It’s important you watch this video before continuing to read this blog. Especially if you are the parent of a daughter between the ages of 9 and 14. Because there is a new trend hitting the online world, “Pretty or Ugly” videos.
To recap (and for those who choose not to watch the video), these young girls are posting videos of themselves, asking others to rate them as pretty or ugly. They are seeking validation through the opinions of others—strangers.
I’ve seen conversations about this topic take place on Facebook. And one of the disturbing things I’ve encountered is finger pointing at the parents. Granted, there may certainly be an issue with the fact these young girls have access to web cams or other devices that allow them to post these videos online. But there has been a lot of blame placed on parents for not doing enough to validate their daughters.
In other words, if they felt loved at home, they wouldn’t seek validation from others. But that’s simply not true. Because I’ve lived it and I’ve seen other parents live it—as much as we tell our daughters they are beautiful (inside and out), there is a yearning for more.
And because of the world we live in today—where everything is so in your face and easily accessible, the pull is so much greater on them. It takes a few seconds to feel good because someone responds, “You’re pretty.” But it takes the same few seconds to feel worthless and rejected…to begin to believe the lies.
My daughter was in 6th grade when she started to believe the lies…the horrible things that other girls said about her. Sadly, I didn’t find out about her struggles in middle school until she was in 9th grade.
It can all skirt right by us. We can be convinced our daughters feel secure in themselves, that they know how valuable and special they are to us. But we could also be missing the mark.
As important as it is for our daughters to know they are beautiful inside and out, what’s even more critical is that they come to realize their value in God’s eyes. That they understand until discovering who they are in Christ, they will never fill that empty hole within.
But can I tell you something moms? It starts with us. Because they hear us complain about our wrinkles, the wisps of gray air, the extra pounds we put on, the ears that are too big, the eyes that aren’t the right color, the pear-shape of our body and so on.
How can we tell them about finding validation in Christ when we haven’t? It doesn’t do much good to preach it but not live it. So it starts with us.
When I read Isaiah 45:9-10, I compare it to the same complaining we sometimes do in the mirror: “Woe to him who strives with him who formed him, a pot among earthen pots! Does the clay say to him who forms it, ‘What are you making?’ or ‘Your work has no handles’? Woe to him who says to a father, ‘What are you begetting?’ or to a woman, ‘With what are you in labor?’”
How about we reflect on a couple of verses that help us find our validation in Christ. Meditate on these and then share with them your daughter.
Psalm 139:13-14: For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.
© 2013, Stephanie Romero