Racial discrimination is a serious problem, but prejudice isn’t limited to color or culture. People always “judge a book by its cover,” this is a fact of life. If we are honest, we all make visual assessments and prideful assumptions based on personal experiences and preferences all the time.
We choose our communities, caretakers or political parties according to our beliefs, opinions and needs.
We use businesses, attend meetings and make friends only if we feel comfortable with those people.
We decide which checkout line we will use according to our assumption of the cashier’s attitude and aptitude.
It is natural and normal to make decisions based on appearances. In fact, you and I decide if we like or trust a person, place or thing within six seconds. Is this wrong? Maybe, but this tendency to make quick judgments can save us time or keep us from danger.
Sometimes our first impressions are completely off, and we miss out on an opportunity or relationship that we may have enjoyed. Other times our assessments are completely inappropriate and we make harsh judgments based on personal opinions or experiences that have nothing to do with the reality of what–or who–we are criticizing.Continue reading The Best Solution to Discrimination→
The Covid-19 stay-at-home-order has put us all in casual dress mode.
I can’t remember the last time I dressed up–even our Easter photo opt. proved to be casual (at least from the waist down!). My daughter didn’t even have dress shoes since she left college during her spring break, unprepared to come home for the year.
Even though I’m a Dramatic who loves fashion and makeup, my Natural side loves being stuck at home. I don’t miss my heels at all!
How about you?
I’ve been rather amazed, however, at how much traffic one particular blog is still getting. Since I wrote it in 2012, it has always been my most popular post, but I am surprised that it is even more popular right now during a time when we are all so socially inactive.
Apparently, social distancing does not stop the Beauty Battle within.
“Favor is deceitful, beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.” Proverbs 31:30
As a young church girl, I thought this scripture meant that it was wrong to be beautiful, that I shouldn’t want the favor of anyone, and that I should be afraid of God.
Wow was I off!
Many other times in Proverbs it is said that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge. The understanding of fear that I had as a child is not the kind of fear God desires of us. We should fear Him like we fear fire; a better word may be RESPECT. When we don’t understand God’s heart–or fire–we will run away from it instead of enjoying it.
In honor of all the moms who have ever had a child turn on them and say, “I hate you!” I dedicate this blog to you.
God’s Word is a lot like a fire hydrant: far more powerful than a refreshing drink of water. Perhaps this is what Jesus was alluding to when He told the Samaritan woman that, “those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.” in John 4:14
Let’s consider a small section of one verse for example.
Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised. Proverbs 31:30
What does the Bible mean by, “charm is deceptive” (or “favor is deceitful”)?
Most women don’t have Confident Beauty because they compare themselves to other styles, but if you have ever been mistreated because of your appearance, you know that Image Issues are more complicated than that, because BEAUTY IS DANGEROUS.
Beauty is dangerous when it defeats us.
Maybe you HATE how you look because you compare your beauty to the models in the media and you feel you don’t measure up. Maybe men have been mean to you or taken advantage of your body. Perhaps it’s women who have mistreated you and tried to demean your beauty so that they feel better about themselves.Continue reading 3 Reasons Beauty is Dangerous→
Some women are strong, spunky and secure in their opinions. The Gamine clothing personality is average to short in stature, but she is not fragile: not in build, and not in personality.
She is like a Cala Lily: strong, sturdy and full of color and variety. The trumpet-shaped flower can endure almost any condition, in the same way, Gamines thrive in situations where most of us would not know what to do. When they see crisis, they jump to action—like the flower that pokes through the ground before the rest of the plant.
Grace makes or breaks the Gamine’s beauty
The Bold Beauty has an intense work ethic, which sometimes overrides her intense love for fun. She has a quick wit, level head and a passion to fix things. Unfortunately, sometimes her drive for justice can be intimidating to others–and to herself.Continue reading Gamine – the Bold Beauty→
Often misunderstood to be overly confident, the Dramatic is actually a very sensitive woman.
The Dramatic clothing personality (which I call the Exotic Beauty) is like a tropical flower. Her unusual beauty has a powerful presence that stands out and makes a statement. Unless she has a secondary style, this girl is tall and has strong, straight features. She is passionate and expressive and has a strong drive for excellence.
All too often, girls with this Image Identity (Img.ID) are completely unaware of the influence they have on others.
Your world view is greatly determined by the way you answer this important question.
Men and women are equal.
This world view may show itself in a lot of striving to prove our equality. When favoritism is shown or life seems unfair, it is only natural to fight for our rights. Any weaker party should be given to and any stronger party should be taken from in order to level the playing field.
Do differences (in gender, strength, appearance, gifts, talents, success…) make life unfair?
Women are inferior.
This world view is often confused. When men see women as less than, or when women see themselves as less-than, it is only natural for the genders to conflict. A man trying to prove himself may mistreat the women he wants to overpower. A woman feeling down on herself may accept abuse that she does not deserve.Continue reading Is Woman Inferior to Man?→
According to David Garner’s survey on Body Image in America as reported in Phychlology Today:
56% of all women say they are dissatisfied with their overall appearance.
84% of women report dieting
14 % of women have been diagnosed with eating disorders- the majority being underweight.
1.5% of women say they vomit for weight control, yet do not feel they have an eating disorder. 3% use laxatives for weight loss and feel that is not a concern.
67% of women report that being around thin women makes them feel insecure. 45% say that models make them feel angry or resentful.
There are many reasons why beauty has such a stronghold on our hearts:
1. Beauty is an important part of the feminine heart.
The desire for beauty is not shallow or selfish; it is our reflection of the One who created us. Just as man was designed to glorify God with his strength, so was woman designed to draw others to Him with her beauty.
Unfortunately, our desire to be lovely can get the best of us if we focus on it too much. I suppose anything we give too much attention to can mess up our lives, but let’s think this through.
The desire to be strong or successful, is encouraged by society.
The desire for beauty, on the other hand, is not as socially acceptable.
Wether we pursue strength or beauty, we may be confronted with jealousy from time to time, but seldom will we be put to shame for such desires as to do well or be strong.
I was only in third grade when my ministry to girls with Image Issues began. I remember coming home from school broken-hearted because one of my friends was being picked on for her weight.
So what if some kids are heavy? I was skin and bones, is that wrong, too? Why are kids so mean? I don’t get it. I was baffled as a eight year old and I’m still baffled today. No two people look exactly alike, so what kind of logic says that differences are defects or deficiencies? And why should anyone be ashamed of how they look?
Variety is beautiful
I seldom got judged for being skinny, but It was that same year that the kids teased me because of how I dressed. I used to wear little bobby sox and apparently they weren’t “in style” (because children know these things!). I was the brunt of cruel jokes day after day until I finally told my mom. I was hoping she would take me shopping for long sox so that I could fit in.
Most women HATE, HIDE or get HUNG UP on their image at one point in their lives. For many, this is during the teenage years, but for some it’s at a very young age, for others it comes later in life.
When we are hurting and our self image is down, we may lash out at others, blame them, or become consumed by their needs while neglecting our own. Whether you punish yourself, shut down your heart, or try to numb the pain is a big indicator of what your personal Image Identity (Img.ID) is.
Every child wants to be loved. Little girls long to be seen and heard and to belong to something greater than themselves. We need to know we are valued. Boys do, too. They need adventure and challenge. They long to be strong and courageous and to be needed.
Yet we all have image issues at times. And some “times” last longer than others.