Some days, I get downright angry at what our culture is doing to our daughters. On all the other days, it makes me flat out mad!
From birth, we teach our girls to look for their flaws. Broad noses and sunken eyes must be masked with cosmetics. White skin has to be tanned. Dark hair has to be bleached. Light hair needs to be darkened. Every little blemish must be covered.
By the time she is grown, your daughter will be spending two weeks out of every year putting on her makeup. During her lifetime, she will spend more than three years and $300,000 covering the “flaws” in the face that God and nature gave her.
If she’s thin and pretty enough while she’s still in school, she can be a cheerleader or maybe even perform with the dance team. Then she can put on a barely-there outfit and perform all kinds of sexual gyrations before hundreds of spectators. Between performances, and with a straight face, we’ll warn her about people who will try to exploit her sexuality for their own enjoyment.
But if she isn’t quite so skinny, maybe she can sell hotdogs in the concession stand. Or play clarinet in the band. Or just sit her straight-A self up in the stands and clap for her prettier and thinner sisters. Anything that doesn’t require her to be skinny and pretty.
We talk about character and content of the heart, but reward appearance and talent.
We show them how their fingerprints, their eyes, and their voices are unique and different than any other human’s, but then demonstrate how some fingers and eyes and voices deserve more recognition and appreciation than others.
What’s wrong with us?
Do we honestly think they don’t see right through our superficial values? Do we really think that doesn’t affect how they feel and think about themselves? Or about how we perceive them? Or about how they are perceived by others?
I’m done with a world that makes my daughter feel like she is less than acceptable because of physical features she did not choose and cannot change. Our girls grow up thinking that God doesn’t like them as much as He likes their thinner and more talented sisters.
Does that not bother you?
This profane value system of ours not only scars the women who don’t measure up to the runway model’s standard for beauty, but it also shames the ones who do. While the pretty and thin women may accept the rewards that come with being born beautiful and perfectly perform as society demands, inside they know that the world loves them only because of how they look. Too few care about what’s inside or how these women feel, and seldom give them a chance to meaningfully or intelligently contribute to any significant discussion or decision. And they know it.
Congratulations to us! We’ve perpetuated a value system that makes all of our daughters feel insecure at the same time.
So, as they leave school and go off to college and to work, they become part of the most addicted and most in-debt adult cohort in human history; the addictions and the indebtedness indicators of human beings with low self-esteem desperately seeking something to numb the shame.
And they are our daughters.
But we keep right on conditioning the next generation to accept the same life sentence. We can’t wait to dress our baby girls in cheerleader uniforms and dancers’ outfits, and buy them little make-up kits so they can pretend to be all grown up — and adjusted to a world that celebrates external beauty and form, but gives only a passing nod to feminine intelligence, creativity, and ingenuity.
Our daughters deserve better.
So why do we keep running on the same old treadmill?
Dads, why do you tolerate your daughters being turned into sexual objects?
Moms, why do you insist on passing to your daughters that feeling of never being good enough that you had to live through?
It’s got to stop!
If what we’ve been doing is working so well, if today’s lifestyle is so much better than that of the 1950’s, if today’s ladies have it better than their great-grandmothers, then why are we showing all the signs of feeling badly about ourselves in such record numbers?
If our current lifestyle is so wonderful, please explain why the suicide rate for young girls between the ages of ten and fourteen has tripled in the last fifteen years.
You can say I’m behind the times or label me a boring and unsophisticated baboon, but I refuse to let this culture force my daughters into its sensually-driven, small-minded mold. My daughters are more than just their physical appearance. I’m convinced the Bible is right: they were purposely and lovingly formed by their Creator. And I’m further convinced that using the Bible as a guide for life will lead them to opportunities to develop to its highest potential every quality God gave them.
I realize that choosing this life for my daughters will force them to swim against the current. It will make them stand out in a society that demands they fit in. I know that some days they will not like me and will be unhappy with my decisions. I’m prepared to deal with that. I’m willing to spend a few unpleasant days so that they might have a pleasant forever. I hope they will grow to appreciate the choices I made for them, but even if they don’t, I’ll be content knowing that I gave them every opportunity to rise above the small-mindedness of this shallow, self-centered culture who sees them only as creatures to exploit.
God, please help our daughters!