Monday, November 10, 2008

Twisted Beauty

This is for the young women.

How often do you tell yourself that you are beautiful? How often do you tell yourself that you are enough? How often do you believe it? I wish that I could hear more often young women telling themselves positive things. I am beautiful. I am smart. I am friendly, kind, sweet, talented. Especially when it comes to physical appearance, I am saddened when I hear negative comments of young women and girls about themselves. To bring this to a personal level, when I look at myself nude, I think that I am beautiful. I am curvy, I have stretch marks, cellulite. The whole nine yards. I am far from taut and airbrushed. Is it safe to say that I am human? Imperfections are what make us human. Who wants to look like Barbie? I could hardly call her perfect. If I looked like her, I'd be more ashamed than if I looked like myself. I am proud of my body. It draws air into my lungs, digests my food, feeds my child, birthed her into this world. It worships God. It reflects His Image. How amazing is that? We LOOK LIKE GOD. I don't know how much more beautiful that can be. To look like Him. To reflect His Image. To be Made In His Image. Think about it. Can you truly look at yourself in the mirror every day and say that you are ugly when you are made in God's Image. You are His creation. Now, go back and say those things again. Is it possible any more? I admit I have bad days where I feel bloated, ugly, what-have-you. But more often than not, when I go and take a shower, I stand in front of the mirror nude and I think, "I'm beautiful." Not to be vain. Vanity and loving yourself are two very different things. And I am far from vain. Vanity is believing you are perfect. In all honesty, it is the IMPERFECTIONS that I find myself admiring most. My humanity is beautiful. The half-a-dozen teeny stretchmarks that speckle the left side of my belly, just below the navel. My womanly figure, changed by motherhood. I find myself becoming and not in the traditional sense. I've learned to love myself.
And that sense, that need to love myself is all the more amplified by the fact that I am the mother to a daughter. A girl who will someday look up to me and mirror her own self image against my own. I will be her mentor, her heroine, her mother for years to come and I know that by telling her that I think I am beautiful and I think she is beautiful, that that will add to a positive self image. I remember being six years old and believing I looked fat in a bathing suit. I heard those comments, I suppose, way too often from my own mother or women I looked up to in my life. I know how that effects young girls and I am determined not to be a part of that cycle. That cycle stops here. When my daughter and I go shopping when she's fifteen, I will try on a dress and I will tell her that I look beautiful in it. And if it's the wrong size, I will tell her so. It's the wrong size, then go get the next size up. No big deal. Being a larger size has nothing to do with beauty. The sooner we realize that, the sooner we can end the cycle in our daughters' lives.

I am Beautiful. I am 5 foot 1 3/4 inches. Last I checked I weighed 125, but I think I'm closer to 128 now. I don't work out much, if ever. Shame on me. I should take better care of my body. I wear size 5 to size 7 jeans. I wear a 34A bra. I have stretchmarks on my hips, thighs, breasts, tummy. I have cellulite on my butt. I can't remember the last time I shaved my legs. I am imperfect. I am human. I am a beautiful woman and I welcome the imperfections that make me ME.

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As it turns out, I've been talking to Dove about their Campaign for Real Beauty. I love this program. Beauty comes in all shapes, sizes and colors.
You can go to www.campaignforrealbeauty.com to download free self-esteem building materials for girls, moms, and mentors including:
• True You and Mirror, Mirror booklets
• Interactive exercises
• Workshop Facilitator Guide DVD







2 Comments:

Kortney said...

This is great, Sara. So encouraging. You're completely right. Thanks for posting. Much love!

Tiffany said...

I love this post. I have a daughter who is seven and I always am trying to encourage her in everything. I agreee that it is so important for them to get it at home, becuase who knows what people are saying when they are away from home! They do need to know that they are special the way they are because God made them just the way they are!!