I don’t know about you all, but for me, becoming a mom has made me hyperaware of how I live my life. It’s quite unfortunate. Like, for example…We felt so convicted about our diet that we started focusing on eating healthier solely because we want Luca to eat healthy. No more heat-em-up-quick meals from Trader Joes. Admittedly, I love the way we eat now, but it’s definitely been a tough adjustment. Of course, it’s not just our eating habits that have been under a microscope. It’s swearing… trashy tv…screen time…I think I’ll just stop there for now. Have you noticed any habits that you need to chill-out on? The list of vices can go on and on. But recently, I’ve been thinking beyond vices… I’ve been thinking about the way my kid perceives me as a woman. Have you thought about how YOU, as a mom/aunt/grandmother, reflect the image of women? We may or may not realize it, but our very presence is shaping our little ones’ views of what it means to be a woman. We are also telling our children what it means to be beautiful and how to achieve beauty.
Well, recently, I encountered the YouTube video, “The Evolution of the Swimsuit,” by Jessica Rey (click the image above if you haven’t seen it yet, it’s great). After watching her speech about the impact of swimwear on our society, I felt very strongly that I would no longer be strutting a bikini at my local beach (Not that I was much of a strutter to begin with, but you know what I mean). Apparently, neuro-scientific studies have shown that men view women as objects when they are wearing less clothing…specifically bikinis. Seriously. Before you discount it, watch the video. Sooo… I’m thinking that I’m gonna say “No thanks” to swimwear that equates my worth to that of a hammer. Contrary to what you may think, I feel very empowered by this decision. By being more modest, I am respecting myself, men, and other women. Not to mention, as a mom, I don’t want Luca to see women as sex-objects and I certainly don’t want my (potential) future daughter to see herself as a sex-object.
This whole bikini issue has sparked questions in regards to how I see myself. In what other areas am I trying to live-up to an ideal image of beauty? If I want my kids to think that they are beautiful just the way God made them, then I better start practicing what I preach. Ok, this may be a TMI moment, but oh well… many years ago, I decided to start shaving my arms. I know, so weird right? But I have some Italian in me, and with that, comes hair. I guess that I was ashamed that I didn’t have Barbie-esque smooth arms… so, I shaved them. Well, just last week, I decided to give that up. And you know what, my arm hair really isn’t that bad. I hardly even notice it. It’s just hair.
The truth is, our kids will have enough lies screaming at them, telling them that they’re not good enough, not beautiful enough. I want to be an example to them. I want to show them that they don’t have to believe the lies to be seen as beautiful. Even if the majority of society doesn’t see them as “beautiful,” the people who matter will see their beauty. Unfortunately, if we alter ourselves to be “beautiful” we will never be truly known for who we are. We will always question another’s acceptance and love. It’s a set-up for insecurity and doubt. The very thing we are trying to achieve, to have our whole selves (even hairy arms) loved by another, is now out of our grasp.
Ok, so I went off on a tangent there a little bit but this is an area I am very passionate about. In an age where it’s common for women to have botox parties and post-baby plastic surgery, we have to take a stand for natural beauty and aging gracefully. When everything is yelling, “You could be BETTER!!!” We need to shout louder, “Enough is ENOUGH!!!!… You are good enough. You are beautiful enough. And if someone can’t love you for who you are then they aren’t worth your time.” Most likely they have a mountain of insecurities themselves and you will never be able to love them enough anyway. Because they are believing the lie too. They believe they aren’t good enough either…. and when you’re never enough, you can never be good enough to be truly loved. It’s a relationship doomed or at least destined for a lot of marital therapy. I would know. Caleb and I have had to work very hard at allowing one anothers’ love to permeate our hearts. We have struggled for years, and still do, believing the lies of this world. I’m determined that the next generation of our family will struggle less than we have. That’s the best we can hope for.
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