In silence we stood in the steamy bathroom in silence when I whispered, “You don’t think you’re good enough do you?
I saw her looking at herself, and I could see the mental list Cheyenne was checking off in her head. Her hair — too curly. Her complexion — not perfect. Her height — too tall.
What I saw was different, a woman-child coming into her own with so many talents and gifts to offer the world, some she hadn’t even discovered at the time.
She asked me to brush out her tangles. We stood in the steamy bathroom in silence when I whispered, “You don’t think you’re good enough do you?”
Tears filled her hazel eyes, threatening to spill over, and I wanted to hug the hurt out of her. I wanted to hug away the lies and the pain she felt. Breaking the silence, I say:
“Darlin’, beauty isn’t about what the world thinks. It’s the courage to be who you’re created to be from the inside out. Being a woman is living in the strength to be authentic in your own skin and not what the world paints femininity to be.”
Several years ago, my daughter fell apart looking at herself in the bathroom mirror. In the middle of eighth grade, she questioned her identity because of messages from bullies, the media and so many other issues our culture blares about femininity.
Beauty, femininity and power have long been headlines and the topic of conversations from women sitting around the table to mothers hugging their daughters and wiping their tears; the Super Bowl halftime show was no exception.
In anticipation, we waited for the show, and, sadly enough, my friends and I sent all the kids out of the room when Beyonce’s rump shaking came on the screen. My own cheeks turning red, I stood and blocked the screen with my body. I didn’t want those images to sink their way into my kids’ heads.
Let’s call it what it is. Her performance and outfit were soft porn. I don’t want my son to think a woman dressing or acting that way is how women should act, performance or not.
My daughters? I want them to value their bodies and not think that in order to be accepted they have to be provocative or scandalous in any shape or form.
So my words this week are directed toward every daughter, every woman. You are powerful because you are YOU.
You were made to be freedom makers, record breakers, peacemakers, ceiling breakers, dream makers, child caretakers, village raisers, career makers.
You were made for more, not for the pleasure of men. You have gifts, talents, abilities that were meant to make this world a better place. Beauty and femininity aren’t about perfection, being normal or fitting in. It’s about being uniquely you despite what the media says we should be.
Beauty isn’t about makeup or being skinny or showing your skin.
Beauty isn’t about having it all together.
Beauty is standing out.
Beauty is using your brains, your talents and your abilities to leave a legacy for the next generation.
As a woman in my 30s I’m ready to have strong , intelligent, women role models who don’t draw their power from beauty and sexuality. So I leave you with a quote from one of my favorite authors, Lisa Bevere in her book “Girls with Swords.”
“Our present culture is more likely to encourage women to dishonor their bodies with immodesty, impropriety, obesity and other eating disorders, than to honor their bodies through modesty, propriety, and moderation. What were once commonly held as virtues — integrity, a good name and a sterling reputation — are no longer celebrated in our culture’s songs. You are more likely to hear lewd dance moves, expensive accessories, fast cars and women flocking to men who flash cash in the club. Seduction has been substituted for beauty, and the power of manipulation is rewarded over the influence of wisdom.”
Posted: Saturday, February 13, 2016 12:08 am | Updated: 2:18 pm, Sat Feb 13, 2016.
HEATHER RIGGLEMAN | Chasing Perfect www.Kearneyhub.com