Raising a Daughter in a Photoshop World
Have you noticed how thin models are these days? They are paper thin, it seems. Or are they? I accept that there are many women who are too thin to be healthy in the modeling world today. However, I also believe that many women on the covers of magazines today are being altered digitally. One outspoken victim is Kate Winslet who is one of many overly-photoshopped cover girls.
What’s a dad to do?
We are not exceptionally tall people, my wife and I, but there are tall genetics in the family. Our daughter, whom we call Brownie in social media, since she is under 13, is at that pre-teen difficult time. We stand in line at grocery stores and superstores often enough that the magazine covers are noticed. At school, the girls are already splintering off into the “right-size, right look” and “wrong-size, wrong look” groups.
What’s a dad to do?
I love my daughter because she is God’s gift to us. I don’t care what she looks like and whether our culture deems it right or wrong. Out of the love my wife and I have, God created her. God made her.
“For it was You who created my inward parts; You knit me together in my mother’s womb. I will praise You because I have been remarkably and wonderfully made. Your works are wonderful, and I know this very well. My bones were not hidden from You when I was made in secret, when I was formed in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw me when I was formless; all my days were written in Your book and planned before a single one of them began” (Psalm 139:13-16).
Here are a few things I wish to embed in my daughter’s mind. I can only hope she will accept them. I can only pray our culture would do the same.
1. God loves you. God formed you just the way you are, using the genetics hidden away inside your mom and me. Please do not regret how God made you. He has a complete plan for you and very little, if any, of that has to do with your body type or shape. God loves you just the way you are. Jesus died for your heart and relationship not your measurements.
2. I love you. My love for you is not based on appearances. I love your spunk and your sass, though I do not want you to know that yet. I love your desire to help others. I love that you take time to make new people feel welcomed. I love that you are kind, though not enough to your brother. I love that you are creative. I love your smile. I love you.
3. We eat right and are active people. You are at a time when everything is changing. Everyone does this at different rates and ages. You are healthy. The reason we do not let you have too many sweets and cokes is because they are not healthy for you. We want you to be bright and healthy, so that you are prepared for whatever God has in mind for you. You will notice that we are not obsessed with either but make it a part of normal routines of life.
4. Be your own woman. Fashion does not define you. Some things just don’t fit and that’s OK. Wearing what everyone else is wearing is a part of childhood; trust me I get it. However, setting the trends is leadership. In the end, wearing what makes you feel pretty is more important than wearing what makes others happy. You can’t be happy trying to be someone else. Be you. I love you and wish to see who you become not you as the imitation of others.
I am sure there are many other things that will need to be said. But I want to reinforce God’s love, my love, smart habits, and independence. What would you add?