Lately, I’ve been thinking a bit about what is considered beautiful in our country. If you watch TV and movies or pick up a magazine, you are inundated with “beautiful” people. As far as the women go, they all have several things in common. The women we see held up as beauties here are thin with flawless skin and perfect teeth. There’s not a blemish or dimple of cellulite to be seen. Their long flowing hair never looks frizzy or disheveled. We are led to believe that if you are to be considered beautiful, you must be held to this standard. Minus the airbrushing that got them there, of course.
As a mother of a young girl, these images bother me. My daughter is one of the most beautiful people I’ve ever met and I never want her to doubt that. I don’t want her to think that her beauty is dependent on her pants size or the length of her hair. I want her to know that it is what you find in the heart of a person that makes them beautiful. It sounds so cliche but it’s true that real beauty is from within.
Before my days as a Mommy, I was a church youth director. My “girls” in my group from middle school to high school would struggle so often to fit this deceptive mold of beauty. I’ve seen girls transform who they are into who they think they should be for the sake of being beautiful. What they didn’t realize was that they were so beautiful just as they were. Thinking that they weren’t good enough to be considered beautiful because of how they compared themselves to others was something that I so desperately wanted to help them see past. I struggled with this, though. Why? Because I was once a middle school/high school girl who was so busy comparing myself to others that I didn’t take the time to see what an amazingly beautiful person I was. I thought my potential was wrapped up in how I compared to my peers. Oh boy, was I wrong.
I recently had contact with an author who has a message that is right up my alley. She has a project called, I Am Beautiful and a new book out for teen girls. We Are More Than Beautiful holds stories from teenage girls about what defines beautiful for them. Can I just say that I read this and, as a 30 something woman, actually learned something from these young girls. Woody Winfree is the author and she has graciously agreed to be interviewed by me for you all to learn more about this project. Stop in tomorrow and be blessed. She was also gracious enough to give a copy of We Are More Than Beautiful to one of my readers and details on that will be here tomorrow, as well. In the mean time, tell me how you inspire your daughters to believe that they are beautiful and develop that beauty that is within their sweet little hearts.