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? =)
Dolly Parton – from 931wolfcountry.com
One of my closest girl friends lives in the deep deep south of Houston, TX. She tells me stories of her world, how pretty much EVERY woman around her has had something done in the way of cosmetically enhancing themselves. Botox, peels, lifts, tucks, injections, new boobs, lipo, everything/anything. There is enormous pressure to stay young looking. And I can imagine it gets very hard to resist the lure of eternal youth. I wonder if I would succumb in that environment?
I tell myself that a fifty year old trying to look like she’s twenty is completely UNNATURAL and actually, kinda gross looking. The question is, what and for who are all these women doing it for? Ms PR commented that there’s a notion that guys cheat for younger women, so women feel they always need to look young. I guess either to hang onto their men or to try to get men. Which, is sad as I wonder if they don’t have any other strengths going for them in way of personality or character. But maybe our world has really gotten this shallow??
Here’s Huffington Posts’ list of twelve stars who said NO WAY to plastic surgery. I hope they succeed in their goal to never have anything fiddled with going forward. I also hope I age as gracefully.
I confess, I’ve thought about how great it would be have eye liner tattooed on so that I wouldn’t have to do it every day. And so that my eyes wouldn’t look completely naked because my lashes are so fine and sparse. And so I wouldn’t look retarded if I forgot to wear make-up. Looking deeper though, all the times I’ve thought about altering my body was because 1) I wasn’t living a healthy lifestyle or taking care of my body well and my body was showing it and 2) I felt insecure about how I looked, focusing on what I didn’t like and not noticing what was beautiful already. Could addressing those two items reduce the amount of cosmetic enhancements being done? I don’t know. I think it’s good to make yourself presentable and look good…like strong, healthy good (and we should WANT to be strong and healthy)…but where is the line drawn before it becomes an obsession?
@lauriewang: It’s like you hit an age where you can no longer do cute. #firstworldaging
Anyone else find this to be true?
We discussed this further and I think it’s either after you turn 30 or if you become a mother. Whichever comes first.
“Cute” is for children…teens even. In your twenties, you can pull off some cute stuff…but it gets increasingly awkward because it looks more and more age inappropriate. It’s like you’re trying to hard to be what you’re not (which is “young”)…and I can’t take you seriously.
The more “ageless” adjectives are words like beautiful, sophisticated, edgy, classy, sexy….okay maybe “sexy” isn’t ageless. With the advance of technology, medication and general healthy living, I can still see a 60 yr old being sexy. But I can’t see “sexy” describing 70 year olds. Sorry.
Personally, I think I stopped being cute after the age of five. Even after growing out of braces and glasses, “cute” was never a word used to describe me. I just can’t pull off “cute”. I also don’t want to be cute…hopefully I will be classy and edgy. I want to stay somewhat up-to-date with fashion, but age appropriate fashion is key. You’ve seen those men and women who still dress like their high school or college glory days. That is being stuck in an era. Not a fashion expert by any means…but I’ve watched enough “What Not to Wear” to know that dressing for your body shape (admit it and embrace it) as well as for your age (can’t stop it!) is important. Yes, do work out and eat healthier so you can wear a broader variety of styles….but it’s also about accepting and being secure in your body to feel and look good through the ages. Don’t get stuck! =)
Photographer Danny Evans has created images of celebrities as they might look if they weren’t famous or, as he said, “with their facade of coolness scrubbed off.” His work can be seen at PlanetHiltron.com.
From the Calgary Herald…click here for more.
Oh these were lovely to go through! It reminds me that they’re just “normal” people and would look like us too if they didn’t have the opportunities they had to become who they are now. It also makes me wonder how amazing I might look if I had a personal trainer, wardrobe assistant, make up artists and access to beautifying treatments on demand.
Truly, we’re all equally human…and there’s a star in everyone.