The pressure on a young girl to be pretty is one of the greatest weights on the female mind—especially in the Western world.
In his 2001 book "Bringing Up Boys", Dr. James Dobson tells a story that all parents of girls should heed. When Western television penetrated the islands of the South Pacific for the first time, it “projected images of gorgeous, very thin actresses who starred on Melrose Place, Beverly Hills 90210, and other teen-oriented shows. Four years later, a survey of 65 Fijian girls revealed how their attitudes had been shaped (or warped) by what they had seen. Almost immediately, the girls began to dress and try to fix their hair like Western women.” Officials, he reported, saw “serious changes in eating habits among … adolescents. Those who watched tv three times per week or more were 50 percent more likely to perceive themselves as ‘too big’ or ‘too fat’ than those who did not. More than 62 percent had attempted to diet in the previous 30 days.”
The pressure to be pretty is a monstrous thing. Add to that how society defines pretty, and it can be perilous. It can produce in our daughters a dangerous cocktail of vanity, materialism, health problems and a host of character flaws.
Do our young girls have any hope to escape the rank deception that comes their way about their physical appearance? How can the false images popular culture relentlessly thrusts on them be combatted?
The answer lies in the home, with the parents—particularly the FATHER!
Make Your Daughter Beautiful
Fathers: You have a special role as the first male authority in your daughter’s life to ensure that she not only feels beautiful but that she also knows what true beauty is!
How can we make our daughters beautiful in a godly way? The answer lies in understanding how God adorned the first woman.
When God clothed Adam and Eve in animal skins (see Genesis 3:20-21), the Hebrew for clothed means to don with apparel or raiment—namely outer garments. It implies adding attractiveness rather than hiding shamefulness” (Herbert W. Armstrong, "The Missing Dimension in Sex"—request a free copy). Being clothed with raiment can make your daughters prettier. Yet, this Satan-dominated society often wants to define “pretty” by how much skin you show. Of course, different contexts (and even cultures) allow for different coverings.
If you want your daughters to be beautiful, adorn them (and teach them how to adorn themselves) God’s way. Teach them that modest apparel makes them more beautiful. It is ugliness to be immodest, which can arouse lust in a man and lead to more ugliness.
What’s more, the main seat of physical beauty for the female is not in the body or the clothing. It is in the FACE.
How Supermodels Make Themselves Ugly
Dale Carnegie, in "How to Win Friends and Influence People", relates a story about a dinner party he attended. “One of the guests, a woman who had inherited money, was eager to make a pleasing impression on everyone. She had squandered a modest fortune on sables, diamonds and pearls. But she hadn’t done anything whatever about her face. It radiated sourness and selfishness. She didn’t realize what every man knows: namely, that the expression a woman wears on her face is far more important than the clothes she wears on her back.”
Yes, every man—every FATHER—knows that. How often do you remind your daughter that the most beautiful thing about her is her SMILE? Yet how many “beautiful” women grace magazine covers with sour looks on their faces? It’s meant to be seductive or sexy, but as a man and father, I’m troubled by it. Not only is it intimidating, it’s not nearly as pretty. Teach your daughter that she exudes beauty when she has a POSITIVE attitude and expression on her face.
Mr. Armstrong wrote, concerning sex appeal, that it “is somewhere between 95 percent and 99 percent what one sees from the neck up! It is, mostly, what one sees in the face of the other which exerts the appeal” (op. cit.).
But our deceived society and its fashion designers seem to think that beauty is 95 to 99 percent from the neck DOWN. Modern fashion wants to show as much cleavage as possible, or as much of the top of the rear end as possible, or when swimming, to show as much of the gluteus maximus as possible. Yes, God designed those areas to be beautiful in a marital relationship. But ask your daughter: Does she want to be a mere OBJECT? Or would she rather attain beauty the way God intended it to be done—by living a happy life that SHINES through the face and then adorning the rest of her body modestly in a way that highlights her figure but doesn’t draw undue attention to it over her character, mind, sparkle, energy and smile?
God is not AGAINST outward beauty, but He also says it IS VAIN: It won’t last but a few years—it’s merely a TYPE of the spiritual beauty God wants to praise us for. Still, God made sure Eve was physically appealing to her husband. God’s Word describes women like Sarah, Rebecca and Esther as outwardly beautiful.
Continued next week with:
A Facelift for Free
Help Her Stand Out in Society
Go to Part 2.