Monday, October 15, 2007

What Does It Take to Be Beautiful?

My brother-in-law, Barry, owned a film editing firm in NY City. We were discussing a few months back how women look on TV in the beauty commercials. Their perfect skin, shinny hair blowing in the wind, etc. He said that they in real life really don't look like they do in the commercials. He then told us what all they did in the editing room. Below is an example of it. You will be amazed!

We are obsessed with beauty! We've made it 'a god!' Our children, especially our daughters, get caught in the trap of being beautiful and pursuing beauty.

CNN did an article on how the issue of beauty drives young girls to destructive behavior. You can read the article here. Here are some facts from the article:

* The average person sees between 400 and 600 advertisements per day - equivalent to more than one message for every waking minute.

* The average US girl has the opportunity to see an estimated 77,546 commercials by the time she is 12 years old.

* 93 percent of girls and young women report feeling anxiety or stress about some aspect of their looks when getting ready in the morning

* This could explain why more than 70 percent of girls and young women avoid activities when they feel bad about their looks including giving their opinion, attending school and even going to the doctor.

* 76 percent of girls and young women admit to partaking in unhealthy activities when they feel badly about their bodies

* 58 percent of girls describe themselves in negative terms, including words like "disgusting" and "ugly," when feeling badly about themselves.

* Nearly four out of 10 engage in unhealthy eating behaviors, such as anorexia or bulimia.

* More than one out of 10 girls has used cutting or self-inflicted injury as a coping mechanism.

These are scary statistics- they let us know as Pastors what we are up against in our churches. Our youth are not exempt from these issues. We face them in the church. How many young women do you know that are cutting themselves? How many are struggling with eating disorders? It is there!

And listen, we Christian adults portray these issues by our constant attention to our looks, weight issues, etc. God help us to once again teach what is beneficial to our youth:

1 Pe 3:1-5 The same goes for you wives: Be good wives to your husbands, responsive to their needs. There are husbands who, indifferent as they are to any words about God, will be captivated by your life of holy beauty. What matters is not your outer appearance — the styling of your hair, the jewelry you wear, the cut of your clothes — but your inner disposition. Cultivate inner beauty, the gentle, gracious kind that God delights in. The holy women of old were beautiful before God that way, and were good, loyal wives to their husbands.

May we quit being self absorbed and narcissistic! Eternal lives are at stake!

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