During my teen years I loved “Seventeen” magazine. The glossy magazine contained photos of glamorous models leading glamorous lives in New York City, London, Paris.
I would pour over these magazines and try to turn my meager small town clothing into something that resembled the girls in these magazines. (Even Andie, in her thrift store dudes, looked more stylist than me!) I wished I was like them. I wanted to be like the girl who was picture perfect, fashionable, thin, confident, with perfect blemish-free skin. Popular.
That was the 80s. Glam and over-the-top lifestyle of the rich and beautiful sold magazines.
Um, in 2014, not much as changed.
I look back at pictures of me as a teenager and I cringe; not because of the hair-do of the day. Although I have to ask, “What was I thinking?”.
Mostly, I cringe because, I didn’t know what I didn’t know.
What I thought… If I was model-thin, wore designer labels, starved myself to meet unrealistic body standards, lost just 15, 30, or 50 pounds, I would be happy. Accepted. Loved.
What I didn’t know… I am beautiful, unique, and perfect whether I wear as size 20, or size 2. I was created for so much more; even if I didn’t live in a flat on the Seine, attending trendy art gallery openings. I was beautifully created. Beauty can’t be bought. It isn’t found in a pair of size 2 Jordache jeans. Beauty is found in His grace.
But, I didn’t KNOW that. I talked hatefully to myself. I said things I can’t bring myself to type today. I had a serious case of self-body hate. Maybe you know exactly what I am talking about?
The negative self-talk followed me throughout much of my adult life. There was an endless amount of opportunity to compare myself to someone better, thinner, cooler, or richer than me.
What I thought… My face has wrinkles, my hips are too wide, I have stretch marks. I should nip it, tuck it, plump it, to achieve their idea of beauty.
What I didn’t know… He is more concerned about the beauty in my heart. He wants me to love 10 more people, not lose 10 more pounds. He doesn’t want carbon-copies of models. How boring would it be if we were all alike? He wants me to be unique, original, creative, loving, and to be real. He wants to know ME.
I came across an old photo of me when I was in my 20s. Back then I thought (and was told) I should lose another 10-15 pounds. I believed it. I Dieted. All. The. Time. But I look at that photo now and I think, “Wow! I looked great!” I wish I had realized that then.
Today little girls as young as 7 are on diets. Today young women are “sexing it up” to sell their pop albums. Today women never feel comfortable in their own skin because they are trying to live up to the perfect airbrushed images on the cover of a magazine. Sound familiar?
Today I want my daughters to know that they are who they are meant to be. They are beautifully and wonderfully made.
They are beautiful…just the way they are.
In the end I would rather my girls listen to Him than to what society tells them is beautiful. I wish knew that a long time ago.
I DARE YOU | Take a selfie of your face today and post it to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or just keep it for yourself. Why? To remind you to look at your beauty NOW. Ten years from now you will look back to see how beautiful you were today. Don’t wait ten years. See your beauty today. Tag your photo with #mybeautynow. If you’re brave enough, take your selfie sans makeup, wrinkles and all… (NOTE: I didn’t start this challenge. This inspiring woman did!)
Now, if you’ll excuse me. I have a sudden urge to watch Pretty in Pink.
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Linking up with Coffee For Your Heart at Holley Gerth. And at Blogs by Christian Women, and at Faith Barista Thursday Jam. Please stop by and read other inspiring bloggers pouring out their hearts today.
Love your post and the selfie challenge was a great idea. I have thought the same thing as you when I look back on the self I used to hate, I wish I would have appreciated and accepted myself then. I had nothing to complain about.
I watched Pretty In Pink this past weekend and enjoyed it as much as ever!
This touches me right where I’m at lately. I too am an 80’s graduate. Seeing beauty in myself in my 40’s takes much more faith and a more solid grasp of truth than ever before. Thank you for sharing this struggle of yours to encourage others.
What is that line from Hope Floats? “Childhood is what you spend the rest of your life trying to overcome.” Be kind to yourself, Karin.
HI! I am popping over from Faith Barista. I can identify with you, like so many others. Labelled as ‘fat’ by my mom and my sister in the ’70’s, i look back at pictures and wonder and scratch my head at what they were thinking. The damage done still lingers in my 50’s. I would love to feel Jesus’ unconditional love, grace and mercy. I confess that Satan’s lies are louder.
I am a work in progress!
Blessings ~ Dorothy
Dorothy, thanks for stopping by. Whoever said, “sticks and stones will hurt my bones but your words will never hurt me,” was never a young girl with weight issues. Go easy on yourself today. The battle between Satan and Jesus’ love is an everyday battle. We all struggle. And we are all a work in progress. Find comfort in sisters of Jesus. May God bless you today! Jeri