Have you seen the Dove commercial on tv, where they show a young girl, maybe ten years old, being bombarded with images of skinny, beautiful, sexy women? Then the narrator explains that Dove sponsors self-esteem workshops for girls so they will know they too are beautiful.
There’s a quicker way to promote her “self-esteem.”
Turn off the television.
If we are certain, as we are, that television advertising encourages unreal expectations in children about body image and sexual identity, then get rid of the television! Don’t allow fashion or celebrity magazines in your house; discourage yor children from looking at them elsewhere.
“Self-esteem” is one of the old sins; it is an exaggerated view of one’s one worth, a kind of vanity. It is putting oneself above others. If the problem for young women is that they think they must be something they cannot be, it has nothing to do with self-esteem, and everything to do with an epidemic of dysmorphia – a fear that something is wrong with one’s body.
Now, modest, plain, headcovering women rarely worry about how their bodies look. We’re covered up anyway. We accept that female bodies come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. We accept that “wide variety” can define our rear view as we get older! If we worry about it, it’s because we are still carrying images from the world in our heads. Part of our growth as Christians is to get rid of those old, useless, even sinful images.
Teach your daughters that God made us different from each other. There is no right or wrong. Turn off the television and teach our girls that modesty and humility are more important than popularity and what the world calls “beauty.” They won’t need “self-esteem workshops” – they will have confidence instead.