13 September 2010

Let me get all Tyra Banks on you for a minute

Growing up in the United States of America is easy.
Growing up as a girl in the United States is hard.
Growing up as a girl anywhere is hard.
Being a girl is hard.

How women see themselves is always interesting to me. I have grown up in a culture that is so caught up in its own personal appearance it doesn't know what beautiful is anymore. Lately, I've been thinking a lot about personal appearance. Okay, so maybe lately has been the past 10 years, but whatever. Being a girl is hard. Social expectations are hard to live up to. I have felt the pressure and I have tried so hard to live up to those expectations.

I have bleached my teeth- they weren't white enough.
I have tanned in a tanning booth- my skin was too light.
I have tried to "dress up" every day- my worth is determined by my looks.
I have cut my hair- my long hair was not chic.
I have covered my skin in makeup- my complexion wasn't good enough.
I have worn a control top- my curves were not acceptable.

For so long I thought these were my fault. That if I didn't do certain things to my body it wouldn't be good enough. I think a lot of girls go through this, no, I know girls go through this.
One night at Bible Study this past spring, my dear friends Rachel and Jamie told me I should read Captivating by John and Stasi Eldredge. When they first told me this I blew it off. I don't like 'spiritual' books. They are always corny and I don't like them. So there. But when they talked about it... it didn't sound that bad. The book has Lord of the Rings quotes in it? I'm in. I set out to read it not expecting any grand revelations from it.
I was caught completely off guard by that book. I wasn't expecting anything from it, but it showed me so much! Thank you Lord for giving me good friends, who recommend good books. The chapter that particularly spoke to me was "A Special Hatred." It discusses the one person/thing that hates women the most. Satan.
"Satan fell because of his beauty. Now his heart for revenge is to assault beauty. He destroys it in the natural world wherever he can. Strip mines, oil spills, fires, Chernobyl. He wreaks destruction on the glory of God in the earth like a psychopath committed to destroying great works of art.
But most especially, he hates Eve."
Of course! Of course all of my negative self image thoughts are from Satan. He hates who made me, who I am, and what I'm here for. Why would he want me to love myself? Duh. That simple thought makes all of my negative thoughts so much easier to deal with.
The book also points out that the Bible says Eve was the last item that God made. (My Rachel friend likes this part of the story the best: we weren't made from the dirt like Adam, we were formed from a piece of him. We aren't from the dirt- that's why some of us are so prissy.) The Eldredges say that Eve was the "crescendo, the final, astonishing work of God." God one upped Adam and made something really pretty. We were the icing on the cake.
Ladies, you are pretty. Nice looking. Beautiful. Whatever you like to hear most. You look how you do because that is how God made you. You aren't too pale. Your worth is not determined by how you dress. Your hair is great. You don't need 5 layers of make up. (I'm not trying to say make up is a bad thing, but you are not a monster if you don't have it on everyday.) I have to tell myself these things quite often.
I hope you got something out of my rant.
Boys- tell a lady she is lovely!

4 comments:

  1. You are lovely. You are perfect just as you are. You've always known this, you just need to be reminded.

    It's pointless and futile to continually compare oneself to others. Don't imagine that everyone else in the world has unreasonably high expectations of you. Our culture and the media (whose only interest is in making a profit) has inflicted those myths on women. Tell them they can all go jump in the lake.

    Pursue what makes you happy. Enjoy life. Relax, you'll be fine.

    I'm proud of you.

    Dadster
    (Now, where's my favorite old camo shirt?)

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  2. hear, hear sistah!
    and yeah, tell them they can go jump in the lake.

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  3. Julziee the lovely second born daughter,
    What a gift for writing God has given you! I am so thankful for all He has taught you in the past year or so. I am thankful too for the wonderful Christian friends He has brought into your life! Keep on hanging out with godly people, using the gifts God has given you and most of all seeking Him with all your heart!
    I am so proud of you too!
    LYF
    Mom

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  4. Thanks, now I can't get Blink 182 out of my head!

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