The first thing that happened was when I was searching for birthday gift ideas for Libby. She made a list weeks ago and one of the items was new books. I have often seen on the internet compiled lists of "25 books every preschooler should read", or "10 books you should read to your child" or some variation of that, so I searched (on a popular homemaker sight) "picture books." The first row or two of pictures did indeed have pictures of children's books, but as I scrolled I was shocked when I saw several pictures of naked women posing unnaturally for the camera...arched back, hair tousled, mouth pouty, and then next to it a photo of "Harry the Dirty Dog" or "Corduroy." I realized I should have ended my search there, but my mind started spinning and not just because of how innocently I stumbled upon these photos (the internet is a scary and dangerous place). These pictures were not of woman, they were of girls, someone's daughter.
Also, no one in real life ever, ever looks like that. I can only assume that many of the viewers of these photos are men who are being lied to by the enemy. By believing that viewing photos like these will fill some kind of desire that they have. Clearly they wont. They will never meet a woman who looks like that while going to the grocery store, or stepping out of the shower for that matter, stepping out of the ocean, anything in real life never, ever looks like that. Who told these men to fulfill their desire for physical pleasure this is the way to get it?
Even more disturbing to me were these girls. At some point their minds were robbed of their innocence and made to believe to be beautiful to someone, or desirable to someone they would have to expose themselves to the world this way. Who told them this?
Then because if you got on the internet yesterday, you read the name of certain singer's performance on live TV the night before. I was curious to know what all the hype was about so I looked up the you tube video of it. I couldn't finish it. I was so saddened at what had become of this young girl.
Who told her that she had to sell herself this way? Who told her that fame was worth more than the beautiful soul that God created her to be?
Who whispers in our ears that we are not enough? Magazines, adverts, clothing, the world, the evil one. Who tells us that the desires of our hearts can be filled by anything except the Grace of the cross?
I am not a writer, I don't have the ability to articulate all that I am thinking right now. However, the one other thought that I had was, how does anyone do this thing called life without the guidance of a Holy Father? One who sends you his Spirit to guide you through this messy, dark world we live in. I feel lost if I take my eyes off of Him if even for a minute. It is no wonder that these beautiful girls are selling themselves for so little, believing the lie that Evil whispered in their ear.
I worry about my children. I try not to. Worry itself is believing the lie that God doesn't have our lives completely under His control. How can I teach them that their beauty lies in Him. In seeking His face everyday, in thanksgiving for His daily gifts to us.
I have to live it for them...not do it for them, live it out in front of them. I can talk about beauty not being about what is on the outside, but they will never understand that until they see it.
I walked into the living room and sat down with Libby eye to eye and talked with her for ten minutes about appearances. "God created us all different Libby, long hair, curly hair, dark skin, light skin...we don't criticize others because in doing so we hurt feelings and are ungrateful for the way God created one of his children." Yada, yada, yada I rambled on and on, similar to this post I imagine. She ended our chat with "Mommy, I like the way Maggie's hair looks, I just don't like the way it tickles my face."
Ten minutes of a heart to heart Mommy speech well spent.
She doesn't like her hair braided or in a pony tail. I am trying to accept that. She does brush her hair, which is more than I did when I was five. She told me just today that she brushes her hair better than I do it. She is doing just fine.
I can't always shield them from the lies that they will hear, or that they will innocently see, but I can point them to the One who made them just the way they are. I can point them to the One who painted the freckles on their noses. The One who twists my Littlest's hair into bouncy tendrils everyday. The One who made their feet tiny and who made them just a bit shorter than most kids their ages. The one who will make them perfectly beautiful when they choose to stand covered by his Grace.
Grace and Peace