Not too long ago Shane and I were getting ready to go out for a date night. It was the first time in awhile that we were going to be out without Jordan, and it was very much needed for both of us. As some of you moms know, your definition of exhaustion changes once you have a little one. But as I was going through my closet I had the very common “nothing to wear” problem. It wasn’t that it was a special occasion that required a certain outfit or anything, but it was something else. It was me. I loved several things that I picked out! That is, until I put them on. Shane could tell that I was beginning to judge myself and my body, and he continually told me that I was being too critical. “Are you almost ready, beautiful? Can’t decide which to wear because they all look good on you?”
By the time I actually chose something that I thought was mediocre my mood towards the rest of the night was nearly ruined. I had become so upset and down on myself for how I looked that I didn’t even want to go out to dinner anymore. It wasn’t until a few days later when I was putting away all the clothes that I had created a mountain with trying on that I realized how poor I was treating myself. The truth was that I cared so much about how others would see me that I was being extremely hard on myself. Shane didn’t really care what I ended up wearing because he truly feels that I look good no matter what. He doesn’t judge me because something looks baggy or makes me look heavier than I really am. Truthfully, he probably doesn’t even know that’s the kind of things that I think about when I’m judging what to wear. To him my body is perfect, but more importantly, my heart is amazing. And what bothered me also was that I had spent so long just trying to get ready and was so down on myself that I robbed myself from enjoying a night with my husband. I let my appearance get in the way of my relationship.
So why did I care about what others thought when they looked at me? If my husband didn’t care what I wore, why should other people’s opinions matter? And why did I waste so much of my time caring about that? This wasn’t the first time I have done this to myself, and I know that I’m not the only one. There are thousands of girls out there that judge themselves harshly. I can’t think of one girl friend of mine that hasn’t at least gone through a period of their life where they wouldn’t be caught dead in public without makeup on. Or girls that are on a “diet” to lose 5 pounds, which really means starving themselves and saran wrapping their stomachs. Of course to everyone else they look perfect, but we all just “don’t understand” according to them.
I thought about this in disgust for awhile. It is really sad to think that so many women put such superficial things so high up in their priorities. Makeup, hair cuts and colors, designer brands, fads. We so easily go along with whatever our culture labels as “cool”, and we so quickly lose our own style and self confidence. It’s almost comical that we place our judgement of style on our culture, when our culture won’t even make a decision. We bounce from a size 2 being “normal” to needing a butt so large that’s all anyone focuses on to having no butt and DD boobs. In the end, we are all different body types, and it’s impossible for anyone to keep up with what society labels attractive.
When I think about how it affects me, I catch myself trying to justify it. The “it girls” as we call them are skinny. They have long hair. They wear brand names. The guys drool over them. The girls try to be them. “That’s what I’m supposed to look like. That’s normal.”
When I think about this from a mothers point of view, I just want to slap myself for ever justifying anything. I would never want my beautiful daughter to look in the mirror and think she needs makeup to look decent, or without the newest shoes she’s ugly. I never want her to strive to be like the “it girls”. It’s a sad picture to paint, trying to be someone else because it will never be accomplished, especially when that “it girl” is on a constant rotation. My daughter is more beautiful than any superficial thing.
Then, when I think about it from another point of view, from the best point of view, I know that I am wrong in my views on myself. Thinking about all of this from God’s point of view makes this entire discussion disgusting. God created each and every one of us, and it’s more than just creating our soul. He created our shells also; our bodies. Petite, curvy, tall, short, brunette, blonde, white, black. Whatever combination it may be, we were all created by Him, and for a reason. So why should we try to change or cover up what we have each been blessed with? We are putting our superficial wants over our supreme blessings.
There are thousands of woman out there that struggle with self image and self confidence. I am one of them. But next time that you find yourself judging your looks, stop and think about it from different point of views. How does your mother see you? Or how does your husband see you, maybe? Now, how does God see you? I’m going to be doing this myself, and I hope you will do it also. This is a problem that many of us struggle with, but it doesn’t need to be passed on to the next generations. Let’s build ourselves up so we can build our daughters up.
YOU are beautiful!