Momma Bear Stands Up for Real Beauty

It literally disgusts me. Going about my business and then that creepy, skin crawling feeling of “that.” Turning my head and seeing some pervert eyeing me like I am something not human to be drooled over.

Men that see women, treat women, as nothing more than their looks, as objects. Pornography. A side note does not do justice to the evil of reducing women to an online or magazine or movie sexual object to be used and discarded. Scientifically, there is a direct relationship between pornography and sexual addiction, destruction of the family, sex trafficking, rape, and even murder.

But this article is not to address pornography and men.

Momma Bear sees the world through a new lens.

Memories of girl time. I was teaching my (then 6 year old) daughter to do what girls do best. Shop. Madison and I are strolling through the mall and enjoying our time together. Proudly holding her hand as we wander from store to store. Browsing through the animal books in Barnes and Noble. Oohing and ahhing over the puppy and kitty pictures. Picking out 3 new hair bows and letting her choose two. Waiting in line for an apple juice and a coffee and then sitting a while. Giggling and making plans for the rest of the day. I treasure moments with my little girl.

Shopping accomplished, we head through the department store to the exit to continue on our winter adventures. Giggling, talkative Madison turns silent. I follow her stare to a perfume advertisement of a woman dressed in a ribbon. Yes, only a ribbon loosely and barely covers her naked perfect body.

She has seen it. For the first time, part of her innocence is stolen. My six year old has seen PORNOGRAPHY!

I see her mind spinning. I see her thinking this woman is beautiful. I see her thinking, “perhaps this is how I am supposed to look.” I see her question her own self image.

Hell no! Momma Bear kicks in!

“Madison, look at that picture,” I point out what she is already looking at, “that ribbon would fall.”

“Follow me.” I take her little hand and guide her to another picture, not hard to find in the perfume/makeup section of the department store. “Look at that.” I point out a woman, dressed in a dress that barely covered her more than the woman dressed in a ribbon. This woman was smiling as she carried a large stack of presents with snow falling all around her. “What is she doing Madison?”

She studied the picture, “Walking in snow.”

“Where is her coat? Where are her mittens? Why is she wearing a short dress with no leggings? What do you think she would feel like?”

“Cold!”

“Madison, this picture is not real life. This picture was taken so that we look at it and think, ‘She is pretty. I want to be like her. I will buy this.’ Madison, I think she looks ridiculous. I think it is sad that she is using her body to sell things.”

And then I looked her pudgy little six year old body in the eyes and promised, “Madison, You are beautiful! These pictures are not real! I never ever want you to try to look like this!”

I saw the relief in her little six year old eyes as she proclaimed, “No one can wear a ribbon!”

She got it! Thank you Jesus!

My daughter plays sports, she eats healthy, she has a brilliant curious mind, she loves people, she loves animals. She was made beautiful inside and out and she is treasured by the God of the universe! How dare anyone try to tell her that she is not good enough!

 

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72 thoughts on “Momma Bear Stands Up for Real Beauty

  1. Ahh, great post. I remember those times with my girls, too, when they saw those pictures and thought, is that me? Is that what my identity is supposed to be? It’s really a sad and maddening thing because you can see it so clearly through the eyes of a child.

    It’s sad too for relationships between men and women, because men tend to look at pretty girls. Its just biology at play, but because of all those images, when men look, in the back of our minds we’re thinking, does he think I’m dumb enough to go out in the snow without a coat? Does he think I am no more significant than a flat, two dimensional woman wrapped in a ribbon? It’s our humanity and our value as women that is being stripped away. Men who are looking may not be thinking those things at all, but we have internalized that pornographic imagery so much, that what is normal and healthy now feels disturbing and uncomfortable.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes. Very well said. I have a teenage niece that is truly absolutely gorgeous but she is so comfortable in her own skin and while girls her age are giving into a sexual image, she is so beautiful in her confidence of not having to sell herself. I pray my daughter grows up to be like her!

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Good for you, Mama Bear! I think it was so wise of you to address this with your daughter the moment you saw her looking at that picture, instead of ignoring it or just diverting her attention. I would like to share this on my Facebook page, as I am friends with a lot of mothers of little girls. I would encourage parents of both boys and girls to follow your lead.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. The only standards these days are the ones parents set against the media barrage of images. Honestly, I look around quite often, and think ‘Was your mom really OK with your leaving the house looking like that?” And, don’t even get me started on the reality shows like “The Bachelor.”

    Liked by 3 people

    • I am so glad you brought that up! I couldn’t agree more! So sad it is supported by people who watch for entertainment. It is not even something we can say, “it is not real” because it is. Pleasure from other people’s often hurtful realities. Yeah….I wasn’t going to get started and then I did 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh, dear God, already she’s being bombarded with negative body imagery for women. Good thing you were there–you’ll have to be extra vigilant, especially when Madison becomes a teenager. It’s during the teenage years that imagery like that does the most damage, especially to teens who are already unsatisfied with their looks.

    Your little aside about porn is interesting. I’d argue that romance novels are just as unhealthy for women, especially considering the number of “alpha male” romantic heroes who are really little more than rapists. And most of these novels are written by women. How sad it is that women can contribute to rape culture just as much as men do.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. It’s disgusting what society does to us. We’re not good enough, pretty enough, smart enough, ditzy enough, we’re too threatening, we don’t have ambition, we wear the wrong clothes, we wear too much clothes, we look frumpy, we look like a whore, we’re imperfect and no one will ever love us. Nothing will ever be enough – if you listen to society.

    I am so glad that you pointed those things out to your daughter. I have to wonder how much better I would feel about myself if my mother or another figure that I had looked up to had taken out the time to explain those things to me.

    Thank you for sharing. I hope your words reach more people.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. I wish the innocence could stay forever, my oldest daughter was 3, as we walked by the brassieres in a PX in Germany, when she exclaimed with delight, “What beautiful breast holders!” I said, “yes they are!”A young woman behind me, very obviously pregnant, looked at her husband and said, “What would you say if our daughter said that?” He replied, “I’d just die!” I said, “no soldier, it comes with the turf!” The turf has changed – for the worse. In treating it matter of factly – you made sense of the senselessness of the image! All we can do is ground them. Early on I had discussions with all my kids – is it real, or special effects? Things that are not real ere treated as illusions and tricks. So much worse today. God bless and good luck!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Funny story! Oh never say “I will never” …it makes it a guarantee that it will happen!

      Parenting! So scary! Yes, the things I wish she never had to know about or see and they are being pushed on her at such a young age. Thankful she is a logical thinker (and not as emotional as her mom) and usually if I explain things to her, she easily sees them for what they really are.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Your post is so “right on.” I teach a group of young adults (18-25) at church. One of the girls in my class recently went to Mexico and had major surgery reducing her stomach so she could not eat so much and lose weight. She is suffering now from all kinds of problems because she is not getting enough nourishment. It makes my heart to see how young girls today do not see how beautiful they already are – if they do not fit the “skinny” look. Keep encouraging your daughter!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for your mentoring! Something lost in our culture and very much needed! So very sad that love and worth have been reduced to a body image. Not here! I will fight that fight and the lies of the devil. Truth and love tear down that wall!

      Like

  8. A little twist: ‘how dare anyone try to “sell” her that she is not good enough!’
    I love where you took this piece. I have a similar struggle with my six year old, only my child is a boy, so I have to bring a similar message but also teach him that he is not to look at women who are not his wife. We live in such a small community, re not often in the city and limit what he watches on television so it has not come up often yet but I know we will be praying our way through that!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Such an encouragement to the mom of a daughter to know that young boys are being brought up in homes like your’s! What a joy and responsibility to raise up a man of God in this world! Yes! It is the struggle of girls to want to be that image and the struggle of boys to train their eyes. So very sad that something beautiful and intended for marriage has been so twisted and perverted. These two moms will stand up for something better for our children! THANK YOU!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I love this post!! I teach my daughter the same thing, i cant stand how fast girls are forced to grow up now, ive read those silly ‘teen’ magazines and continue to turn little girls into women way too early

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Right on. Your little girl is blessed. Not sure I’m so eloquent when my girls see stuff like that. By the time they are 12, pornography assaults them from all sides and I’m not always beside them when they see it. We all do our best with God’s help. You keep going, and by the time your daughter is 12 she will have something powerful to tell her girlfriends!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. We’re in this together, and He’s in us, and we’re in Him. He gave us to our children and our children to us. So we can pray on and trust him for the times we’re not there.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I am so glad you little Madison has such a wonderful proactive Mom. I am a dad to a 17 year old son. And I remember having to “have the talk” with him much earlier than I thought appropriate because of seeing such garbage. You post was well written. I felt horror as I read how Madison ‘s eyes fell on that photo. I know the Photo your referring to and it really is soft porn and very destructive. I wish you guys well in your journey through life together. Take care and God Bless.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Being a parent has opened my eyes to spiritual warfare in a whole new way! I am so thankful to learn of other parents raising their children in homes that will not tolerate such garbage that culture throws at them at such a young age.

      Like

  13. Hi Caroline!
    Thanks For Following My Blog…How Did You Find Me??
    Momma Bear has to do – what Momma Bear has to do to Raise Up God-Like Ladies for God!! I am looking Forward to Reading and Following!!
    God BlessYou!!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Reblogged this on Following Your Feet and commented:
    This is beautiful, true, and good.

    I did a similar thing when I was working at a middle school. The assignment was for the kids to cut out pictures in magazines and then sort them into categories. Now, it wasn’t a porn magazine, but the ads were for things that my boys didn’t need to see. I made a point that that was not a good thing to look at, and I tore it out and threw it away, and I was blessed when they followed my lead and did the same.

    Right is right. And wrong is wrong.

    Liked by 1 person

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