Sunday, October 25, 2009

With the problems women already have with their appearance and their body image; a recent headline really struck a nerve with me. A very well known celebrity has been encouraging her daughter to take her clothes off for a movie. She persuaded her daughter to take a role as a stripper and a lover to her “boyfriend” character in the movie and to get naked “while she’s still young.”

Media already plays a huge role in the way women feel about themselves and how men view women. Clothing ads all have skinny models. Movies portray sexy women with perfect figures. Modeling shows parade around stick thin women all competing to win a large monetary contract leaving those who do not make the final cut feeling horrible about themselves. It is shocking to me that even a mother would encourage her child to parade her nude body around for millions of viewers while playing a stripper.

Not only are we subjected to “perfect” “sexual” women on television, in movies and magazines; but we also see them displayed in pop up ads while innocently checking our e-mail. The other day I was googling a VERY innocent subject searching for an image to use in a card I wanted to print for a friend. Somehow my google search engine setting was changed to “No Filter.” I came across a very pornographic image. I was in shock! I was angered!

The world has an extremely distorted view of beauty. I wish I could shake each person until their brain rattles and they see what true and real beauty is. (lol…my anger showing?) But out of the anger and the insecurities and the self disgust I often feel, there is one thing I hold on to; my Lord and Savior.

I know my God sees how beautiful I am. He made me. His designs are all perfect. His works are awe inspiring. Each woman or man or child…we are all beautifully created. What matters most about each of us is our internal beauty. The saying “pretty is as pretty does” is honestly a very true statement. There are women who seem perfectly put together externally, but their internal attitudes make them appear less attractive.

The Lord says:
1 Peter 3:3-4 Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God's sight is very precious

In other words, it doesn’t matter what we look like or what we wear. It matters not our hairstyle or how straight our teeth are. We are called to be beautiful within.
Just to clarify, I think there is nothing wrong with wanting to be physically fit, dress nice, or watch what we eat. However, we should not let it be the driving force for our validity as a woman of beauty.

The other day we had a womens meeting discussing the truth of beauty and I was called on to share something with the women on “real” beauty. Below is a poem that I wrote for that event. As I read the poem, the instrumental version of Barlow Girl’s “Mirror” was playing while I removed every ounce of makeup and recited the following poem. I hope that you will gain something from it. I pray that the Lord will teach you the beauty you posses and that you will see that because you are His child, because you are “fearfully and wonderfully made”; that you are worth more than a rare diamond.

Made by your hands
Designed from your plan.
The same one who made the seas
Created the beauty in me
Lies of this world tell me who I should be.
But Father, I trust you…

You know me inside and out
Your love for me, covers all doubt.
True beauty lies within my heart
I am your work of art
Lies of this world try to tear my beauty apart.
But Father, I trust you…

Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain
In your eyes; I could never be plain.
Fearfully and wonderfully designed
In your eyes; my beauty shines
Lies of this world try to make true beauty blind.
But father, I trust you…

Complete in your reflection
My loveliness needs no correction.
You love me inside and out
You notice what my heart is truly about
Lies of this world try to fill my head with doubt.
But Father, I trust you…

Rachel W. Clark
September 2009

Please see the Barlow Girl Video at the bottom of the page titled “Mirror.”

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