn't listen to what others say of her body. Now with hormonal issues, weight gain happens so easily, and I'm 90lbs heavier than I was on my wedding day, regardless of how healthy I eat.

    I've been my daughter's Mom (Thank You Jesus!) since December 16th, 2007, and my goal has been to help Johanna see things differently than I saw them. That make-up and pretty clothes don't make the person. I made the decision very early on to not use the word "FAT", but also to not speak poorly of my body or other bodies.

    I have friends that are all about weight loss. Everything they eat, do, etc., is all about it. They HAVE to be skinny. They HAVE to wear designer clothing. They HAVE to be made up every day. The ones that are Mom's have started hearing their daughter's say things like, "Mom, I look fat in this." Those kids are under 8 years old! A couple weeks ago one friend made the comment that her daughter had said that, and as I read the comments from her other friends, it was all about how their daughters also said things like that. It made me so sad to think that these little girls view themselves as fat, or ugly, or that they don't have the nicest clothes.

    I know Johanna will hear things when she goes to school in the fall, and throughout her years as she goes from grade to grade. My goal will always be for her to see herself as the beautiful creation God made. He designed her to be exactly who she is. A wonderful masterpiece, set apart, unlike any other. She's her own unique being, and God loves her so much. Chad & I compliment her daily. Not just on her pretty face or her cute bum, but on her good decisions. When she does something kind for another person, or makes the right choice for herself, we see that as beautiful. And we tell her so.

    It's definitely not easy being a parent in this world, especially with the way the world views women... but it's the position the Lord put me in, and I take that seriously!

    Thanks for this, Nic! Love it... and you!

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  10. I really like the practical points that you hit on Brie!!! Again.. you parent by example!!! So important... little eyes are always watching and little ears are always listening!!! One thing that I would definately add to the awesome points is something that Adam has done with the girls since we started having kids...he gets them to respond, we typically get yes' but everyonce and a while we see that we need to pick up the dropped ball. "Does daddy love you when you are good? does daddy love you when you are bad? Does daddy love you when you are all fancied up? Does daddy love you when you are just the way you are? Daddy loves you all the time no matter what." I love the concept of mimicing the love that God lavishes on us. It doesn't matter what we do, how we act or what we look like he ALWAYS loves us, regardless.

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  11. My last comment deleted, so i'll be brief here.
    Michael and I are imperfect parents. So yes we encourage our kids, and compliment them, and try to establish a strong confidence in who they are (in all aspects) but hey let's face it. We all mess up. We all say something we shouldnt in front of our kids, things that maybe make them doubt what we've been trying to build for so long. This is why we put the most emphasis on God's heart and perspective towards our little girls. God's opinion in our house is the ultimate.
    God made us amazing on the inside! And DNA had a major role in defining our outside. We teach the girls that mom and dad made you, but God designed you. God made our girls' personalities so different, and so amazing. Their hearts are incredible. They're unique and amazing. Some people are short like mommy, and some are tall like daddy -but we're so beautiful to God!

    Libby goes to school in september, so i'm interested to see how her perspectives and beliefs we've been establishing for 4 years, hold up. It's going to be a constant battle I think. One that in the end I am confident will reveal the amazing strength in God's Truth, and what happens when we hold fast to His Words, not our friend's, or ours.

    Am

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  12. OH also, last night when my comment deleted, i talked about the area i struggle in. Well I wouldnt say I struggle in it actually, but really it's something i think about...

    Fashion.

    I am choosing not to invest in the wardrobe I want. Our money is being spent on other things right now. I have 3 kids, and dont fit what I have right now (i have a 2 month old, and i'm lazy to start working out). I admire people's styles, and wish i could create my own. I am not envious of them, because I know soon I'll be in a position to go out and make that happen. But I still wish for now that I could have more.

    I'm learning to be content with what I have. So I just wear what fits, and I spend a few extra minutes on my hair and makeup, just making that extra effort to look good. Let's face it, when our hair and makeup looks good, it makes you feel good, doesnt matter what clothes you're wearing.

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  13. We both get Johanna to respond to questions like those! The latest has been, "Do we still love you even when we're frustrated, or if you've done something wrong?" To see her little face light up when she realizes she's still deeply loved even when she messes up, is beautiful. The other day she asked if Jesus was still happy with her when she did something wrong. I said that He doesn't like when we do wrong, but He still loves us, and He loves it when we ask for forgiveness and try to do better the next time. She proceeded to pray for forgiveness by herself! Touched my heart!

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