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 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.