Monthly Archives: October 2011

You are Fearfully and Wonderfully Made!

Last week NOW (the National Organization for Women) celebrated the 14th annual Love Your Body Day.  Love Your Body Day is “a day when women of all sizes, colors, ages and abilities come together to celebrate self-acceptance and to promote positive body image. Since the launch of Love Your Body Day in 1998, NOW Foundation has used the campaign to challenge the unrealistic beauty standards and gender stereotypes promoted by the media, Hollywood and the fashion, cosmetics and diet industries.” I was introduced to Love Your Body Day when I read Erin Matson’s blog “Love Your Body Day: A Woman’s Body Politic.”  In Matson’s post she addresses 13 issues that surround body image, including, diets, advertising, and anorexia.  To my great surprise I did not disagree with a single one of the topics she brought up.  Because truly, I believe that we all need to learn to love our body.  Our body can do some pretty amazing things.  When you take the time to sit down and consider your body’s greatness it can astound you.  Our skin can sew itself back together… our muscles can stretch and gain strength allowing dancers to do some breathtaking dance moves… and our brains are so magnificent that it is hard to comprehend.  We may be uncomfortable in our bodies, but that is because of the world surrounding us.  We can step up to be plate by believing that we are masterpieces.

Believe that you are a masterpiece.  Genesis 1:27 says, “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.”  God made each and every one of us from his own image.  Who are we to say that we are not a masterpiece, our maker loves us for who we are, for who he made us to be.  Psalm 139:13-14 states, “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.  I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made.”  I know it is hard to make the insecurities go away, but just remember every time you look down upon God’s greatest creation that you are “Fearfully and wonderfully made.”  Happy late Love Your Body Day!

Advertisements

Fairytales?

For today’s post I am going to talk about one of my favorite things- fairytales.  Seeherinthemovies has a post called “Disney, what’s up with your Villainesses?” In this post she compares many of the different Disney princesses to their Villain.  At the end of her post she poses the question… “[What] impact [does] this [have] on children, specifically young girls?”  Seeherinthemovies never answers this question, but I am going to.  I am going to address the influence classic Disney fairytales have on children.

One thing Snow White, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, The Little Mermaid, and Tangled, have in common is a clear and distinct- good and bad.  In real life nothing is as distinct, but that is what gives these movies their charm.  The princesses without a shadow of a doubt represent the good- “Snow White is graceful, kind, beautiful, and the stereotypical image of the perfect girl. Snow White is truly ‘the fairest of them all.’” And “Cinderella is beautiful, charming, and has a heart of gold. Even becoming the maid to her own household can’t harden her heart. Her grace so apparent, even the mice love her.”  While women who occupy many different roles- (ex. evil stepmother, evil queen, and a false mother,) are easily determined as bad.  This obvious distinction makes it easy for young girls to see and understand the difference between good and evil.  To many young girls, these princesses “shine as lights in the world.”  These Disney princesses represent perfect girls; they radiate innocence, and whole hearts.  Personally, I think this exposure to innocence is good for the younger generations.  Philippians 2:15 says, “That you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world.”  As I said before Cinderella is a light, a role model, to young girls.

I think my opinion would be different if the Princesses were only beautiful, but they have so many other traits that label them as good.  However, Disney Fairytales need to be viewed with caution, our younger generations need to be aware that our worth is not based on our beauty, and if not explained these movies can do just that.  I am going to refer back to Proverbs 31:30, which says, “Charm is deceptive, and beauty if fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.”  As an older generation it is our job and our duty to teach this lesson.  The fairytales can only do so much.  Learning right from wrong is a hard thing to do, and fairytales take our young girls through this lesson.


The Need To Be… Loved?

Is there a difference?

There really is no difference between these two pictures.  They both tell us how women should look.  No matter the century, there is a standard women are held to, a standard which informs them of how good they are.  In the 14th century women wanted to be plump, the roundness showed off their wealth.  In the 1900’s women wanted a round curvaceous figure to attract men.  Today women want to be skinny- stick thin to be more exact.

The media surrounds us with pictures and movies full of “perfect” women.  These pictures serve as voices- voices that tell us that our self-worth comes from our bodies.   Which, it doesn’t.  There are three words that fit together, self-worth, wanted, and love.  Every human being has a desire to be loved, it is part of who we are, and there is no way around it.  The problem is that women have begun to confuse being wanted with love.  The circle of these three words completes itself when you realized that “want” stems from self-worth.  Women are seemingly brain washed into believing that they need to be sickly skinny, and what the media defines as beautiful, to be loved.  Love and Lust are not synonyms.  “Love is patient, love is kind.  It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  Love never fails.” (1 Corinthians 13:4-8) Nowhere in the bible, or in common sense for that matter, does it say that we need our bodies to be loved.  God loves us for who we are, not for what society tells us we should be.  Real love is true and has no judgment.  “The Lord appeared to us in the past saying: ‘I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving kindness.  I will build you up again.” (Jeremiah 31:3) Love, lust, and self-worth do not fit together like a puzzle; do not trick yourself into believing this.  Instead believe in these three… “And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love.  But the greatest of these is love.” (1 Corinthians 13:13)


Feminism is For Everyone

Feminism is for everyone.  No matter what you see or hear it is not just for liberals.  Sure, there are some topics that we will never see eye to eye on, but that is not the point.  There are nit picky issues that tell us we aren’t feminists.  Whether it is because we are pro-life, or because we wear purity rings, we have become alienated.  But here is the thing; women cannot better themselves if half of the gender is not behind the force.  The American Heritage Dictionary definition of feminism is “the belief in the social, political, and economic equality of the sexes.”  Trust me, there is nothing wrong with this at all.  Who doesn’t want to earn the same amount as the man who has the same job?  Who doesn’t want to not have to worry about sexual harassment and rape?  These are the big grand issues- and these issues anyone can get behind.  Forget about the stuff you don’t agree with, and think about how much better certain aspects of feminism could make our society.  It is okay to pick and choose- we do this every day.  I am a romantic and a Christian to boot.  There are quite a few things I believe in whole-heartedly that rub against the feminist agenda.  But I am adding a new label to my list- feminist.  The point of being a feminist is to want to be equal to men- not dominant.  The world has enough dominance for all of eternity.  One of the most important issues that feminists need (and are trying) to tackle, is that of sexual assault. Women walk around this planet scared witless while most men are not even aware that their behavior scares us.  Some men even believe that even what is considered illegal is not wrong.  What are we doing letting our friends make comments, stand up for yourself- not only for your good but also for theirs! Men need to understand when they cross the line, because they can’t always see it.  Another issue feminist’s tackle is that of respect.  Lets face it, would you respect someone who did not respect herself?  Personally? Never.  If we want men to respect us, we need to show them, that we respect ourselves.  Lets be those princesses we wanted to be when we were little.  The kind that knew exactly who they were, and walked around with their head held high.  We need to be the kind of women God made us.  We can no longer hide behind our weaknesses.  Strength overshadows weakness- let you strengths show.  Lets go after our dreams, no matter our differences.