Today’s post is from a new friend, Maria Furlough.
Last month Maria sent me a copy of her new book, and all I have to say is that it is a LIFE CHANGING, MUST READ for every mom and dad on the planet!! One of the top 5 books I have ever read on parenting.
Read the post and leave a comment to win a free copy of her must have, must read book.
So here’s Maria!!Yup! This is me at 13 years old. Who knew? Who knew that this beautiful, young, innocent 13 year old girl thought she was fat and immeasurably imperfect. I cannot emphasize enough how sad it makes me to look back at this photo and think about how much I hated looking in the mirror. I think about how I overly analyzed every small detail of my body and had a long list of attributes that needed drastic changing. But my sadness is not for the girl you see in this photo and the loss of her innocence…the sadness comes from the realization that every single day young girls everywhere go to war on themselves over the way they think that they look. I so badly don’t want them to be like me.
It seems hopeless. Physical beauty has seemingly won over the hearts of every teenage heart from here to Timbuktu. Insecurity now seems like a rite of passage, something we all just deal with on a daily basis. Call me naive or call me unrealistically optimistic…but I sincerely believe that things are going to change. Something is wrongly broken in our culture if the young lady in this picture, the young lady in your home, your class, or your neighborhood looks at her perfectly made body and thinks one word: fat.
The good news is you no longer need to be a sideliner. Will you join me in taking tiny steps from stopping it from damaging one more innocent young lady?
Step 1 Take a verbal stance against physical beauty obsessions in your home. When I was in college I finally sought out some help for myself. I had hit rock bottom with obsessive dieting and taking diet pills, so I decided to seek counsel and the most valuable thing he said to me had to do with the home environment I lived in. He told to me go home and ask my parents, siblings, grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles to stop making comments about my physical appearance…good or bad. Negative comments fed my insecurities and positive comments motivated me to continue with my destructive habits. There is nothing wrong with adoring, admiring, and appreciating the beauty of the women around you, but please remember beauty does not always need to be physical.
Step 2 Give your own mind a break. If you are a Mom challenge yourself to think about how you much you dwell on your own looks. If you are a Dad think about how you talk about Mom or women in general. If you are a brother or a sister, a friend, or a grandparent…where does your confidence lie? Give your own insecurities some time off. I fired mine this past year and everyone in my life is better for it.
Step 3 Decide what you truly believe about beauty. Truth is, people say the right thing all the time…that it doesn’t matter how you look or what size you are or that “true beauty lies within.” But then why are we surrounded by a world obsessed with physical perfection? All we have control over is our own minds and our own homes… in my family we have claimed war against an emphasis on looks. We created a battle plan to kill dead the definition of beauty that is based on size and body composition.
I am so thankful that Chris invited me to spend time with you today and I am even more thankful for the ministry he has on Epic Parent. I would love to hear your stories about the young women in your life. What are some ways you believe we can minister to young women in the area of insecurity and poor body image? I will be giving away 2 signed copies of Your Daughter Needs a Hero! Just leave a comment and we’ll let you know who wins.