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5 Conversations: Beauty is Only Skin Deep

5 Conversations You Must Have With Your DaughterA friend’s husband posted this video on my Facebook today, and it ties into the first conversation from 5 Conversations You Must Have With Your Daughter by Vicki Courtney so well that I have spent the morning trying to word a post for it.

Chapter 1 of the book is entitled, “Pretty Packaging.” Within that chapter, you find that an author named Joan Jacobs researched girls’ diaries and journals from the late 1800’s to the early 1900’s. In her book, The Body Project, she reports that she found that “before World War I, girls rarely mentioned their bodies in terms of strategies for self-improvement or struggles for personal identity.” She states:

“When girls in the nineteenth century thought about ways to improve themselves, they almost always focused on their internal characters and how it was reflected in outward behavior. In 1882, the personal agenda of an adolescent read, ‘Resolved, not to talk about myslef or feelings. To think before speaking. To work seriously. To be self restrained in conversations and actions. Not to let my thoughts wander. To be dignified. Interest myself more than others.” She notes that for girls in that time period, “character was built on attention to self-control, service to others, and belief in God.”

What changed after World War I? Mirrors were introduced into the home. And as they became popular, women began scrutinizing their bodies and comparing them to other women’s bodies. In the 1920’s, on the heels of the introduction of the above-the-sink bathroom mirror, cosmetics became popular. And then the compact sales soared, because they allowed women to scrutinize themselves and repair any damage while out and about.

Shortly after, bathroom scales were introduced into the picture. Brumberg writes that when young women left home in the 1800’s, they would write to their mothers happy about healthy weight gain and voracious eating habits. When the household scale followed in the footsteps of the bathroom mirror, by the 1920’s, women began worrying over weight gain and food restriction (dieting) because a common topic. As Vicki Courtney writes, the shift from virtue to vanity has been on a runaway train ever since.

She spends a good portion discussing the Photoshop makeovers and airbrushing of magazine covers and billboards, and how detrimental it is to our perception of beauty. Kaylee and I read all of this a couple of weeks ago, then I saw this video today:

It is SUCH a vivid example of exactly what Vicki Courtney was addressing.

So, I was driving down the road this afternoon and heard this song. I’ve heard it before, but I’ve never tied it into all of this until now. I’ve posted the lyrics below, because the lyrics are IMPORTANT.

Jonny Diaz – More Beautiful You
From the album More Beautiful You

Little girl fourteen flipping through a magazine
Says she wants to look that way
But her hair isn’t straight
her body isn’t fake And she’s always felt overweight

Well little girl fourteen I wish that you could see
That beauty is within your heart
And you were made with such care
your skin your body your hair
Are perfect just the way you are

There could never be a more beautiful you
Don’t buy the lies disguises and hoops they make you jump through You were made to fill a purpose that only you could do
So there could never be a more beautiful you

Little girl twenty-one the things that you’ve already done Anything to get ahead
And you say you’ve got a man but he’s got another plan
Only wants what you will do instead

Well little girl twenty-one you never thought that this would come You starve yourself to play the part
But I can promise you there’s a man whose love is true
And he’ll treat you like the jewel that you are

Chorus
So turn around you’re not too far
To back away be who you are
To change your path go another way
It’s not too late you can be saved

If you feel depressed with past regrets
The shameful nights hope to forgets
Can disappear they can all be washed away
By the one who’s strong can right your wrongs

Can rid your fears dry all your tears
And change the way you look at this big world
He will take your dark distorted view
And with his light he will show you truth
And again you’ll see through the eyes of a little girl

Label: INO Records

Hallee


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