To my sweet, beautiful girls:
I’ve struggled with this post since….well since the weather got warm. I don’t want to be all up in your business telling you how to dress and how to act, but I’m about to step on your bare, pedicured toes.
You see I have wrestled with whether it’s my place to say anything; whether you will receive it; whether I have enough skin in the game that I can speak without you being mad forever; whether it’s really that big of a deal. And here’s where I am.
As your youth leader who loves you – it is my place to say something.
Whether you receive it or not – is your choice, but I still need to say something.
Hopefully by now you know I love you, and if you don’t, I do – so out of love to you I will say something.
It really is THAT big of a deal – and the more I ignore it and try to convince myself it’s not, the more I believe it’s a big deal.
I love Instagram – it’s one of my favorite apps. I get to see the cutest picture updates of my sweet little nephew. I get to see sunsets and sunrises from my friends on the coasts. I get to laugh at all the funny pictures and quotes you like. And those filters are like magic for bad hair days and breakouts! Instagram is great….until you ruin my feed.
For a long time I wouldn’t follow any of you on instagram because I knew we would have to have this conversation right here. But it’s not just instagram anymore; it’s facebook, instagram, twit pics. Your duck faces, cuca shots and summer poses are splattered on social media for all to see.
I think your duck faces are funny. If you make that face; I will laugh at you because I have never heard of a duck described as sexy – and most people have caught on to how ridiculous that face is. It’s mainly a joke now, and one I can laugh at.
But then….there are all your pictures of you “sun tanning”. You know the ones I mean. If you haven’t posted one, you’ve seen one. The string bikinis out on the deck getting kissed by the sun, the wannabe model poses in the mirror showing off your new crop top (no tank top needed, it’s hot outside) and then the newest pose of the year – the cuca shot.
Now granted I’m sure you don’t mean to show the world a straight shot of your cuca – no way! You just want to show them your cute shorts (which look shorter than they are btw when you take an aerial view) or your cute pedicured toes, or how strong your legs are getting. But what you are actually showing me is 80% of your leg, from a view that will make it look lean and skinny (hello that’s why we always take pics from up top….I’m guilty as charged too) and well you have to show your shorts so you don’t look naked, but then it’s a cuca shot.
I get wanting to show off an accomplishment. I make my roommates tell me how strong I’m getting every time I do a good job working out. I make them feel my quads and tell me how strong I am. We all want that affirmation that we look good, are making progress or can still rock our swimsuit from last year.
But what are we really saying about ourselves?
I have thoughts and what I think are answers to this question – but I don’t wanna soapbox at your too long.
I want you to know though that you are beautiful and no amount of “likes” “dang gurl” “sexy” or any other affirmative comment will change how you truly feel about yourself. Your true worth does not come from people.
You are beautiful, because God created you that way. But He is more concerned with your heart and who you are inside. I wonder how our relationship with God would increase if we spent as much time talking to Him as we did retaking our pictures until they were just right. And that’s not just directed towards you, but myself as well!
You are beautiful, with your clothes on. I want you to strive to be beautiful this summer. Show off that beauty in the way you serve others. Show your beauty by the way you smile at strangers and change their day. Be bold with your beauty by carrying/dressing yourself in a way that magnifies who you are not how you look.
I love you girls. You make my job fun. You keep me on my toes. You make me laugh. We experience life together. But it’s my challenge for you and for myself that this summer we truly strive for beautiful. Let’s redefine beauty for ourselves this summer to look more like what God talks about and less like cuca shots, booty shorts and cleavage.
Becoming Beautiful Lesson 1: Duck faces are for fun and your heart is for real
1 Samuel 16:7 But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”