Tuesday, May 01, 2012

hello beautiful.

if i were a youth worker this is a message i would want to give young girls because i remember being a young girl, a very different sort of young girl who was terribly the same underneath it all.

i didn't have a horrible home life. i had a great one and i know how unfair that is, and how undeservedly blessed i am for it. see, i knew my parents loved me, i knew my Creator loved me, and between those two sources of knowledge i had a fairly competent self esteem of who i was-was just fine. which was good because when your a young girl going through the throngs of junior high and high school every little bit of sanity and grounding is precious.

now as a coming of age young women it didn't take long for me to realize my male peers did not consider me one of the "pretty" ones, and while i wished they were deeper in their conceptualization of beauty, i never wished to succumb to their idea of attractiveness. i was who i was, goofy and sarcastic, unabashedly individualistic, with a zany approach to fashion, mod style haircuts that my male classmates referred to as 'lesbo', and that great Italian nose of mine. for those 6 years i watched as my friends had boyfriends, had valentines, had admirers; i listened to their stories of love requited, of french kissing lessons in the band room closet, and of heart-ache.

*though, hmmm, as i write this i do recall i wasn't completely without an admirer... there was one. and if he should read this i will be completely mortified because then he too will know he really was the only one to ever pin away for me, or to write letters of admiration to me, or to call my dad and tell him how he thought i was the bees knees. even more shocking to this plot was that this guy was one of the "hot" ones who also led worship for his youth group in small town, texas. which if you've ever grown up in a church you know the love burning madness of all single females that revolves around a single male worship leader, particularly if he is good looking in the slightest. it's bonkers, and so was i because i didn't reciprocate those feelings to the sort of guy any girl in her right mind would have been honored to be adored by, a good one (sorry R.).*

honest to goodness, i didn't feel legitimately desirable till well after high school...which is also when i had my first boyfriend. i had let the resounding notion given to me in school and in youth group of me not being the sort of girl guys liked because of my looks and my very odd personality; even later on in life i still allowed that bologna to stunt my ability to be truly loved.

while i was secure in who God made me was okey dokey, and i was not in need of oodles of male approval, i did long to be liked back when i liked. still waters might run deep, but bubbly brooks come from springs deep within the earth and i felt constantly over looked because i didn't try to sell myself as desirable. none the less, i badly coveted for someone to see the whole picture of me: the seriousness underneath it all, the devotion, the sensitivity, the thinker, the sincerity, and the vulnerability of someone who just wanted to be loved in spite of who she was and was not.

but boys are just that, boys. and i don't even think if i had met my now husband in jr. high or high school if he would have been man enough to go there for a girl who wasn't considered 'pretty'. it's just the way it is.

year after year our society becomes increasingly obsessed with looks, vanities. i can't fathom how difficult it would be to be a young girl a margin less than what the world perceives as perfect, or as desirable, beautiful these days. if it was tough then, it must be practically unbearable now.

with that in mind, hear me out:

young girl, you are beautiful and not because guys think you are, your parents think you are, or because you posted a picture of yourself and you got like a thousand "likes" on it. you are not beautiful because your a good person, or because you give to the homeless, you volunteer your time for great causes, nope, you are beautiful because God designed you and He thinks your beautiful, and He doesn't make less than pure perfection nor does He lie. see, even the meanest, the rudest, the most selfish, the most glossed up, heeled up are beautiful too (although i admit i have to really try to see past all the stuff and things they put in the way to see their beauty).

so, and but, please don't end on the receiving end of the stick, take that same vision and apply it to the people around you, see them as the Creator does: beautiful! and don't fret about the boys or allow the lack of adoration get in your head as some reality about yourself, some of them grow up and become men and those men understand that not only is beauty skin deep but that there is so much more to attraction than the outer appearance (and that the "weird" ones are actually the really interesting ones, and some awesome men actually find that more desirous than a "pretty" face).

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