By: Sarah Oates-Walker
I want what is best for my daughter. I want to teach her that she is intelligent & strong. I want to instill in her the desire to respect others, to be loving, kind and generous, to always be trustworthy, and to be confident in her self. I desperately wish I could shield her from what today’s society pushes all women to be: always young, always beautiful, always perfect.
I don’t want her to be obsessed with her appearance. Are her make up and hair just so? Her clothes trendy enough? Her figure fit enough? How can we stop our daughters from feeling like they have to obtain this unattainable level of beauty in order to be accepted and worthy?
I am personally not that big into makeup, and don’t spend tons of time trying to look a certain way before I leave the house. My clothes are not overly trendy and I am ok with that – but I would be lying if I said that I don’t sometimes obsess over my physical appearance. After I get dressed I stare into the mirror. I turn this way and that way making sure there is nothing pulling at my bra line or muffin-topping over my pants.
Although I never say anything out loud about my issues with certain body parts, my daughter does not fail to notice! I walked into my room one day and there was my daughter, three years old and perfect in every way, staring and twirling in the mirror, turning this way and that way. She was perfectly imitating me. I asked her what she was doing, and her response was, “Looking at my body!”
“Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
But a women who fears the Lord is to be praised.” Proverbs 31:30
With the advancement of technology and the Internet there is a constant pressure to obtain a certain level of beauty. There are countless ways we can try to stay young-looking: skin products, hair dyes, surgeries, injections, laser treatments, radical diets, extreme workouts…the list goes on and on.
There are many women who I admire and that I long to be like. They are wise, loving, generous, and passionate about Jesus. I have never looked at them and cared about how they dress, or how they wear their hair. This is the same way my kids look at me. They don’t see that I am starting to wrinkle and get grey hair; they see a woman who loves them unconditionally and spends quality time with them.
Now, I am not suggesting that we give up dying our hair and wearing makeup! I think it is important to look good for our spouses and to feel good about our selves!
But wouldn’t it be amazing to be a generation of moms rising to the call of being holy, to be set apart from the world’s standard of beauty? Instead of worrying about our aging image, we spend our time investing in our relationship with Jesus. How amazing to be women who face tomorrow with joy and freedom, regardless of our ever changing outward appearance! We can set the example for our daughters that we welcome aging and maturity with open arms.
“…clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.” Proverbs 31:25
I want to set the example for my daughter that although health and exercise is important, having a close relationship with Jesus is what makes a life truly beautiful!