You are a daughter of your Heavenly Father, who loves you.
He knows what you can become through Faith in Him.
Accept who you are.
You are unique. You are beautiful in God's eyes. You are His creation.
How do we forget all that?
How do we rationalize that away?
How do we justify our disbelief?
How do we lose our faith in Him?
How do we lose who we really are?
"You can’t live your life worrying that the world is staring at you. When you let people’s opinions make you self-conscious you give away your power. … The key to feeling [confident] is to always listen to your inner self—[the real you.]” And in the kingdom of God, the real you is “more precious than rubies.”
"Every young woman is a child of destiny and every adult woman a powerful force for good. I mention adult women because, sisters, you are our greatest examples and resource for these young women. And if you are obsessing over being a size 2, you won’t be very surprised when your daughter or the Mia Maid in your class does the same and makes herself physically ill trying to accomplish it. We should all be as fit as we can be—that’s good Word of Wisdom doctrine. That means eating right and exercising and helping our bodies function at their optimum strength. We could probably all do better in that regard. But I speak here of optimum health; there is no universal optimum size."
"Frankly, the world has been brutal with you in this regard. You are bombarded in movies, television, fashion magazines, and advertisements with the message that looks are everything! The pitch is, “If your looks are good enough, your life will be glamorous and you will be happy and popular.” That kind of pressure is immense in the teenage years, to say nothing of later womanhood. In too many cases too much is being done to the human body to meet just such a fictional (to say nothing of superficial) standard. As one Hollywood actress is reported to have said recently: “We’ve become obsessed with beauty and the fountain of youth. … I’m really saddened by the way women mutilate [themselves] in search of that. I see women [including young women] … pulling this up and tucking that back. It’s like a slippery slope. [You can’t get off of it.] … It’s really insane … what society is doing to women.”
"In terms of preoccupation with self and a fixation on the physical, this is more than social insanity; it is spiritually destructive, and it accounts for much of the unhappiness women, including young women, face in the modern world. And if adults are preoccupied with appearance—tucking and nipping and implanting and remodeling everything that can be remodeled—those pressures and anxieties will certainly seep through to children. At some point the problem becomes what the Book of Mormon called “vain imaginations.” And in secular society both vanity and imagination run wild. One would truly need a great and spacious makeup kit to compete with beauty as portrayed in media all around us. Yet at the end of the day there would still be those “in the attitude of mocking and pointing their fingers” as Lehi saw, because however much one tries in the world of glamour and fashion, it will never be glamorous enough." (Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, Ensign Nov 2005)
The most beautiful women I know are natural. They are unique. They are imperfect. Sometimes when women are so obsessed with what's on the outside they forget to work on the inside... and that is not beautiful. No amount of covering will make it so.
Ultimately this outward desire for beauty isn't about one person. We each affect others for good or ill. Young ladies watch us. They learn what is "normal" from us. They learn whether or not they can accept who they are...through us. We don't have a choice in the matter - they watch - what sacrifices are we willing to make so that they can have a better story to tell?
One of my favorite children's books is a Cuban folktale - retold by Carmen Agra Deedy. In the story, Martina, the Beautiful Cockroach meets a few different suitors. Each suitor asks Martina the same question, "Martina Josefina Catalina Cucaracha, beautiful muchacha, won't you be wife?" The last suitor... a little mouse named Perez is her soul mate. I love their dialog:
"Hola, hello." His voice was like warm honey. "My name is Perez."
"Hola," she whispered shyly, "I'm Martina--"
"--the beautiful cockroach," he finished for her.
"You think I'm beautiful?"
The little mouse turned pink under his fur. "Well, my eyes are rather weak, but I have excellent EARS. I know you are strong and good, Martina Josefina Catalina Cucaracha." Then he squinted sweetly, "Who cares if you are beautiful?"
"Who cares if you are beautiful?" - if you have what is most important? We should maybe, obsess a little more about what is going on inside us, seek to cure it, improve it, or maintain it...rather than lust after a skewed view of "beauty".
Together we can let that divine nature... radiate through all our sisters.
(the blog homework tonight is private... this post was inspired by the positive nature of it...because when we focus on the negative we undergo frivolous operations.)