Rediscovering Self Esteem

A couple of weeks ago now, Mary Graham tweeted about the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty. In her tweet, she linked to the following video, made by Dove:

Dove have set up a website and a ‘Self Esteem Fund’ to try to promote, particularly among young girs, the feeling that beauty is more than just a body shape and self esteem and self confidence should not be based on whether or not they conform to a certain image. Their website has some great tools for Moms and people who care to use to help their girls see beauty differently to how most media portrays it.

We are all bombarded every day with images, text and audio which tell us that there is a physical goal to aim for to become ‘beautiful’. It’s repressive in its pervasiveness and is virtually inescapable.

I applaud Dove’s efforts in this. I really do. What makes me sad though is that the Church is not doing more about it and it has to be down to a business to pave the way.

I believe that we need to join with Dove in helping girls, and for that matter ALL women, see that real beauty is not an outward appearance but is in your character and self esteem.

We’re really good at trying to convince teenagers not to have sex but, let’s face it,’ many of them are having sex to try to feel attractive, to feel loved. If we can give them that feeling of being beautiful without them having to give of themselves sexually, then we can take away one of the major reasons to engage in those activities.

My wife and I were discussing this subject tonight and we both thought of Proverbs 31:30:

Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.

As I was thinking about that verse,  two people sprang to my mind:

bbardot The first, Bridget Bardot, was a pinup model and movie star in the 60’s and 70’s. Beautiful, slim, blonde – she had it all, the world at her feet.bbardot2

The years have gone by though and that youthful beauty has faded somewhat.

Now, in her seventies, Ms Bardot can no longer trade on her beauty alone, so what is she left with? I don’t know much about her character but what I read in the media does not paint a very pretty picture.

Then there’s Mother Teresa.


Maybe never the most classically beautiful of women, Mothermtheresa2 Teresa is known the world over for her inner beauty, her character, even  now – years after her death.

This lady, who worked tirelessly in the slums of Calcutta is honored, praised and remembered not just for some passing beauty that faded long before she died but for what she did, who she was and how she loved the poor even until the very end.

We need to be teaching women, both young and old, that there is more to life than a pretty face and a ‘perfect’ figure, that there’s more to beauty than an outward appearance.

What’s more, we need to teach it day in, day out, every day for the rest of their lives, until they truly get it – because you can be sure that the opposing view will continue to be hurled at them from every angle 24 hours a day!

The bible says to love your neighbor as yourself.

How can we love our neighbors if we never learn to love ourselves?