These days, the dictates of society about beauty is a very powerful force that goes beyond reason. Various conglomerates – entertainment business, media, beauty products manufacturers, cosmetic surgery fields – work together, as if conspiringly, to tell people to accept the dictum that staying fat- or bulge-free, with flawless skin are rules to be followed in order to be accepted or successful.
Of course, we know this shallow, manipulative statement is untrue. Only those lacking depth of character, immature, and with hazy, if not zero spiritual foundation, are prone to get affected. Unfortunately, it’s the women who are mostly at risk to be bitten by this syndrome. And the most susceptible belong to the young age group who think they should be physically adorable to be counted in by the circles they want to belong to.
It’s laudable that the Parent-Teacher Organization of Freedom Trail Elementary School in Lewis City, Ohio did something to save their young girls’ morale. A certain Mrs. Scot along with her daughter, initiated the move of posting positivity slogans in the stalls of the bathrooms for girls.
“The most important thing a girl wears is her confidence.” Seeing this statement in the bathroom is like having your mother or an elder around giving assurance of one’s self-worth. It does feel good.
“You will discover that you have two hands; one for helping yourself, the other for helping others,” quoting Maya Angelou.
But of all places, why bathroom? Well, it’s in here where most girls stay long to stare at themselves or others. It’s where they want to fix themselves to look and feel good before they come out to the world. It’s where they chat about their victories and defeat about their getting their crush’s attention, or if they have obtained a high mark in an exam. Maybe the level of self-deprecation among the young girls in that school reached alarming levels they needed to post the ‘feel-good-about-yourself” mottos like an election campaign.
Actually, Mrs. Scot just replicated what high student named Sabrina Astle of California did months earlier in 2017. What Sabrina did was more drastic — removing the mirrors in the school’s bathroom and replacing it with posters to raise the self-esteem of other girls like her.
“You are extraordinary”, “You are loved”, “You are good enough”, and dozen other self-love notes could be her words for herself that will generate the same boost to her fellow age-group.
Both are commendable efforts. For the sake of comparison, Mrs. Scot’s campaign notes have motherly touch, wiser and deeper, teaching that attainment of self-love and self-esteem can be achieved by not focusing much on oneself, but on others. Sabrina’s brief posts were words pulled out from emotion, which is understandable. Adolescents are emotional.
If the kindness campaign would have a 2018 version, maybe it would be more comprehensive to add these Bible verses about beauty.
“Do not let your adornment be merely outward – arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel – rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God,” from I Peter 3:3-4.
Or this one, “Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeing, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised,” from Proverbs 31:30.