Blast from the Past — My Daughter the Barbie

I read an article the other day, and it did nothing more than break my heart for this little girl.  Here she is, just a baby really, and she has no one telling her how she was fearfully and wonderfully made.  She has no one telling her that she’s beautiful.  It’s literally heartbreaking to me as a parent and as a female.  This girl is not much older than my son.  I can’t imagine him even knowing what plastic surgery is or about some of the other things discussed in this article – much less practicing them.

This 7 year old girl not only has been given vouchers (by her mom) for breast augmentation (after she’s 16 when it’s legal) and liposuction, but  her mom also taught her to pole dance last year!  Her older sisters have already had plastic surgery, and the mom has given herself the name “The Human Barbie” because of all of the work she’s had done.  This 7 year old apparently asks constantly for the things these vouchers are good for.  How does she even know about this stuff?

To Parents

I know I usually talk more to the girls, but sometimes we as parents need our eyes to be opened to some of the things we do and say that can negatively affect our kids without us even realizing it.  Did you know research shows that girls used to start worrying about self-image on average around age 9?  Now they say they’re finding more preschoolers and kindergarteners who are concerned about body image.  Did you also know that the low self-image usually begins from things girls hear from their parents?

If you are a parent, I bet you might be thinking you haven’t done or said anything to make your daughter question her self-image.  My husband and I thought the same thing, but we quickly realized there were a few things that we had unknowingly done that could plant seeds of low self-image in both of our children.

Take a peek at some things that could be happening in your home without you even realizing it.  Do you ever:

  • Look in the mirror and say, “My nose is too big.  I wish I was taller.  I wish my eyes were blue” or anything along those lines about yourself? 
    • Now look at it from your daughter’s perspective.  What happens when someone tells her she has your nose?  She heard you saying your nose is too big, so that means her nose is too big.  Her eyes aren’t blue.  Does that mean something’s wrong with her?
  • Joke with your husband that he has funny ears (or something along those lines)? 
    • Again, what happens when your daughter (or son) hears that she (or he) has Daddy’s ears?
  • Talk about how you need to lose weight, say you’re fat, or constantly stand on the scale? 
    • Your daughter is watching.  Do you want her to think that way?  (This doesn’t mean you can’t work to improve your health, but be aware of listening ears and eyes that take everything in)She looks at you and sees something beautiful, and when you do these things, you’re making her question what beautiful looks like –seriously this came straight from God and just spoke directly to me like a bolt of lightning!
    • for that matter, what about your son?  He, too, thinks you are the most beautiful woman in the world.  If you criticize yourself, his view of beauty begins to become skewed.  What will that do to his future wife?
  • Talk to other people about your kids saying things like, “She’s just like me and not good at math”? 
    • Now she can write off math because you said she’s not good at it.  In her mind there’s no need to try to improve because you never improved, therefore she is not capable of it.
  • Dye your hair? 
    • I know this sounds petty, but depending on the sensitivity of your child, she could be looking at your natural color (which just happens to be the same as hers) and see that you don’t think it’s pretty enough–meaning she’s not pretty enough. 
  • Diet constantly? 
    • This goes back to the weight point above.  Do you want her to already start thinking that way?  Instead of dieting (which is not effective), teach your children and yourself to eat healthy, balanced meals and not feel guilty for splurging on occasion.

I could go on, but I think you probably get the idea.  My husband and I realized we did several of these things without thinking about the impact it could potentially have on our kids.  It’s difficult for your daughter to hear (and believe) how beautiful she is and how she was fearfully and wonderfully made right after she heard you saying your nose was too big.  She remembers that Grandma told her just the other day that she has your nose.

Think through conversations you’ve had with your spouse even at times when you’re just joking around.  Think through things you’ve said about yourself with little ears around.  The battle of body-image and self-worth begins at home.  Build that firm foundation before sending them out into a world saturated with unattainable images.

Your words should be uplifting and encouraging in every possible way.  There might possibly be little things said that meant nothing to you but could mean everything to your babies.

Back to the Article

This mom’s reason for giving her 7 year old daughter these types of gifts for Christmas and her birthday is that it’s comparable to saving for college.  In her words, “I see these vouchers as investing in her future, like saving money for her education.” 

She doesn’t at all see it as telling her daughter she’s going to grow up not being pretty enough.  To add to it, she has placed all importance on outward appearance, which is absolutely detrimental to any young girl.  “I’m just supporting her and making her dreams come true. Looks are a big part of how our futures pan out – there shouldn’t be a stigma around wanting to look good.”   This girl can’t have breast augmentation until after 16.  Does that mean she will go through the next 10 years feeling inadequate?

To the Girls

Please don’t allow yourself to fall into this completely unhealthy way of thinking.  You are worth far too much to place all of your value on your outward appearance.  You are worth far too much to think your outward appearance isn’t adequate. 

I’ve said it many times before, and I’ll say it again.  You are absolutely beautiful.  You were fearfully and wonderfully created by the creator of EVERYTHING BEAUTIFUL.  Don’t question what he chose for you.  I promise you that he didn’t mess up, and I promise you that the boy he has in mind for you will see the beauty he created with no changes necessary.

I would really love to hear your thoughts about this article.  Click below to read, and come back here to tell me your thoughts.  Feel free to comment on the things I’ve said above whether you agree or disagree.

Article  The Human Barbie

Related links I found helpful:
Too Fat to be a Princess?

Flashback — From My Past

http://www.cafleurebon.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/single-rose.jpg

I wanted to share something I wrote when I was 17.  I used to dabble in poetry in my younger days, and I actually wrote this for my husband when he and I were first dating.  Out of everything I’ve written, this one remains etched in my brain because it was so different from anything I had ever written.

As I was taking a morning stroll, I saw something glistening alone in a field.  I couldn’t keep from staring at it wondering what it was.  My curiosity soon won me over and led me to this lonely object.  As I came closer to it, I realized it was a rose lightly kissed with the morning dew.  I couldn’t understand how or why it was all by itself.  It was so beautiful yet needing something.  Not sure what, I picked it from the ground trying to be careful of its thorns.  As I looked closer, however, I noticed that unlike most roses, this one had none.  The petals were perfect in their shape and formed the most perfect rosebud I’d ever seen.  Then an illuminating fragrance danced around my nose.  The rose had a wonderful fragrance unlike any other flower.  Simply holding this rose in my hand made me feel alive inside.  At that point, I realized what this beautiful flower had been missing.  It needed someone that would take care of it and love it for what it truly was; not just a rose, but a beautiful part of nature that God led me to find.

©1996 Misty Terral
©2012 Fearfully Made Ministries, LLC

Jigsaw

It may sound strange, but I’ve been thinking about puzzles a lot lately.  I used to love putting puzzles together because, even though I became frustrated sometimes, I felt a sense of pride and accomplishment once it was completed.

Some puzzles are incredibly easy while others can really challenge a person.  I enjoy the challenging ones with great detail capturing something stunning once the puzzle is perfectly pieced together.

Have you ever looked at two pieces and just knew without a doubt they were supposed to connect?  Everything about them just look right, and they interlock with ease.   I get excited when I can pick two pieces out of the pile and just know they were created to connect.  I guess I’m like a kid in that sense.

Appearances Aren’t Everything

The funny thing about puzzles is often you can find pieces that look incredibly similar.  Every once-in-a-while I pick up what appears to be two perfectly matched pieces, and I lay them side-by-side to interlock as they were created to do, but they don’t quite fit together as easily as the others.  I look at the picture on the box and see that the two pieces seem to match up.  I look at the shape of the pieces, and they appear to be a perfect fit, so why do I have trouble getting them to snap together easily like all the others?  Sometimes I even question if maybe something messed up in the cutting process, and I manipulate them until they finally snap into place.

The closer I get to the finished product, the more I notice the puzzle isn’t flat like it should be.  In the middle of the picture right where those two “perfect” pieces are, the picture arches, and nothing I do can make it stay flat.  Then, I get to then end, and I have one piece left.  It’s obvious this one doesn’t fit in the only available space.

What I quickly realize is that even though those two other pieces appear to be perfect for one another, they weren’t created to be pieced together.  I was forcing them to match up because everything looked perfect, but nothing I could do made them work.  Even when I step back, the picture looks right, but looking from an angle, I see something just isn’t working.  It’s not until I see the final piece that doesn’t fit into the last place that I notice I originally chose the wrong one.  I got overly anxious and saw something that appeared perfect in every way, so I connected the two.  I didn’t realize the creator of the puzzle made a similar looking piece that actually fits perfectly without a forced connection.

What a difference it makes to interlock the correct pieces together!  When that happens, the entire puzzle falls into place just as it was intended to.

Don’t Rush

You and I were created to have relationships.  Just like those puzzle pieces, there was someone specifically designed for you.  Too many times we find ourselves rushing to find “the one,” so we sometimes force a connection that appears to be right in most ways even though the connection is off a little.

Similar to the puzzle, that relationship might be sufficient for a while, but the more pieces you add into your life, the more you’ll see you two weren’t designed for one another.  It doesn’t mean something’s wrong with you, and it doesn’t mean something’s wrong with the other person.  It simply means you got overly excited when you saw someone who appeared to be exactly what you were looking for, so you grabbed onto him and forced a relationship when the one God perfectly designed for you just hadn’t made his way into your life yet.

When you jump into a relationship that wasn’t intended for you, you’ll see that the more pieces you both add to your lives, the more unbalanced the picture becomes.

I know it’s easy to grab the first guy who appears to be exactly what you’re looking for.  It’s hard to pass up someone who seems perfect in every way.  The thing is, he is perfect, but it might be that he’s perfect for someone else, and you’re forcing a relationship that wasn’t God-breathed.  Be patient and wait until that guy comes along that God intended for you.   

Sometimes the perfect puzzle piece jumps right out at you early on, but sometimes it takes a little longer and may even be the final piece that completes the picture.  Either way, the connection between the two is perfect, and if you patiently wait for the right piece, you’ll be able to step back and see a beautiful and perfectly balanced picture.