My fourth child was due to arrive just before Christmas. We were building a home at the time and it was not ready for occupancy. I remember feeling anxious about bringing a newborn home to our temporary living situation–a large, open room over my brother-in-law’s garage. With two young boys and another young family within earshot, I feared the sleepless nights would be a problem for the whole house.
Every mom wants her nest in order–beautifully decorated and sanitized–before her new baby arrives.But it doesn’t always happen that way.
Imagine how Mother Mary felt ridding a donkey across the country during the “nesting stage” of her first pregnancy.
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.
A girl, or woman, who is struggling to find herself is facing what I call the Beauty Battle. It doesn’t matter what her image issue is, somehow it relates to beauty for us girls.
If I were prettier, I’d be more confident!
Know Who You Are
Overcoming the conflict is all about understanding yourself. You don’t have to become a supermodel to become confident. You just need to own your identity, appreciate your good qualities and respect your areas of weakness.
Perfection isn’t pretty anyway, so let it go!
Many boys and girls understand themselves quickly. It’s easier for some to know what they like, whereas some people ponder their preferences. If that’s you, don’t condemn your indecisiveness, try to figure out why the uncertainty.
Are you afraid to choose?
Do you like all the options?
In my experience, many people are afraid of making choices, but there is one style that has a very hard time knowing what she wants. The Ingénue. I used to think her indecisiveness was fear, but now realize it’s complacency. This non-judgmental, empathetic Delicate Beauty really does like all the options. It’s not that she is un-opinionated, it’s more that her heart is so compassionate that her opinion is usually approval.
This presents a few complications when it comes to her image.
Many people (of all ages) grow old still not understanding themselves. Beth Moore tells us in her book So Long, Insecurity: You’ve Been a Bad Friend to Us that most women don’t feel confident until they are in their sixties! In my experience, it is far harder for people with a combination personality (clothing or character) to understand themselves. Why? Because sometimes your own opinion conflicts with itself.
Maybe you are in the mist of a Beauty Battle, or maybe you left the battlefield wounded and insecure. I want to encourage you to take some time to understand yourself. One of the best ways to find healing is to realize the God who created you accepts you and to learn to accept yourself. If you have two personalities that fight with each other, find a way to balance them in a way that honors your true heart. BE who you were designed to be because, without a doubt, that is the way to be a true, Confident Beauty.
After 30 years in the beauty industry as both a cosmetologist and an image consultant, my greatest passion is to use my training as a Biblical life-coach to inspire other women to overcome Confidence Conflicts like I have had to. If you liked this article, please connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Linked In and Goodreads or consider having me speak at your next event. Visit http://catrinawelch.com for more information.
Many factors have made me hyper-sensitive to family dynamics recently: My pastor has been preaching a series on relationships, I am preparing for a mother / daughter event, I am finishing up a child’s book about the six styles of children, and most significantly, cancer has invaded my strong, influential father and I am getting a lot of extra time with my extended family as we all join efforts in helping my parents through the fight of a life-time.
How wonderful and pleasant it is
when brothers live together in harmony! ~Psalm 133:1
When is the last time someone said something encouraging to you as a person?
You are very good at that.
You are so strong!
You are beautiful.
I hope it was this morning that someone validated you as a person, but I know that in reality it may have been a long time since you have heard a positive statement about your looks, strengths or qualities. For some reason, most of us hold back from “speaking life” over each other.
“Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live!-Deuteronomy 30:19
Not all Confidence Conflicts are Beauty Battles. Attacks on our identity come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Most of these conflicts are mountains–whether we made them out of molehills or not.
Nineteen years ago today, my husband and I faced one of our biggest mountains: the loss of our daughter.
Grief is a very real and very difficult Confidence Conflict, which leaves you feeling small and overwhelmed. Emotions are raw, vision is blurred and the path to peace is hard to find. There were many times during our journey when we lost our way, broke down, gave up or separated from each other emotionally. We did, however, make a decision to reunite and help each other over the mountain of grief. Eventually we found our way through the woods, but I don’t believe we would have made it to higher ground if we hadn’t called out to God for help. Continue reading Finding Strength in the Confidence Conflicts→
The Dramatic woman is just that: passionately expressive. Conversations with her are very deep and theatrically infused with emotional word-pictures. She’s a rather private person, but somehow doesn’t mind the spot light. In fact, many Dramatics take up their profession in the fine arts and are often found in the theaters or on television. These girls (and guys) put their whole heart into their performance and their long, lean physique is easy on the camera.
The Gamine Beauty is a strong, witty, hardworking, witty woman who is driven by justice. She has an eye for detail and a passion for purpose. No grass grows under her feet. If there is work to be done, the Gamine girl will get it done. Or she will tell someone to do it. If there’s fun to be had, you can’t hold her back there, either. “ALL IN” that’s the Gamine mantra.