Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Don’t read this if you are sensitive to my opinions

Since most people don’t know any better, and because I like to label myself in promising ways, I’ve started calling myself an “Artist.”
This gives me greater cause to think and have opinions about aesthetics and the way people perceive beauty.
I suppose I should back up and describe the event that triggered this thought I had today:
Today Micah and I visited a local wading pool. It was nice to get out after both of us being TERRIBLY sick with some sort of virus (Mine was gastro-intestinal, Micah’s was throat and sinus…sort of a “his and hers” I suppose).  As we walked about the pool with Pippa leading the way, we crossed paths with several children. One in particular was kind enough to share a toy with her. He looked to be around eight or nine years old. He saw us walking with her and told us quite candidly, “She’s cute.”
Both Micah and I were flattered, as most vain parents are to hear such things about their offspring, but I was mostly surprised to hear this come from such a young boy, and so sincerely. We know she’s cute, but people are already giving their evaluations of her. We are already starting to say things like “when you were a baby,” and we already have ideas about what her adult self will be like.
So blah blah, she’s getting older, so what. Well, let me get to the point. People evaluate each other, for better and for worse. The bad bad world is pretty crafty at getting young girls to believe that they are never going to pretty enough to be liked by anybody. That sounds extreme, but it is the sad truth. Boys feel that way too. But mostly girls. Because they are ones who the world says needs to be “beautiful.” Every girl, at some point in her life, has low self-esteem.
But, I am extremely confident in myself because I have people who are extremely supportive of me. I can’t imagine living with a mother who constantly says things like “I need to lose some weight,” or, even worse, “YOU need to lose some weight.”

Even worse though?! Imagine living with a husband who says things like that! *shudder*
We live in a messed up, messed up world! The saintliest of women are victims of Satan’s greatest ploy, the one that starts out with a simple glance in the mirror, and the creeping thought that slithers into your head.
“I’m ugly.”
Citizens of the world! Stop this nonsense! PLEASE stop making your daughters’ bodies the subject of your lunch groups! Stop wondering if they will ever get married! Be GENUINELY happy with who they are!! BE KIND TO YOURSELF!!
A lot of shouting! But I see it all the time, and I am SO. SICK. OF. IT. I can tell when a girl does not love herself, or is depressed about the way she looks. It is terribly off-putting. Mostly it is just sad. Because I can’t force them to like themselves. And I can’t force my daughter to like herself.
But she will, by Jove, if I have anything to do with it.
And, at least I told you not to read this if you are sensitive.
Also, give this book to your teenage girl.


E B said...

I am so with you on this!

just a little bit mo said...

You are spot on, as always. I was saddened to overhear another mother in NICU lamenting her newborn daughter's "chubby legs." But, she couched it in these terms, "I just don't want *her* to grow up with a complex about it." Ahem. Then don't complain to a bunch of strangers that you think your daughter's already fat at 2 days old. Just sayin'.

Erin said...

Good post!