Monday, October 31, 2011

True beauty...

“For attractive lips, speak words of kindness.
For lovely eyes, seek out the good in people.
For a slim figure, share your food with the hungry.
For beautiful hair, let a child run his or her fingers through it once a day.
For poise, walk with the knowledge that you never walk alone.

People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed; never throw out anyone. Remember, if you ever need a helping hand, you'll find one at the end of each of your arms.

As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself, the other for helping others. The beauty of a woman is not in the clothes she wears, the figure that she carries or the way she combs her hair. The beauty of a woman must be seen from in her eyes, because that is the doorway to her heart, the place where love resides. The beauty of a woman is not in a facial mode but the true beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul. It is the caring that she lovingly gives the passion that she shows. The beauty of a woman grows with the passing years.” ― Audrey Hepburn

This is the message I wish was being sent to all girls/women! Instead many are being sent the complete opposite message.....

Yesterday I went into my kids elementary school for Halloween parties. I was shocked at some of the costumes the girls were wearing. Since when was Halloween a "sexy holiday?" A 3rd grader was wearing a "sexy" Hermione costume and a 4th grader was dressed up as "Snooki" from Jersey Shore. Admittedly I didn't really know who she was so I asked her and she gave me this look like I was SOOO dumb and said, "I am Snooki from Jersey Shore, my favorite show!" Wow....I had to come home and google Jersey Shore to find out more about it and I am most sad about her being allowed to watch that show! Last week I went to a performance at my oldest son's middle school where the kids wore costumes and half the girls looked like they should be working the "night shift" if you get my drift.... I remember in 4th-6th grade I went dressed as a "baby" for Halloween...dumbest costume ever but at least I wasn't wearing fishnet stockings and a miniskirt that barely covered my parts!

Who is buying them these costumes and telling them they look so "cute" in them. Do we really want our daughters to be looked at as sexual objects? Because as much as we want to deny it, that is what is happening. The girls don't understand what is happening, but the adults in their life should be protecting them from this! The media is having a hey day with girls ...the dolls and toys out there, the shows being marketed to them, the clothing...oh the clothing! My 4 year old daughter just grew out of the toddler clothes and we jumped up to the girls sizes...trying to find her something that still looks like a little girl and not a teenager is challenging to say the least!

We are giving girls the message that their body and being "hot" and "sexy" is what is most important instead of focusing on their kindness, their intellect and their inner beauty. I for one don't want my daughter thinking the only way to get attention is by flaunting her body. I want her to appreciate and respect her body for the amazing creation it is, but not to be so focused on her physical beauty that she neglects her beautiful soul and spirit. Now helping her feel beautiful and confident is wonderful, but teaching her that true beauty comes from inside and not from what you put on your body. I love the philosophy that you dress nicely, put on some makeup and work on looking as beautiful (without obsessing about it)as possible before you leave your house and then you forget about yourself as soon as you walk out that door and focus on others.

C.S. Lewis has a quote I love that says, "You don't have a soul, you are a soul. You have a body."

So how do we combat this??? What can be done?? I want your ideas and input because it is really disturbing me today!


Venessa said...

A tricky line to walk, that's for sure! You want to make your daughter feel like she is beautiful without having her feel that her whole worth is dependent on her looks. I've always complimented my daughter when she looks nice, or cute, but I lavish her in praise when she succeeds in school, or does an act of kindness for someone else, or completes a goal in Personal Progress. Daughters take their cues from Mom. If Mom dresses suggestively, you bet Daughter will too. If Mom includes Daughter in the good works she does, then her focus will turn from herself and outward appearances, to others and serving them. It doesn't happen overnight, but little by little.

Cheryl said...

I think that helping them feel beautiful is awesome and letting them know that true beauty comes from inside, the damage comes when they are being made to feel like they have to be sexy and that their self worth depends on their looks and body.

Andrea D. said...

It is very difficult, because we need to teach our daughters how to dress, and how to act and what is polite and what is correct and what is good, at the same time, the WORLD is teaching them (in most cases) that the opposite of what we teach is correct. The world teaches the less clothes you wear the BETTER you look and the more attention you will get and how cute you are! We teach our children to wear appropriate clothing and to dress and ACT modestly - it is a very slippery slope, but we MUST do it, because if WE dont teach our children, SOMEONE will. IN my family we do not BUY the type of clothing that shows our parts, and if someone gives it to us, it is returned, or donated. We have done this since she was born, so now she knows how to chose clothes, and those that are worldly clothes, she knows she can wear a shirt under it, or for the bottoms she can wear some stretchy pants - it is alot of work, and i know it will get harder as she gets older. We just have to keep trying and keep teaching and be the example - dont wear something you wouldnt want your child to wear.

Sarah said...

I have seen Jersey Shore, and it is seriously disturbing that a 4th grader has also! So far I have been very lucky that my 11 year old shows no interest in dressing like "Snooki". She has some seriously great friends with dress as she does, along with really wonderful activity days leaders that teach the girls about dressing modestly. I also make all sorts of efforts to never criticize or draw attention to my looks. I want my kids to grow up thinking they are perfect exactly as they are. We will see what the teenage years bring!

Wendi said...

I really like that first paragraph. We make sure our daughter wears modest clothes and try to compliment her on the good things she does as well as on her appearance.

Sarah said...

It's the parents that make those choices for these kids really...I think it all comes down to that. It's not easy-there are many influences and it's a battle sometimes-but I think it's the parents responsibility. I saw some Homecoming dresses this year that turned my stomach..honestly, they were tiny pieces of lycra from 2" below the butt slipping down strapless, with holes in the midriff. Where are the father who let their daughters walk out of the house like that??? I remember wearing a mini skirt that was too short (not short by today's standards!) and being sent straight back upstairs by my father...and it was humiliating and I never tried it again. It makes me sad that parents think this is all makes me sad for those girls. I love your post, I love that someone else gets as frustrated as I do over this subject, I love that quote!