Thursday, September 11, 2008

Onslaught.



After viewing this video, Song of Solomon 4:7 came to mind: "All beautiful you are, my darling; there is no flaw in you." I love, love, love this verse. Even if you aren't "religious" or a reader of the Bible, there is comfort, joy, and peace to be found in knowing that this is precisely how God views us. Oh man, that knowledge keeps me warm at night, I gotta tell ya.

Daily I drill into the brain matter of my girls' heads, "You are gorgeous, you are smart, you can do anything your heart desires! And did I mention you are gorgeous?" I don't preach this to Libbey and Caroline in hopes of over-inflating their egos. Their noses aren't in the air. I also frequently remind Libbey (as Caroline's too young) that she better not ever, for one second, think that she's somebody just because of her surname or her father's position as a "leader" in our community. She is beautiful and she is special because she belongs to God, and only for that reason alone. Thinking otherwise will result in a far fall from a high horse.

My heart's desire is for my two daughters to know the clarity of their skin, the luminosity of their eyes, the sheen of their hair, or the amount of weight on their bodies is nothing compared to having a pure and loving heart. Being beautiful on the outside is one thing, but being beautiful on the inside is the true goal, of course. How many times have we been told this? How many times have we believed it?

Let me state here and now: I am not against beautification attempts. Not in the least! Do not think this boo-tay leaves the house in anything remotely snug-fitting without my Spanx Power Panties underneath. And I do not mind any of you knowing that liposuction of my midsection is on the agenda for 2009, after I lose more weight. Yes, I want a tattoo, and will get one very soon. I do color my hair, wear lip gloss 16 hours a day, and walk through a cloud of Marc Jacobs perfume before leaving the house. (Seriously--have you smelled it? It makes me feel like a grown-up!) I'm all girly girl, to put it mildly, and I love it!

If you want bigger boobs, then girl--go get 'em. I'll be cheering you on from Miss Pretty Pink. Want a radical new hair color? Do it, then post about it--'cause I'll want to see! Gonna give Botox a try? Oh, please...I certainly wanna hear about that. Did it hurt? Can you move your eyebrows at all? How much better is it making you appear?

My point in this? Decorate your outer shell. But cultivate the beauty within your inner self. I'd love to have Angelina Jolie's body, admittedly. Yet I never will. And I'm fine with that. I refuse to allow the media to construct and display their opinion of true beauty, molding and shaping this image into a height unattainable for us "everyday" folks. I choose to destruct these make-over myths...and just be me. Wrinkles, zits, under-eye circles, flabby hips...every bit of me.

I sound so confident. I'm not. Just so you know. Wanna see the hair on my legs? I didn't think so.

More than anything I hope my daughters believe that I believe this. That I fully believe in inner beauty trumping the outer shell. Oh, but wouldn't the world be so much lovelier if we all lived in this manner? Let's start now, shall we?

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------*It's been 7 years. I have not forgotten, nor will I ever. I honor the men, women, children, and families whose lives were irrevocably altered on this day in 2001. The passing of these years have not dulled the memory of how I felt on this day. No, I haven't forgotten one bit.

42 comments:

KJ Schiffman said...

You know this video made me stop in my tracks- I'm so glad you're posting it too. I agree wholeheartedly with EVERYTHING you've written here, too. Believe me, Victoria Secret lip gloss and I? BFF-2-THE-10TH-POWER! lol.

I love how you wrote "Decorate your outer shell but cultivate the beauty within..." Awesome quote. Going on the iMac post-it board A to the SAP.

<3, Kristen

P.S. First week of October, I'm planning on getting some ink myself. : )

Trish said...

How great!!

With boys we have a little bit different struggle and we are constantly reminding our oldest that in our family being "cool" isn't about what you wear, but rather who you are and how you treat other people.

Stick with it and your girls will grow up to be wonderful caring ladies! Just like their Momma.

now about that TAT.......I want one soooooo bad!

and shall we compare hairy legs? I would win. Remember I live in the land of granola and birkenstocks.....just sayin.

DYSFUNCTIONAL MOM said...

I love, love, LOVE this post!
I'm a tattooed mama, and while I will walk out the door without make-up, I don't go to work or anywhere important without it. And I have a Spa Beautification Day planned Saturday and I can.not.wait.!
But as you said, it's so important to remember the inside.
Great post!!

Heather said...

Oh, being the mother of girls is so scary in this day and age. It's so hard to strike that balance between building confidence without creating vanity. You are absolutely right, God is the answer; one which we need to emphasize to our little ones every day.

Just wait 'til you see my tattoo; you will want to run out and get one in November! Becky and I felt so empowered and tough and cool after we finally did it...may be silly, but it's true.

Great talking to you yesterday. Joe could not believe we were on the phone for so long. Guys just don't understand girl talk.

JourneytoFamily said...

I've seen this before. Really scary, isn't it! There's too much plastic surgery and botox out here in L.A. So many people look like plastic. But then again... if I could just have a tummy tuck... :)

I'm all about the beautifying, though... I like your perspective on it.

{i}Post said...

Ugh. So tough in today's world of more than half naked cheerleaders and billboards with sex acts on them. But a battle worth fighting for our girl's sake.

And i haven't forgotten either. After 7 years, it was my waking thought this morning.

Amy said...

That video was awesome. Thank you for sharing it with us. I have written many things on eating disorders and I have had one for 20+ years. My friends tell me not to post them. It's like political commentary, not for the blog. I struggle everyday how to make my child confident when I am not. I loved your post.
I am going to send you the link to a friend of mines flickr picture for today. 9/11. It is very moving.

CaraBee said...

Wow, I got goosebumps watching that video. This is something that I think about a lot with my daughter. I was ravaged by insecurities as a girl, and I pray that I can help inspire the kind of confidence that I lacked.

Mrs. S said...

I can't say I shouldn't have expected this, but this definitely made me cry. It's true. So sadly sadly true. Thank goodness Dove recognizes the real beauty in women (despite they still air brush to take out cellulite...but what can you do).

Mrs. S said...

My son immediately came over to me, smiling when he heard this music.

Vicki said...

Beautifully said, Lula. And very apropos! Dr. Robyn has ok'ed me reposting one of her body image posts for my Talak Amongst Yourselves Week. It's going up tomorrow. Can't wait to read what you have to say :)

Heather said...

I love these Dove movies. I've seen a few now and I want to go hug someone over at Dove. I'm like you and tell my girls every night as I tuck them in that they are smart and beautiful.

Kat said...

Dove has done some amazing movies. I love the one where they show you how the beautiful girl is photoshopped for an ad. That the beauty "we" aspire for isn't even real - nor is it attainable.

Coming from a situation where I was never once told that I was beautiful...it is a daily comment to my girls. Most mornings they wake up to the sound of my voice saying "rise and shine, gorgeous girl." I AM trying to get to them before anyone else does. So they will know that truth.

Lauren W said...

Amen!
I sometimes worry about my nieces growing up in this world, but I know that my sister will be the first to talk to them about real beauty.

Karen said...

What a wonderful movie. First time I've ever seen that one. Thanks for posting it !!

Those positive messages are soooo important.

Mama Dawg said...

Oh, I was so disgusted watching that video. Not by the message, but by all those shots of insecurity.

Other than bathing and brushing my teeth and spritzing on a bit of smelly stuff, I don't wear make-up or color my hair or anything of that nature.

I'm going grey gracefully and without a fight.

I admire those who have the time and ability to look nice w/out compromising their values, but I can't do it.

I tell my daughter EVERY DAY how smart, funny, nice and pretty she is. And, in that order. I make sure I emphasize other qualities before beauty.

But, she is BEAUTIFUL!

sassy stephanie said...

Man, how true is this. We grew up with our own standards and issues, but our girls now, they have it coming at them from every angle. When I was preg with my first, we knew it was a girl. My sweet aunt, after expressing her joy (she loves girls) gave the BEST advice I have ever gotten. She told me to remember to tell her how smart she is, and not always focus on her beauty. I still 8 years later, tell my two girls how much I appreciate the way they reason, how I love their compassion for others, how I admire their intelligence. Of course, I also tell them how beautiful they are, but I keep it all balanced.

Hot Tub Lizzy said...

I'm trying to get my girls to understand that no matter how beautiful you are on the outside, if the inside is "ugly" it WILL start to show on the outside too...

Live.Love.Eat said...

Wow, your post totally moved me although I am unable to turn the video on at this time. Again, your eloquence & plain 'ol goodness comes shining through. Your girls are so lucky to have you as a mama. I have one boy and I often tell him how smart & funny he is more than I tell him how beautiful he is.

Britt said...

Love it, Miss

Amen!

Cheryl said...

I haven't watched the video yet, I'm at work, but will when I get home. I try to instill the same things in my daughter. She's 18 and I have always told her she's gorgeous and worth everything to me and God.
I, too, have tats and piercings and need to lose weight, but I do try to make myself look presentable to all.. My hubby tells me all the time how pretty I am, and yeah, I do have a hard time hearing it, but I do like it.
Great post.

Pinky Roth said...

Leigh, this is so well written! You said it all...very sad how little girls start being so conscious of beauty at such early ages. Thanks for posting this. I, too, will never forget the families that suffered so from the 9/11 tragedy.

Mom

Jyl @ MommyGossip said...

I want to DITTO this out loud a million times over. How awesome of Dove to put this together. And, I totally agree that if we teach our kids to care more about what God thinks and less about what the world thinks, they will always feel beautiful. It is soooo, soooo hard though in this cosmetically driven world we live in.

Seriously, thanks for the touching post. Really made me think.

Brandy said...

From a little different perspective, I tell my stepson all the time that he should date girls for more than what they look like.

I think he finally listened, because instead of lusting after the "hottest" girl in school (for the record I hate when he refers to girls as "hot")he has been dating a girl that is much better suited for him. They have similiar interests and get along great...she isn't as girly as his other girlfriends but her personality is a million times better.

~Are you ever going to share what your tattoo will be? And who doesn't love their spanx??!~

ParentingPink said...

Just found your site through Jyl over at Mommy Gossip and I am very moved by this clip. I run a parenting site (the only one on the web) for parents raising daughters (http://www.parentingpink.com) and I would love for you to contribute and article sometime (I'm sure, like me, time is sparse!).

Thanks for sharing this video - it's very eye-opening indeed!

Mrs. S said...

You are adorable which is appropriate because I adore you! So glad I keep coming back.

Kim said...

Our former pastor once made a statement to his daughter (and I think Amie was there too). He simply said, "Until you love yourself for who you are, a guy will never make you happy". I have always remembered that and try to tell young girls to not depend on ANY guy for your happiness! You have to be happy within yourself first and foremost!

heathersister said...

Amen, girl!

Robin said...

Thanks for the heartfelt post. I try too to get my girls to be strong and confident in themselves and not rely on someone to make them feel worth. I want so much more for them, you know?

Kasey Hunt said...

So true how the media portrays their version of beauty. I love, love your post.

Becky said...

I love that bible verse you quoted. I have an almost 15 year old daughter, and hope I can help her know her inner beauty is most important!

The Bayou Belles and Their Beau said...

What a great post and a powerful video. As a mother of two girls, I can appreciate the importance of the message Dove is trying to send out. I pray all the same things for my girls.

Insane Mama said...

I haven't watched the video yet, because my children are hovering around me like I am Famous or something.

I love this post. There is nothing better than inner beauty. Outer is fun, but it doesn't get you anywhere.

Insane Mama said...

I just watched...

I can't believe what are children see from the media, it is SO disturbing

Kimberley said...

WOW!!! Lula, I just saw the inside of your heart. It is beautiful, just like God created you to be.

You encouraged me to speak more of this to my precious girls.

And, I so love that you are not judgemental, because I completely am!

Lorie said...

It is because of that video that we have recently decided to stop watching tv in our home. Not only do I not want my daughter seeing those images, I don't want my son to see them either!

-Bridget said...

That was so thought provoking in the way they remind you to work on your daughter's self esteem and talk to your child before others do. It reads like a drug prevention ad. The visuals in the commercial can be just as powerful or more so than drugs to young girls. They are told over and over again not to do drugs and most are smart enough for that. But how many are told over and over they are beautiful just the way they are?

Tiffany said...

Raising a boy, I try to point out qualities in others, like, "wasn't that nice of her?" "Or boy, she is one smart cookie."

A neighbor just told me that they took their 4th grade son to Hooters for his birthday... really? I wonder what kind of message that sends?

Great post girl.

Tell Lib that W will appreciate her spunk and smarts as well as her gorgeousness....

Mama's Losin' It said...

Awww Lula I haven't seen this side of you yet. I love you even more.

The video made me want to throw up. I feel like as much as I may try to build confidence in my girls the media will get them eventually and they'll feel inadequate.

Boo to them.

Oh and great verse too!! I'm gonna remember that one.

Gina said...

HalleLULA! Amen!

Mrs. X said...

I have 2 little boys. I will, gladly, take on dirt, bugs, broken bones, black eyes, boogers, and video games ANY DAY over dealing with the beauty industry.

Angie's Spot said...

Wow, that video almost brought me to tears. That's a must see for all parents of girls.

I really strive to make sure that not only do my girls have a healthy self-confidence, but that they realize that kindness above all is key. Great post girlfriend!