If there is one thing you should know about these blog posts that I mange to get scribbled onto paper, forming them into some semblance of sense, it is that a lot of them are stirred by lyrical words. I’ll be making a batch of muffins with my bright orange ear buds in and whatever my new favorite song is will be blaring into my ears, and this is when I am often struck by what I think has potential as a blog post. That is the case with this one.
What does “self respect” mean to you?
To some that may seem like an easy answer but is it? Do we really think about what it means to respect ourselves – to live how we want to be seen? In this big, mean world there are any number of things that tear us down – and we, foolish humans that we are, allow them to. One such platform being social media: For some inexplicable reason, we are addicted to it. Time and again we foolishly return to its “pull,” in a sense bending us to its will, and cannot seem to break away from something that has the power to be destructive. What is it about this trend that has us under its thumb or the worldview of what is “beauty” that can reduce us to tears – or worse?
Back to that original question: How do you define self worth?
To me, it means knowing how to stand up for yourself. Whether it be in a relationship with a guy who doesn't respect you, or dressing in a way that suggests you don't want respect.
In the world of social media, I see a lot of good. There are blogs and twitter feeds that bring a smile to my face every day. Their nature is a positive one that is meant to encourage people, not hurt or look down on their peers – and I applaud that. I see the Internet as something that can be used for good when we use the tool properly and in moderation. Recently there has been some hullabaloo about bullying. It isn’t something “new” considering parents and advocates around the world fight for it to end or those who are passionate about its cause after being touched personally. This all came about after a film was released on this very subject. The world is not kind to anyone who does not conform to their ideal of “perfect” or beauty – or it is fair to say that there are a lot of circles in which this is truth. Adapt to their codes of acceptability, make compromises, or be ousted from the “cool club.” Day after day, images are impressed upon us of size “0” models in a fashion catalog or the gorgeous actress that so many young girls look up to and in a fashion, modeled their lives after. Everything tells us that we need to either be “that” Miss Skinny or we are “overweight.” That we should maintain our size-X body or we are unhealthy. In the last two months, I’ve gone on a few shopping excursions in which I have bought clothes because I was excited about some of the things they were showing this year. One of the things that blew me away was browsing the “junior’s section,” and seeing the cute, brightly-colored size-zero shorts that looked more appropriate to cover my favorite doll than a live person.
The last year has seen an awesome group of powerhouse of female artist’s record songs about recognizing our inner-beauty and realizing that no matter what anyone may have told us or whispered behind our backs we are beautiful and can have a positive influence on this walk of life. One such song was written by Britt Nicole and is overflowing with lyrics that tell us we are worth more than “gold,” that our life matters because we are beautiful on the inside – a beauty that overflows on the outside – because we are cherished by Him. Carrie Underwood also sang a beautiful song that encourages us not to let the “mirror mirror on the wall” deceive us and the lovely Katherine McPhee wrote one appropriately called, “Beautiful.” I don’t know if the songs meant anything personally to the artist and writers but they have poignant, messages. Also with a winning purpose was an episode of Jane by Design in which Jane is tasked with interviewing high school students about the fashion trends of a high schooler – who their idols are and what trends they follow. What she learns – and the point of the episode – is that the students are individuals who come from all different walks of life, young people who are making their own statements and don’t want to be “told” what is cool and what isn’t because they what to develop their own unique style. My argument here is not to further a PC platform but instead to say that no matter what our features are or the color of our hair, beauty is not something our concept is defined on. Beauty isn’t the outward, it is what’s inside that counts. We all lose sight of that but that is where our true “gold” is hidden.
Forget about the actress whose seemingly perfect face (I’ve got a secret about that model: She is far from flawless. Remember that) you saw plastered across the latest issue of Glamour, shuck the idea that you are not “important,” and instead realize you are special. God holds you in the palm of His hand – His love for you is beyond knowledge. Go shine.