Been chatting with Mrs PR about the posts going around FB on how you shouldn’t comment on your daughters’ looks. We agree to extent….we can understand where this sentiment is coming from. That a girl shouldn’t feel her value or worth defined by whether or not the world thinks she’s beautiful. And so we ought to watch some of the words we use so they don’t start to believe that’s what matters. I get it. But this should be looked at in a broader sense….to actually engage in conversation about it with our daughters AND sons instead of just trying to avoid or shelter my daughter from it.
I haven’t explored too much on this so these are raw-ish thoughts…but I totally believe that beauty is and can be a godly concept to pursue. God invented “beautiful” after all. Our ideas of what’s beautiful (or not) should be guided by what God has meant to be seen or enjoyed as beautiful. “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder” isn’t totally true. There is beauty in many things that the world might not recognize….and I think it’s powerful to cultivate eyes to see and appreciate that kind of beauty….instead of letting our kids be taught what is beautiful according to the world through the superficial gloss of photoshopped images. Beauty is deeper than aesthetics.
Also, as Mrs PR pointed out, as well intentioned those messages about how looks don’t matter are, reality is that looks DO matter in this world. Take any two average looking persons, make one disheveled and sloppy looking and the other dressed decently and groomed. While their worth as a human being doesn’t change, anyone could point out which person would be taken more seriously or do better in an interview. Keep telling a child that “looks don’t matter” and then you have someone who doesn’t want to wash up or brush their hair anymore and want to wear their pj’s to school. I’m sure some parents will disagree with me….but that is not okay in my books…not on a regular basis anyways. One SHOULD look DECENT in public….as a reflection of your own self respect and dignity. Do I have crap days where I “don’t care” I look? Sure thing…but I’m still groomed and out of pj’s. I might not have make up on…and I might be in a hoodie and sweat pants….but I’ll still look decent. If I’m having a day where I don’t want to groom or wash or dress…then I’m probably ill and it’s a good day to stay home.
And I hope we’ll teach our kids that looking HEALTHY is what looks best too. That each person can work with the specifics of the body they’re born with and still LOOK GOOD. It might mean some have to work harder than others to maintain a healthy body but let’s praise and encourage that hardworking attitude. Those who can “look healthy” without having to work at it will find the bad health catching up with them in the end. (I would be one of those people…I look healthy but have a weak cardiovascular and pulmonary system that will probably be my demise if I ever need to run from zombies.)
Okay, I’ve probably opened up a large can of worms…so I’ll stop now. Any thoughts? =)