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.