This week a blog post went viral. I read it on a friend's facebook page. Some commentators found the original photos (now replaced) unhelpful to the message of the post. I found it uncomfortable that the girls did not get a second chance if they posted photos that were deemed unsuitable for the boys by their mum. They were deleted from her sons' facebook accounts. Is that the message I am giving my daughters? You make a mistake and that is it?
My children do not as yet have a Facebook, Twitter or any other social networking account; they are too young. I believe wholeheartedly in modest dressing. However, I am someone who has never worn a bikini and am completely uncomfortable with how I look. I have a BMI within the normal limits for my height but still do not like my body. I have curly hair and have worn glasses since I was 13. Not your classical beauty. :) I DO NOT want my girls growing up being scornful of themselves as a person or their bodies. I really hope that they live Godly lives and respect themselves holistically. My question is: How on earth do I teach them to not flaunt themselves in any way (because you can wear the most modest clothes and still flaunt yourself) AND to be confident in whom God has created them. With all due respects if they carry on the way they are going they will turn into very attractive young women.
(Aside: I have no idea why I am so caught up about myself. In all honesty I know that I am not in bad shape for my age but I dislike wearing things that are too tight, too low, too short etc etc; and because of this I can have a tendency to overdo things. In the past few years I have made myself wear clothes that aren't huge and baggy as this always looked ridiculous. I discovered that dressing oddly can also make you stand out.)
I believe that it is my job as a parent to monitor my children. Parents have always done that, but nowadays the job is harder because of the Internet. Girls posting inappropriate photos of themselves is very easy because of the access our young people have to computers. I long to teach my girls to have respect for themselves without leaving them with hang-ups that will take a life time to sort out. I also long to hide them from the world so that they are not harmed, but real-life isn't like that. They will make mistakes but surely it is my role as a parent to show love and discipline in the right balance. One without the other will only lead to hurt and harm.
This post came at a good time as it gives me time to work out how to deal with this issue with my girls. I want them to be Christians, to be confident in the skills and gifts that they have, to know that they are beautiful on the outside, to develop a beauty from within, to love and learn about God and others, to be kind and gentle and a whole myriad of other things. I do not want them to see themselves as being whole only if they have a boyfriend. To my girls go out and discover; there is a wonderful world out there.