Beauty Is Fleeting

Monday, September 1

Today, as I was hanging out with my six (almost) seven year old step-sister, she said something that pulled on my heartstrings and made me mixed with emotions. She was telling me about her "crush." Mind you, she just started first grade and has already begun noticing the "cute boy with the mohawk and glasses." As she was telling me about him and the quirky things he does, she told me,
"He doesn't like me though because I'm not pretty."
I asked her why she thought that and she told me because there are "many other pretty girls" in class. I was speechless.. How could a six year old girl with the whole world ahead of her believe a boy won't like her because she's not pretty? My heart sank, and I couldn't find the words to tell her how beautiful she is. How could I describe to a six year old that beauty is fleeting. It is merely a breath in the width of the world, and her beauty will fade and she will still be smart, and funny, and quirky, and goofy; all the things that make her her. 

How is it that girls, and even boys, today as young as six years old are being pressured to "look" a certain way? I can't even let her pick up a magazine or watch something other than Nick Jr. without fearing she will see something that will make her feel any less than she is worth. Are we not protecting the innocent, pure hearts of these girls and boys who need to know they are worthy of far more than their external appearance? Have we forgotten how easy it is to get sucked up into media and allow our worth to be dependent on the world? Losing your self-confidence is one thing, but allowing children to feel the pain of "I'm not good enough," or "I'm not pretty enough" is too much. The most children should be worried about is that art project they're doing in art class at school or finishing the entire episode of the Fairly Odd Parents before bedtime. They shouldn't be worried about their worth, their clothes, their appearance, or their "status" in their elementary school.

As adults and young adults in a culture saturated in media, magazines, TV, internet and these places that hurt the children of the future, we need to be uplifting them and encouraging them. We need to teach them that they are perfect exactly how they are. We need to be examples of this, and the only way to do that is to embrace our differences, accept our flaws, and rejoice in our mistakes. This children who look up to us will never understand it is okay to be different than what our culture labels "worthy." They need to look onto adults who are walking in humility, acceptance, and self-confidence. They need to see adults who can love themselves. And no I don't mean conceit – I mean embracing ourselves as we've been created.


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