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Archive for January, 2012

Beauty Marks

From my point of view, there are two kinds of beauty…

The first is “flawlessness”.  Beauty equals perfection.  No cellulite, no wrinkles, no gray hairs, no bulges, no stretch marks.  The appearance of any of these “flaws” disqualifies you from beauty. 

The second kind of beauty turns “flaws” into the evidence of real work, of labors of love unto God and fellow humans.  It is the marks of a life well-lived.  The lines around your face from smiling and laughing.  The stretch marks from bringing new life into the world and nourishing it.  The ache in your hands from washing, fixing, mending, sculpting, painting, writing, holding…these are the marks of real life.  They are true beauty marks, proof you’ve been doing the job of living, using this gift of life for good works. 

The first kind of beauty can be attained by very few women in this world.   Most of us can never achieve it, and that fact can be devastating.   

The second kind of beauty, real beauty, can be achieved by all.  Realize the gift of life God has given you, pursue the work He has for you, let Him guide you and watch your character develop.  The pursuit of flawlessness and eternal youth will leave those who pursue it empty inside, because it is a facade.  True beauty comes from the inside out, as wisdom, intelligence, and kindness grow and shine through to the people around you.  This is the kind of beauty I am committed to going after.  How about you?

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Yes, I’m a Feminist

Why I’m a Christian AND a Feminist:

I want to be treated with respect as a thinking, feeling human being, made in the image of God…

…here is an accurate definition of feminism…”Feminism:  a collection of movements aimed at defining, establishing and defending equal political, economic, social rights and equal opportunities for women.”    

 ~ Vicki Beeching

Yes!  There is NOTHING wrong with wanting women to be treated as equals in society AND in church settings.  If you haven’t noticed lately, our society treats women as equals, sort of, except for the little fact that we are supposed to be smart AND sexy.  This is where body image and feminism come together.  Women are expected to be sexual objects, or everything else we do, however well we do it, doesn’t matter.  In other words, we can be smart and successful, as long as we look good while we do it.  I think this attitude is infecting the church community, and here’s how it works:  Christian men have good intentions with their efforts to avoid pornographic images and Victoria’s Secret cataloges, BUT, by focusing on the avoidance of these images, they are still focusing on women’s bodies and treating them as objects instead of humans made in the image of God.  (Here’s a disclaimer…when I say Christian men, I realize there are exceptions; my statement is a generalization.)

I’ve been to several Christian conferences during which the men and women split up and go to individual sessions.  Inevitably, the women’s sessions focused on submission or beauty(or how the two work together), and the men’s sessions focused on leadership and lust(sexual purity).  I’m just wondering if Christian men have ever thought about teaching other Christian men how to avoid objectifying women in the first place, instead of focusing on how to NOT lust after them.  And I don’t just mean telling men to think of women as “someone’s daughter”, or “someone’s wife” in order to stop themselves from lusting.   This kind of thinking still avoids the real problem, which is not seeing women as fully human enough to relate to them as people and not sexual objects.  My value, and yours, does not come from our relationship to others(as in I’m someone’s wife or daughter).  My value comes from being created by God, regardless of earthly relationships.  I am me because of Him, period.  God created me(and you) to love and glorify Him, and that’s why we are not to be looked at as objects of lust.

When I say I’m a feminist, all I mean is that women should be treated like Jesus treated them.  In love, fairness, justice, and equality under the law.  The majority of women around the world today are not treated with fairness and justice.  That’s why I call myself a Christian feminist.”  ~ From Abby at Little Stories

Think about this…

on focusing on modesty…”It treats women’s bodies not as glorious reflections of the image of God, but as sources of temptation that must be hidden.  It is the other side of the objectifying coin: one side exploits the female body, while the other seems to be ashamed of it.  Both sides reduce the female body to a sexual object.”

and

“Women’s bodies are not inherently distracting or tempting.  On the contrary, women’s bodies glorify God.”

~ Thank you, her.menuetics (n.) the Christianity Today blog for women

So what it comes down to is as women, we are not our bodies, no matter what we dress like or look like.  This is a feminist issue AND a Christian issue.  They go together, and that’s that.

I realize this is a strong post, as I’m a very opinionated person;)  You are very much entitled to disagree, but if you do, please be nice…  thanks!

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