Friday, December 20, 2013

When Being {REAL} isn't Pretty...

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Lest you think this is a post about how a Barbie doesn't look like a REAL woman, I'll go ahead and tell you now - it's not! But it is about being {REAL}...

I've spent a lot of my time and energy the past few years learning about myself.
Trying to accept myself for who I am, all flaws included, and bare that {REAL} version of myself to others even when it's difficult and uncomfortable.

I read this book (maybe you have too?) and among others that I've read in the same time period, it radically changed the way I think about and live my life.  The way I relate to other people, the things I care about or care less about, my ability to leave the house without my hair and make-up done.


Yes, you read that correctly.  Until this year, I could count on one hand the number of times I left the house without my hair and makeup done to my satisfaction.  Even to drive my kids to school, I would do at least enough that I thought I might not scare anyone!

You can laugh - honestly, it's funny to me now.

What's not funny is that everyday is still a struggle.

Everyday I even CONSIDER leaving the house without makeup on, I have to force myself to do it.

Truth be told, the days that I cross the threshold without at least foundation and/ or powder on my face?
They are seriously few and far between.

Who knows why I REALLY feel like I can't do this.
I mean, I could give you a zillion reasons why, in my head, leaving without "my face on" is a bad idea.

Last week, (or maybe the week before, they all run together lately) I was in Target shopping.  I hadn't been feeling well and a terrible cold and cough was making the rounds through my household.
Yes, my hair and makeup were done (albeit not as well as most days).
I wasn't dressed as well as I might normally be, but I didn't think I looked like a bum either.

Until this girl walking towards me gave me the head to toe sweep with her eyes.
I saw the entire thing as if in slow motion and I can still visualize it easily now.

While I try to discourage others from assuming they know what someone is thinking, my guess is, anyone who saw her face knew what she was thinking.
Her expression said it all.

She may as well have screamed, "WHAT are you wearing?" "Did you look in the mirror before you left home today?"

At the time, I kept walking.  After all, I had things to do and I didn't want to be there any longer than absolutely necessary.

Since then, I've replayed the scene in my mind many times.
And my heart is heavy for my pre-teen daughter and all the other girls out there in this world.

I don't want my daughter to be the one who thinks it's ok to look at another person that way and I don't want her to be the one on the receiving end of the look.

Just what are we instilling in our daughters?
Are we telling them that God made them beautiful? Just the way they are?
Or are we telling them (with our actions, more than our words) that other things make us beautiful?


Ann writes great words on this subject and I have little to add - certainly couldn't say it better.

BUT {there's always a but}, I say this as a precaution to myself as much to anyone...
the society we live in, WE are part of.
And as part of it, we must take responsibility for the daughters with low self-esteem, both the shy ones and the looks-down-her-nose-at-others-to-make-herself-feel-better ones.

Taking responsibility doesn't mean taking all the blame.

It does mean taking the initiative to do better.  To correct the situation.

I think, if we want to make it better we have to pray earnestly about how God would have us see ourselves, present ourselves to others, and model godliness to our daughters.

Their little eyes are watching and what they see goes further than what we say.

My son likes getting his picture taken even less than I do!

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