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Monday, March 01, 2010

Real Beauty, Fake Beauty

from Dove.com
For Valentines Day, we got our girls gift cards to Clair's jewelry and accessories.  We didn't buy them very much candy this year, so we thought a $5 gift card would be fun for them.  They loved it! We spent almost an hour in that little store as they decided what to buy.  We really got lucky, they had 80% off their clearance items, so that small gift card was able to purchase quite a bit!

Makeup (along with hair accessories and jewlry) was chosen by all 3 of them- glistening lip gloss and shimmery eye shadow.  They have had much fun playing dress up, and my oldest has even left the house with a bit of shimmer on her eyelids.  I thought about demanding she go wash her face, but it was just a hint of shimmer, so I let it go.  Later I decided that for us, this was a molehill, not a mountain. (heavy black eyeliner would be a mountain:))

Instead of getting all uptight about them using makeup, I stayed pretty relaxed about it.  I wanted to see if they would be responsible, and figure out the line of what is appropriate and what is not, on their own.
They have really done a great job, and I am very proud. My younger 2 have been playing dressup much more than usual with their new purchases, and my oldest has been experimenting with different shades and layering, which makes me smile to see the artist in her.  She has come to me and asked, "mom, is this too dark?  can you see it?  is it appropriate?"  The makeup they chose is made for kids, so the pigment is very light and see through, so it has not been a problem.

What it has done is open up some beautiful conversations about---beauty!

We have a saying in our home that is often repeated in various ways.  They go something like this:
*"What matters most is the inside"
* "It's the insides that matter"
* "What do your insides look like right now, are they as pretty as your outside?" and...
*"AHHH! I can't even look!! AHHH! your insides!!!"
(must say this dramatically, while squeezing eyes shut, when insides are not too pretty,which usually gets a giggle and then there is beauty again.)

 My girls have heard me say these phrases so many times! When I can tell they feel beautiful and are flaunting it, I tell them how pretty they look and many times follow it up with, "but..do the insides matter or the outsides?"  I even hear them ask each other that question while playing "dress-up." Pretty cute.

My oldest has been fun to watch lately.  She loves fashion, and likes to look unique.  She works with very little clothing, (most of which comes from thrift stores or garage sales) and is able to make great outfits, some I would never think to put together!  I love to see her express what her idea of beauty is, and I love that it doesn't always follow the crowd.  I try hard to let her be who God made her to be, and keep my focus on what her heart is telling me, instead of getting wrapped up in what I would want her to wear.  As long as she is modest and age appropriate, I'm a happy mom.

We have been having some deeper conversations about beauty, and I've let her watch the videos below.  I want to give her a realistic view of what is beautiful, and how the world can distort beauty and tries very hard to redefine what is beautiful.  We talked about how God is the ultimate artist who created us all to be different and unique, and how the world's message says "everyone needs to look a certain way to be ok," which is a lie.

Lightbulbs went off as she watched.  She was fascinated by the artistic side of what computers are capable of doing, and also seemed to "get it."  At the end of the first one, she said "she isn't even 'her' anymore"  which was the perfect opportunity to talk about how we can lose who we really are if we are too focused on our outsides.  It was a bit deep for her, but I know it was one more time to let truth sink into her little brain, even if it was just a nugget.

Had to add that last one.  I watched in disbelief, not knowing weather to laugh loudly or to be very frightened.  I kept thinking "oh, my, word, that is nuts!" and "I think this might give me bad dreams, both the before and after!

2 comments:

  1. My daughter is 5 so we haven't gotten into beauty yet. I LOVE the Dove video. Your daughter is so right it wasn't the same girl. I love your sayings about inner beauty. Thanks for your post.

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  2. The last video is creepy. I think I might be having a nightmare too. LOL! The inner beauty is so important to instill in our girl's mind. The earlier the better. My daughter gone through a self search inside her heart about make-up at age 12-14 when almost all of her friends were doing it. She only puts make-up on nowadays when she is going out to a special occasion or performance. She likes no make-up most days. We call that giving our face a break! :)

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