Friday, 20 May 2016

Lost It by Susan L.

  Someone shared a link on Facebook about Tom Hanks putting his daughter in a beauty pageant entitled "Ultimate Sexy Baby". I couldn't get past the title. Those three words don't belong in a single sentence! Before watching the entire clip to realize it was a comedy sketch on the Jimmy Kimble show, the words against these pageants exploded.
  I later posted that I realized my mistake and apologized to Mr. Hanks.
  Even so, these pageants are real! Parents dress their little girls to look four times their age: hair, make-up, revealing clothing...it's all so wrong on so many levels. At least, it is to me.
  Being a girl is hard enough when the media continues to ram home the lesson that it's all about appearance. Hair colour, skin colour, eye colour, lip shape, weight, figure...if you don't fit into the idea of cultural beauty, you are nothing.
  Heck, being an older woman with, gasp, signs of aging is another of the great unacceptables! (Yes, that's a made up word but it fits.)
  The cosmetic industry feeds doubt and self loathing just to get you to buy their miracle, anti-aging cream that never really works anyways. It feasts on the doubts and insecurities they worked really hard to sow. As long as we buy into this cannibalistic cycle, they will continue to hammer people to the ground. It's all about making a profit.
  The sad thing, is it isn't just women anymore who struggle against defined beauty. More and more young men are living with eating disorders. The lie is that unless their stomach is graced with a rippling, six-pack, they are nothing. Boys are hurting themselves by weight lifting at too young an age.
  Is this vanity or is it simply not knowing our worth regardless of our age or gender?
  Beauty is in the eye of the Beholder.
  If only we could see ourselves as God sees us...
  "For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother's womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well." Ps 139:13-14

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