Posted by: CeCe | February 24, 2012

True beauty

As I was on the page on Facebook on which I’m a proud member of the admin (Atheists vs. Religion), I saw a member who had posted this article:

http://moms.today.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/02/24/10498893-teen-girls-ask-the-internet-am-i-ugly

and I must say, I was horrified.  I’m not even the parent of a teenage girl, but I am the proud aunt of two amazing and beautiful teenage girls, and have another niece who is fast approaching her pre-teen years.  I’m horrified because so much pressure has been put on our girls (and guys too) to fit within a very narrow definition of beauty.  And due to the prevalence of the internet and social networking, it’s gotten even worse than it was when I was a teenager.  Now, kids have access to many more people, and it’s very easy for them to be harassed and bullied by trolls who like to hide behind a computer screen.

But I don’t want to talk about the bullies and the trolls, because truthfully, they’re hardly worth the breath it takes to describe them.  They’re cowards, plain and simple, and not really worth anyone’s consideration.

What I find so troubling, though, is that there are so many who think that they do matter, to the point that several have even been pushed into ending their own life.  So often we hear of this.  So my question is, why aren’t we teaching our children that the trolls don’t matter, and that even if they don’t fit within the narrow definition of beauty that society creates, they are still beautiful and valuable?

I know it’s cliche, but it’s true:  Even if society in general tries to force you to fit within a narrow definition of beauty, their opinion does not matter.  What matters is that you cultivate within yourself intelligence, wisdom, patience, open-mindedness, compassion, empathy, kindness, generosity, creativity, humor, and love for yourself, others, and the Earth (and, if applicable, God).  Those who matter will recognize those qualities in you and give them the recognition they deserve.  Those who don’t matter won’t (which is why they don’t matter!).  I think we need to stress this to our children, pound it into their heads until they believe it and live it.

I’d like to close with what I believe is a very important Bible passage, which I think everyone can agree with, Christian or not.

Philippians 4:8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

I believe that we can also see this as advising us to focus on these things; if we do, the rest will fall into place.  As cliche as it is, true beauty comes from within, and this is something that we absolutely must teach our children.   That way they won’t ever have to ask strangers if they’re beautiful or not; they’ll know that the answer is a resounding YES!

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Responses

  1. […] said before that it’s much more important to cultivate “intelligence, wisdom, patience, […]


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