She showed up at our place around Christmas. A gift from a relative for my two year old daughter, who at the time gave her little interest. This past month she was rediscovered in a pile of toys and suddenly became the “mommy” to go along with our “dad.” I was recruited to play along, and suddenly, as now a mom, I began to see Barbie in an entirely different light: Her beauty, her sex appeal, her toned figure and large breasts.
She is perfect.
She is the image we are giving to our little girls. Not just grown women are being touched by our beauty epidemic:
Everywhere you turn it smacks you in the face, throwing itself upon our precious daughters. As much as we try to shield them, throw all the Barbie dolls into the dumpster, it is still there.
The billboard as we drive down the road; the magazine at the check out line; the banner as we walk through the mall; the commercial playing on the restaurant’s television. All this before they even enter preschool.
It is everywhere. We know it is.
What can we do about it?
What if the emphases of our house had nothing to do with physical looks, and instead the attributes of true beauty?
Society reflects on physical beauty, obsesses about it. What if we took the focus off of it? Thinking more on the needs of others than ourselves. Our passion becoming them rather than a pretty face.
What if our family began to help children not as fortunate as ourselves? Those who have been injured, are sick, are dying. Our heart crying to bring a ray of light and hope their way–they who do not care how skinny we come, how much our hair shines.
What if we began to read about other people? Those whose bellies stick out from hunger and not anorexia. Our tears shed for their pain instead of our shapeless figure or stubby fingers.
My children are young and yet my daughter, according to research, is already so old.
Will you join me?
Let us fight for our girls.
May they not struggle in the ways we did. May they not see a mom worrying about her figure, but instead filled with the worry of how to bring love and help to all those in need. May they not see themselves as too short, too tall, too fat, too thin, but rather as strong and capable girls, ready to bring comfort and hope to those hurting inside.
Is my dream too big? Am I shooting for the impossible? I do not know. This is my first time being a mom.
I do know I am going to try.
With everything in me I am going to try.
In our house, may passion and focus be not pretty dresses and shoes, although they are nice to wear some days. May our fervor be for the one who has traded in her dress for a hospital gown; the one who could never afford such a nice thing; the one who does not even know what a pretty dress is.
May true beauty forever be our goal.