So the news has been shocking to me recently. Whether it's the pageant mom who injected her daughter with Botox (and is now recanting the story saying it was made up) or the barbie mom who is giving her 7 year old daughter a gift certificate for her birthday of $10k to use for a boob job when she turns 16, I just don't understand what moms are thinking. Maybe they aren't thinking, but it makes me sick. Just what are they trying to tell their daughters???
As a mom with two young daughters to raise, I know that I don't like what I see out there. Clothes these days sexualizes our daughters from far too young. There are string bikinis for babies, yes, BABIES - even for the smallest sizes available! Why? Is this really cute? I'm not sure I think it is, actually I KNOW I do not think it is cute. And do we really want our seven year old girls wearing low cut shirts and short shorts with all the sick people out there in the world? I don't even really think those fashions are appropriate for our older teens to wear. Like it or not, and man is this going to sound old fashioned, modesty has been thrown out the window.
I can't say I've always been careful about what I wear and in the past have worn some things that now I'd be ashamed to wear in public. Ok, so these days my figure isn't quite what it was and those clothes are no longer flattering, but now that I do pay attention, to be honest, these days it is hard to find any modest clothing. I can't find a tank top that doesn't leave everything hanging out to layer under the "cute" clothes and maternity clothes was even worse! And try to find a modest swim suit so that when you bring your children to a pool or to the beach, you aren't revealing yourself to the world. Good luck!!!
It seems as though women are saying "look at me, look at me," and then are offended when men do look. I've told our young teen ladies in the Theology of the Body class, men are going to want what you advertise. Can you really be surprised that a guy is looking at your backside when "PINK" is in big letters across your butt? Do you expect them to look you in the eyes when you have some snappy saying written across your chest? Yes, they should be looking at you as a person, but please realize that we need to take a look at ourselves and truly THINK about what we are doing. (By the way, let's be real, the same goes for men! Women will be looking if you are in the gym with your tight tank top! Or walking down the street with tight jeans or your shirt off on a hot day! Although not all guys will complain about women gawking at them!)
These women who are encouraging their daughters to have procedures done for external "beauty" seem to be setting their little girls up to be unhappy with their appearance. They seem to be saying, you aren't perfect just the way you are. If you just do this one thing, you will win the beauty pageant; if you just get this one little procedure done, you will be happy. These are LITTLE GIRLS!!!! There is no need for them to get this self image problem at such a young age, and at the hands of their MOTHERS?!?!?! I just can't stand it. Please let your little girls be little girls. Do not shove them into the world of botox and boob jobs!
God did make our bodies beautiful. After all, He made them in His image. Our bodies are supposed to point to the wonder and beauty of our God. We are all beautiful in different ways. However, the beauty of our physical bodies will change while we are here in this world; we will age. There is no getting around that. There is such a high value placed on appearance and, yes, it is important to take care of ourselves, but I think it is important to teach our ladies a different way to a positive self image. There is something much more important that we should value - the impact we can have on the hearts and lives of those around us.
There is a quote from the Theology of the Body class (in one of the videos I think) that I absolutely love: Women have the power to TURN HEADS, but more importantly to TURN HEARTS. Think about this for a minute, ladies. We all have the ability to WOW people with how we look on the outside (ok, some of us more so than others - I don't think I qualify in the WOW department these days). But think of what it means when we can WOW people with who we are on the inside and be able to change someone's life and impact them in a positive way.
One case in point: When I first met my husband, neither of us was going to church. I slowly started going to mass again shortly after we met and one weekend he joined me, promising nothing. It all stemmed from there really and we are now both practicing Catholics who love to learn more about our faith. It simply amazes me that he has changed some things in his life as much as he has (and I have changes some things in my life too! If you open your heart to God, boy can he do some amazing things!). You can read about his journey with something that he titled "Every Guy Does It, Right?" (It's a really, REALLY good read if I do say so myself). Had I not started going back to church, this conversion of heart may have never taken place in him and I thank God every day that it has. Nothing has meant more to me and our marriage than this change of heart that has occurred in him.
The power to turn heads or to turn hearts? I challenge you, ladies, to take a look at our world around us and see if you can regain a focus on turning hearts instead of just turning heads. This is what true beauty is all about. Let's please show our girls this by our example!!!