Monday, November 22, 2010

Pretty

My dad posted this video a while back and it has stuck with me. Warning, she drops the "f" bomb. But it is still worth watching.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M6wJl37N9C0

Pretty. Even Eliana is already obsessed with the idea of 'pretty'. Princesses are pretty. Dress make you pretty. Make-up is pretty. Bows in your hair, lace on your socks, ruffles on your clothing...pretty.

I consider myself happily average when it comes to looks. Happily now, but I remember obsessing when I was younger. Boys didn't help, making comments about my flat chest and long skinny legs. I have always felt to skinny, to tall, I talk too much, have too many opinions, I'm too loud and clumsy. I don't have a dainty or graceful bone in my body.

I am not sure when it all changed, not my appearances and everything else but my reaction to it.
My body is not nearly as good as it used to be. But I am OK with what it is now. The scars show my history and the body I have is the one that brought three children into this world and nourished them for months. My looks don't define me. I am a sum of my body, my beliefs, how I spend my time and money, my relationships, my personality and my passions.

How do I communicate this to my daughters? In a world that show little girls that your only as worthy as you are pretty, how do I compete with that message? How do Matt and I teach our girls that "pretty" is in the eye of the beholder? Pretty is a state of heart not appearance. Pretty is an attitude.

I believe that there is something hard wired in girls that make them desire "pretty" and that, in and of itself, that is not a bad thing. It is only bad when it is the only thing. How do I keep that from happening?

Pretty. My daughters will not be reduced to five letters.

3 comments:

Kari Marie said...

Is this because of my Disney Princess birthday gift? :-)

Awesome YouTube video...she was fabulous and what a great message! And a message that goes beyond little girls, but to women our age. It is difficult to reconcile that deep seated desire to feel pretty, but not limit ourselves to simply that.

I think when Elie goes to school next year (if that's your plan) she'll experience a whole new list of adjectives to describe herself. She'll earn respect from peers for other things and be acknowledged for gifts she has.

I was certainly an awkward and unattractive little girl (braces, glasses, perms, heavier), but I found that being a straight-A student, good at a sport, collected blue ribbons on Field Day gave me so much more to love about myself then my weird hair and body.

Your daughter too will find validation in who God created her to be.

Jennifer McHam said...

There is a Bible verse I'll look up when I get home. It talks about how God sees beauty as a calm and gentle spirit instead of outwardly appearances. I love that verse because when I DO have a calm spirit I find that my outwardly appearances always look better anyway and because of my calmness (ok, JENNY calmness) I'm better able to use my gifts to serve in a way that makes God proud. I think this all comes with age. Understanding pretty is a right of passage. And, just so you know, you tall gangly leg folk always wowed us short stocky ones.

Denise said...

1 Peter 3:1-4