Wednesday, March 11, 2009

A Serious Pill, And A HUGE Mountain To Climb.

First, let me start with this quote by Audrey Hepburn:

For attractive lips, speak words of kindness.
For lovely eyes, seek out the good in people.
For a slim figure, share your food with the hungry.
For beautiful hair, let a child run his or her fingers through it once a day.
For poise, walk with the knowledge you’ll never walk alone.” – Audrey Hepburn

Wow. Now my day has been flipped around. I've thrown a few Serious Pills at you in the past, but this is a big one. It'll take you a bit to read it, maybe 15 - 20 minutes, but it'll be worth it. Take a gander, and hang around for the end so we can review together.

Most of you tend to skip over the serious blogs, but this one is kind've big, to me. It's important and needs to be heard. Skim it, if you don't feel like reading it, but at least take something from it - you'll probably be so glad that you did, and thought-provoked for the rest of the week.


Coming Clean
(An excerpt from the blog of Christian recording artist Nichole Nordeman)

Two years ago, I landed on the cover of CCM for the first time by myself. I wore a dress “borrowed” from Neiman Marcus, that I’m pretty sure cost three times my current monthly mortgage. To put it simply…it was the quintessential Cinderella dress. It was everything I’ve dreamt of being since I was 11 years old and I flittered around in layer upon layer of that glorious shimmering, flowing, sweeping gown while the photographer snapped away. I had just been on this insanely stupid diet for months, so that I could squeeze myself into the Cinderella getup, but one minute in that dress and I knew that every shunned bagel had been worth it.

Hours later, the shoot ended and I regretfully pulled on my Old Navy cargo pants, hopped into my pumpkin, and headed home to my family where my 1-year-old son had decided to greet me with perhaps the most toxic diaper in the history of Huggies. Needless to say, the clock had struck midnight.

Awhile back, I asked CCM if I could write this story. I felt…still feel…uneasy about that photo shoot princess moment. Not because there’s anything wrong with feeling momentarily flawless…but because that photo and many like it, in no way represent my real life. I feel rather nauseous when I consider the young girl who sees that photo and has no idea that it took 5 hours and an entire team of makeup artists and stylists to make me look like a princess. She also has no idea that even after all that, somebody sat at a computer (with my enthusiastic blessing) and point and clicked away my acne scars, my 35 year old wrinkles and the roll of flesh around my middle that makes me look like I am perpetually stuck in my 2nd trimester.

This is an especially difficult scenario to stomach, since this same young girl will probably send me a heartfelt email about how she appreciates how “real” I am…


Armed with a guilty conscience and CCM’s permission, I was compelled to ask some other artists if they, too, might wrestle a bit with the irony that we are trying desperately, through our music, to point to the liberating love of Jesus while packaging that music in a way that points to…well…us. To be honest, I wasn’t sure if anybody wanted to talk about that pressure. I feared silence. I feared the Jerry McGuire office memo moment. Would my fellow artists talk about real life?

Thirteen interviews later, to say that they were honest is an understatement. I awkwardly asked for a couple inches…and miles later, was humbled by the transparency of my peers.

Youth of a Nation
I continue to marvel at how the average age of a new artist gets younger and younger each year. I’ve chimed in with the cynics on many occasions, “What can you possibly say to the world when you’re 16?? I mean, are they going to write songs about how much it sucks to wear braces??”

I could tell after about 30 seconds of talking with Bethany Dillon that I had a lot to learn from her perspective. I’ve always admired her “jeans and t-shirt” sense of self and yet she confesses to getting tripped up by some of the trimmings and trappings and the struggle to stay true to who she is, “…people can smell a phony and can tell when you’re not wearing your clothes and you’re saying things that aren’t really in your vocabulary…I mean, I’m human…and there’s part of me that’s like, ‘Why can’t I buy hundreds of dollars worth of makeup?’…and I could…and in the back of my mind I feel like…I couldn’t pull that off for long. I have to learn now to be honest about the fact that I am a girl from the country in Ohio. I want to be feminine and all that, but the thing about me is that I just don’t spend a lot of time putting myself together.”

‘Beautiful,’ the song that put her on the map, caught a lump in my throat the first time I heard the lyric …’I want to hear You say, who I am is quite enough’… because I spend so much time feeling like I’m barely enough. Bethany speaks about freedom, “I think it is a gift to give a woman permission to be who she is…I don’t have to do anything and I am so unable to impress God and yet there is something about me that has captured Him.”

Krystal Meyers clearly understands the double standard. “I love fashion…love the magazines and have stacks of them. Love going shopping. Love finding new clothes and it makes me feel excited to wear those new clothes.” And yet a few minutes later Krystal sounds burdened. “I don’t want to be seen without makeup on because I don’t feel as pretty without makeup on. I hear from fans on my message board and they’re like, ‘You’ve got such clear and beautiful skin…how do you do it?’ And I’m thinking to myself, well, that’s photo shopped!”

I mention to her that most fans have no idea that the photos are fixed in any way…so they’re at home wishing away for Krystal Meyers’ skin, which doesn’t really even exist. “We have problems with our weight and acne or just self image in general…and being able to be honest and truthful about it…I think it’s really important,” explains Krystal.

Later, on the phone with 18-year old KierraKiKiSheard, I am reminded of the pressures that her generation faces and how hard it is for the average teenager to wrestle with those pressures, even without the added stress of publicity pictures.

She shares openly about a time in her life when her self confidence was at its lowest. “During the first album, I was dealing with low self esteem because it was brought up to me, that ‘You’re kind of a big girl’…and that’s something that I had to experience behind the doors, and not everybody knew I was wrestling with my self esteem. “…it doesn’t matter who you are, what people say is going to bother you just a tiny bit,” she says.

A tiny bit?

I tell her about the first time it was gently suggested to me that I get a gym membership before my first photo shoot. Never mind the fact that I was busting my butt waiting tables and barely able to pay my rent while recording my first record. I was literally living off whatever the change in my car ashtray could get me from Taco Bell. Apparently, I was not short on change.

Kierra is quick to point out where she goes to find her confidence, “…knowing that I’m beautiful because I’m a child of God and He created me. HE loves me. I feel like I went through that experience and it strengthened me because being in the spotlight, people will find the worst things wrong with you, after you’ve spent hours trying to put yourself together…people are going to try to criticize you.” KiKi’s father once reminded her, ‘If you are in leadership, you have to know that you are under a microscope of scrutiny.’ “And that is something I will always keep in mind…”

A microscope of scrutiny. I guess I’ve considered that before as it relates to my character, but not my waistline.

The Real Me
In a woman’s life, there are few things, if any, that rival the title, “Mom.” Initially motherhood feels like an awkward fit, but in time, it feels more like the favorite sweater you refuse to take off, despite the fact that it’s unraveling in places and has a few choice stains. At times, there’s an unspoken pressure to look like you are still the artist but never became the mom.

When I caught up with Natalie Grant, she was soon set to give birth to twin girls. In the time it takes for you to sit down comfortably for 10 minutes and read this article on your favorite couch Natalie will have changed her shirt 3 times from the chronic spit up that has taken over her life.

She has been vocal on the topic of self image, coming clean about her own struggle with an eating disorder and I ask her if being a part of an image driven industry only compounds those issues. “It is a constant struggle,” she admits, “I have a daily choice to be healthy in my thoughts or destructive. I do not always make the right choice, and because I have been so open about my struggle, sometimes I feel like a fraud…when GMA week and Doves roll around, I find myself seeing people I love and admire…yet comparing myself. I notice how thin she is or what she is wearing, or how great her hair looks. I hate that about myself,“ Natalie says.

I smile. The last time I saw Natalie, I remember thinking about how thin she was and how I’d kill for that hair.

While image will always play a part in our industry, Natalie adds, “The responsibility lies with me to be transparent and open with myself and my audience…and definitely in my art…I have to let them see the real me. And while I still struggle with insecurities everyday, I have found much strength in being real.”

Even after 14 years, Heather Payne of Point of Grace, still works to reconcile the pressures and demands of looking the part of an artist. They were college students when they were signed, and today, they are wives and mothers. Heather questions whether image pressure might be somewhat self-imposed, “Now that we’re older we don’t feel the pressure from our record company but we put it on ourselves. We’re just like anybody else who watches TV and movies and looks at magazines and sees all these people that are so unrealistic and so picture perfect.”

Heather continues, “I think our very first photo shoot was the most traumatic for all of us. It was the first time we had people scrutinizing the way we did something…the way we tilt our head…or smiled, or showed teeth or didn’t show teeth or did our hair.” Then there’s the issue of photo shop, which she likes to call “photo chop.”

The POG ladies tour the country presenting Girls Of Grace Conferences (, making a point to spotlight real beauty for young girls and highlight the difference between what’s “reality...and what a computer can do.”

Heather elaborates, “Here I am…my hair’s in a ponytail and I haven’t had a shower today, and I’m sitting with a broom in my hand and that is more reality than any kind of photo shoot. I’m just in that sloppy mommy phase, you know, I’m tired.”

Later in the day, I catch a glance in the mirror of my own greasy ponytail, and it makes me want to hop on a plane and fly to her house and help her sweep. We could be tired together.

Heather reminds me of Solomon’s wise and wistful words in Ecclesiastes. ‘It’s all vanity.’ She takes issue with the abuse of the term ‘self image’ these days, “We hear that term so much…that it’s all about self, self, self… we live in a me-driven society. Christians shouldn’t be thinking about self image…it’s about God image. He set us apart.”

Why it Matters
It is no surprise that Sara Groves has valuable insight on the topic of image and authenticity. She references Donald Miller’s book, SEARCHING FOR GOD KNOWS WHAT where he conducted an experiment at a Christian bookstore, trying to find even one ugly person on the cover of a Christian music CD and was unsuccessful. Donald writes, “I don’t mean any of this to say that good-looking people are bad…I am only saying we are, perhaps, even more obsessed, in the church, with the stuff culture is obsessed with. We are hardly providing an alternative world view.”

Sara, like many others, speaks of the rude awakening for her that just making music wasn’t quite enough. “I’m not a real polished person, I grew up as kind of a late comer on knowing the (fashion) rules of things…once I started to learn them I was really self conscious that I’d been breaking these rules for so long…”

A teacher prior to being a recording artist at a major label, Sara wore prairie skirts and Mary Janes to school every day. “I felt this complete collision that what I had been doing was inadequate…” She reminisces about the a huge fight that she and her husband/manager had over the first photo shoot, “He was just trying to get me change my look a little bit…and in a nice way…as my husband, and there’s just no way that conversation was going to go well. Troy called them (the label) and said, ‘Cancel the flight. She’s gone. She’s left the house and I don’t know where she is.’ And I did. I had a long drive and I just wondered how I was going to survive all these pressures. My first GMA week, I just about drowned in it. Having to dress for that was…ugh… Crippling. That first year I was really nervous about looking too old. I already had a job, and was a new mom, and at 25…I felt really old.”

So, how do we strike a balance? “Well, the gospel and marketing have always been uneasy for me and hard to reconcile. That’s all the gloss…the marketing. It’s hard for me because I feel that at some level the audience demands it, and they have an appetite,” Sara says, “It’s like MSG…they’re so used to eating Doritos because they explode in their mouths.” I wonder to myself if the artists are the ones addicted to the Doritos.

Sara and I discuss how easy it is to point the finger at “the industry” when both of us have worked with countless creative people…makeup artists, stylists, art directors…all full of integrity and committed to honoring God with their gifts. We, the artists, can’t possibly pass the buck quite that easily. She paraphrases John Fischer, “If Moses came down the mountain and found a statue of himself, would he have been so quick to burn it?’

Stained Glass Masquerade
When I first felt compelled to write this story, my intention was to focus primarily on female artists. But if you’ve ever wandered around Nashville during GMA Week, you’ll find that pound for pound in hair product, the guys give us a good run for our money. They are not immune to image issues.

I had a long chat with Bebo Norman, who, before he married a few years ago, was known as CCM’s most eligible bachelor. Awkward, I’ve always thought, to be the focus of so much attention from so many overly enthusiastic, squealing college girls. I mean…the “Bebo fan” is kind of legendary. And while most guys have trouble conjuring up sympathy for that particular dilemma, I suspect that to be known for your ‘adorableness’ might be slightly frustrating when you happen to be an incredibly gifted writer and artist.

Did he ever feel like his credibility as a musician suffered? He feels partly responsible for drawing attention to his ‘singleness’ and partly manipulated by it. “I didn’t expect every story and every interview I did for a number of years in my life…to be about being single. My goal, honestly, was to say ‘I’m a single man at this point and it is real life and I’m feeling lonely on the road, but the weird thing is the loneliness became the story.”

The artistic world can be uncomfortable for him. “I’m sort of an artist by mistake…I mean I love to write songs, but I didn’t naturally have an affinity for performing for people…even the word ‘artist’ is such a lofty word. Most people with creativity have an extreme form of insecurity. I don’t know any that I can think of off the top of my head that don’t struggle with a pretty dramatic level of (it).”

Our conversation takes an unexpected turn and Bebo confesses that a couple years ago he almost walked away from it all. He grappled with some serious questions, “…is it even Christ like in any way? I know it’s Christ like in the moment when someone’s hearing a song…and God is using that without question, but there is this system in place…am I completely wrong to even be a part of the system?” He recalls a gig one night once in Portland, Oregon, “I was completely miserable on stage…and I sort of stepped back and called my manager and said ‘I just want to go home for a few months and I may be done.’ I realized that I had become a sort of caricature of myself. I had inflated all of the things I thought people liked to see and I had deflated all of the things I didn’t like about myself.” Even his humility on stage (born out of genuine insecurity early on) became a ‘trained response.’ I knew subconsciously that people would respond to that and that’s what I became,” he explains.

“Being real” these days has, itself, become a marketing ploy, even if it began as a genuine and noble trait. How do we safeguard against those things? “I think it’s not just honesty, its brutal honesty,” Bebo offers.

I toured with Casting Crowns last year, and have a deep appreciation for how small the role of image seems to play in the lives and ministry of Mark Hall and the groups’ members. Even with that, Mark acknowledges that he felt a bit insecure early on about getting involved in the music industry. “There was always this feeling that ‘I didn’t have that look that they all have.’ He laughs about the first time he was on his way to a lunch meeting with some label executives. Once they laid eyes on him, he was fairly convinced they would say, ‘Ya know, Mark…you should…write.’

I ask Mark about the danger of idolatry in Christian music and what we can do about it, if anything…and, he doesn’t skip a beat. “I think the biggest thing is transparency…the songs where we connect with people and we’re letting it show and saying we’re still messed up. Those are the moments that everyone comes out saying, ‘Hey, it’s so comforting to know that there are other people dealing with this…’ I know me well enough to know that I am not impressed with me. And someone being impressed with me…it’s not going to fix them… They’ve got to understand that God is the only person that is going to change their lives,” he explains.

Made to worship… who?
Chris Tomlin has rocketed to the Christian music forefront in the last few years, and we spoke on the morning after the four-day Passion conference in Atlanta. He sounded exhausted but typically warm and willing to jump into this messy conversation about the gospel of good looks. The topic of image and authenticity gets even messier for the worship artist, whose very job is to be invisible, right? How does Chris reconcile the inescapable reality that his shiny happy photo is ever-present?

On the flight to his first photo shoot, Chris remembers opening a letter from Louie Giglio and - to this day - meditating in the words he read. While Louie acknowledged the star treatment Chris was about to experience for the first time, he encouraged him to ‘think about John the Baptist all day.’

“Everyone was coming to John the Baptist in John 3 and saying, ‘You’re it. You’re the deal…You’re getting quite popular here.’ And he responded, ‘I am not…there’s One that’s coming. I can’t even tie His shoes.’ That’s the One you need to go to. And when you see Him you’re going to know that He must increase and I must decrease.’” Louie’s letter continued, “And as they’re taking your pictures today, I just want you to hold that in your heart…’you don’t even tie this guy’s shoes.’ I’ve never forgotten it,” Chris says.

Where the Past Meets Today
Every time I hear Ayiesha Wood’s song, ‘Happy,’ on the radio, I crank it. Sure, it’s a great tune, but it just sounds so believable. She has a rare confidence in her delivery.

Ayiesha grew up in Bermuda…a small British colony and a cultural melting pot. She paints a phenomenal picture of a family whose shade of skin and eye color were as diverse as the United Nations, “All shades and colors and shapes and sizes and there’s just an appreciation for who God made everyone to be,” Ayiesha explains. “If you are not affirmed as a young woman, it tends to leave room for a need to be validated by someone else…to this day, I am my daddy’s brown sugar…just having someone speaking life and allowing us to really love what God has created us to be inside and out…a lot of importance was placed on character.”

She speaks comfortably about some of the tension she’s already felt, being marketed in a pop world and not a gospel one . She laughs about a recent industry event where her music was automatically placed in the Gospel category, “…an assumption based on the color my skin.” She doesn’t sound offended, just amused at the inability of some to reconcile the way she looks with the way her music sounds. Again, I’m struck by her confidence. “I’m not trying to box God in,” she explains, “At the end of the day, who is it that we are representing? It’s Christ.”

Sarah Kelly, Christian music’s resident rocker chick, feels equally as culpable when it comes to the topic of character and the ideals she represents. I ask her if she feels conflicted about the message that our CD covers are sending to a younger female audience. She acknowledges “being a woman, there are always 500,000 things you would change about yourself and to nurture that by making this perception of perfection is just ridiculous.”

For Sarah, “beauty is in the flaw,” she explains. She tells me about a rather painful adolescence, “I used to get made fun of…my hair…in Junior High…people would draw pictures and stick them to my locker…and my voice was the biggest deal... in the 7th grade, my choir teacher told me, ‘Sarah, you’re sticking out!’ It all comes out…the beauty is in the flaw… the things that set us apart that are unique and our features that we’re sometimes made fun of…I mean, Cindy Crawford got made fun of…that mole..."

As a young girl, Sarah taped up a picture of Cindy Crawford on her mirror, to try and copy her make up because she thought they had the same coloring. We laugh about that, until I suggest the possibility that there might be a young girl somewhere out there, with a picture of Sarah Kelly taped up on her mirror, doing the same thing. And, she stops laughing. She’s never considered it. All at once, Sarah sounds flustered and somewhat panicked at the possibility, “That’s everything I don’t stand for…I mean, my gosh, look at me, I’m a mess…if you’re going to do that, pick someone better…I look at myself and I think of everything that’s wrong, I do not think I’m drop dead gorgeous. I don’t think I’m pretty to be honest with you…”

Sarah tells me that the first thing she sees in the mirror is an “abnormal amount of lines under my eyes.” Somebody pointed out these lines when she was 12 years old and now that’s all she sees. “I’ve come through so much and I’m still standing and I love Jesus with all my heart. Those lines should be more like a testimony instead of something I’m trying to cover up,” she explains.

Soul Cages
As someone who has battled with eating disorders, Rebecca Barlow understands what can happen when your body becomes not a temple, but a prison of your own making. “I grew up in the church. I was a pastor’s kid and I think I began feeling this pressure in my life of having to be perfect.” She struggled with anorexia, then bulimia and finally excessive exercise, “…just anything to make me feel better about myself.” After so many empty attempts and filling the void, she came to the end of herself. “I was lying on my bathroom floor and I was like, ‘God, I pretty much want to die today. I don’t know if you can fix me. I don’t even know if you’re real…but would you forgive me for destroying my body?’ At that moment I felt Him in that room holding me and saying, ‘Rebecca, you are destroying what I have made beautiful…and it was like my eyes were open.”

Do those demons still rear their ugly heads? Is recovering from an eating disorder in such an image driven industry a little like being a recovering alcoholic and hanging out in a bar all the time? “I realize I’m always going to be in a battle and it’s easy for me to fall back into that pit,” she adds. She names her relationship with her mom and her Bible as critical “guard rails.”

How has BarlowGirl navigated the tricky waters of being imaged as Christian artists? A disastrous first photo shoot that resulted in the firing of the photographer and a decision to start over entirely was one of the best things that could have happened to them. Rebecca describes the tension between initially agreeing to being airbrushed and “stretched out” to look skinnier and the realization that “this is not God honoring.” “We were like, ‘Wait a minute…we’re talking about not conforming, and yet we’re doing exactly what everyone else is doing.' We had to re-shoot…dressing ourselves, doing our own hair and our own makeup…the very first one.”

I marvel at the wisdom in that, especially when the only thing I can recall about my first photo shoot was how stoked I was to get free new clothes. I remember being so profoundly grateful that I wasn’t schlepping burgers and fries anymore, I probably would have happily worn a chicken suit.

As we wrap up our conversation, she shares that she is “fasting” makeup right now when she’s not on stage…as in, not wearing any. She felt like it was playing too big a role in her life. I cringe at the thought. She explains, “If I’m speaking about image and I always look perfect, what is that saying? What does that tell our audience?”

That’s the question that keeps nagging at me…What does it tell our audience?

Of all the artists I’ve spoken with, there is no one more familiar with tension between faith and art than Amy Grant. As I dial her number, I wonder if she ever gets tired of being asked for the “seasoned veteran” perspective. Early in our conversation I marvel at how she has managed to escape being jaded. Instead, she thoughtfully reminisces about how the role of image, beauty and authenticity have played themselves out since she signed a record deal as a 15 year old.

“I remember when I was in high school feeling very gawky and my mom saying, ‘Just be patient. The most beautiful years of a woman’s life are between 35 and 45…just give yourself some time because what matters to you now will not matter then.’ And she was right.”

Amy’s first photo shoot was really just a friend taking some pictures of her after school. “When I signed my first contract, I was deep in the throes of acne. I changed out of my (school) uniform and put on…I think it was like a blue jean jumper with a red and white checked shirt and he took some pictures and that was it. No hair, no makeup.”

Things are a little different, today. “I mean I grew up in an era where…it was Janis Joplin, Mama Cass and Carole King… The people that were really the front-runners were not beauty queens…they were just good. Music is a totally different thing now…it can’t be just about music. It has to be young and beautiful and I think that’s really sad. I think because I’ve been around so much airbrushing, I never read an article about anybody in the paper, positive or negative, and believe it. I never see a picture of anyone and say, ‘that’s how they really look…’ because it’s all smoke and mirrors. The whole lot.”

Reflecting on a song by Sting called ‘Soul Cages,’ Amy adds, “For awhile that’s how I referred to my body. This is not really me; it’s just my soul cage.” Then she references some beauty advice written by Audrey Hepburn decades ago, and taped above her kitchen window… It reads like a passage from Proverbs:

For attractive lips, speak words of kindness.For lovely eyes, seek out the good in people.For a slim figure, share your food with the hungry.For beautiful hair, let a child run his or her fingers through it once a day.For poise, walk with the knowledge you’ll never walk alone.” – Audrey Hepburn

She leaves me with something difficult to chew on, "You know, we all live in a little pond compared to the big world. I think it’s always important to say that my reality is a tiny piece of the picture. All the kids laid up in St. Jude’s hospital are not worried about what the stylist did on that magazine cover and at the Habitat build nobody was concerned with an imaging problem. I think in a way we can sort of take a microscope and say, ‘oh no! What are we doing here?’ And in the big picture it does not matter."

A bit of a lightbulb goes off as I consider the weight of her words. I am suddenly embarrassed when I think about how many hours I’ve spent talking to artists over the last 4 weeks about beauty and self image and the selling of our selves. And I wonder suddenly, 'DOES it matter?' I feel momentarily insecure about my decision to even write this story... 'Who cares? So Christian artists care too much about how we look...big deal. (Meanwhile, in Sudan...)

But as Amy elaborates, she sort of talks me off the ledge she just unknowingly pushed me out on. She continues " each of us matures, we find ourselves going, 'I can't believe I let some of the goofiest stuff rob me of enjoying life.' And I realize that she's talking about the gift of retrospect that usually grants us this luxury. It is the act of looking in the rearview mirror and watching those mountains disappear into mere speed bumps that give us grounded perspective.

I read back over the words of Amy's mother, 'What matters to you now, will not matter to you then..." and I realize that the cultural preoccupation with self image and the unbalanced way it seems to live in the Christian music industry is a NOW issue for me as much as I wish it was a THEN issue. And, while shining a spotlight on that might only seek to draw more unnecessary attention, piles and pages of transcripts scattered across my desk remind me that spotlights not only showcase, they expose. And that an open dialogue has the potential to be less about chatter and might just be more about change. Does it matter? I spoke with 13 artists who think it does.

Does it matter to you?


Go ahead...we're listening.


Wow, right?! I don't think that our first thought when looking at magazines is "I wonder how this chick really looks". No. I'm pretty sure that our first thoughts are along the lines of "I wish my boobs were that awesome." or "Gosh - she's got such an amazign stomach. I bet she can eat anything she wants, too!"

Sure - if we're really thinking about it, we know that they airbrush this part, trim there, add color there and blah blah blah... but we're all still thinking (on some level, at least) "but I bet this was the easiest airbrush job ever. the probably barely did anything".

Especially us woman - we're HORRIBLE. When a friend compliments us, our first reaction is to say something like "Really?! Cause I thought it made me look like I was 3 months pregnant. Do you really think it looks good?" Or whatever. almost like we need them to tell us a couple more times before we'll believe it because 'they're probably just being nice'.

My poor husband. Most of the times he tells me I'm beautiful or that I looks nice my reaction = "we don't have time to have sex, right now." Am I the only one? Why don't we just believe it?

I remember telling someone not too long ago that when they are tearing their appearance apart, they are slapping God in the face and calling him ugly. Think about it - you were made in the image of God. So if we're mocking our looks, what does that say say we feel about his?

Trust me, I'm eating those words on more than just a daily basis, but it doesn't mean I'm the only one that needs to hear it.

So what are your thoughts? Aggreements? Disagreements? Added points? Corrections?

I'm looking forward to hearing from you guys. Let's be real for a minute or two.


5th Belle Avenue said...

Wow, what a phenomenal post!! It is extremely refreshing and a huge eye opener. I have always respected Nichole Nordeman and several of the other artists mentioned, but this brings that respect to a whole new level. And you are absolutely right. Belittling ourselves is belittling our Creator. He knew exactly what He was doing when He made each of us. Thank you so much for sharing this!

April E. :) said...

It's about truely knowing and seeing ourselves through God's eyes...not putting masks on top of his creation. It's hard as women, but so defining and rewarding when we can really grasp that concept.

Lindsey said...

Whata great post!!! Thanks for sharing this!

Lindsay Gray said...

Very true, thanks for posting.

I have admitted before, I'm a very bad Catholic. It wouldn't be honest for me to say that I think of self-image in a Godly way. But it's true, even the lucky few who grew up in a home of love and daily affirmation have doubts about their own self-image.

It's something most women battle with on a daily basis. Personally, just 5 pounds can make the difference between feeling happy or hideous. And realistically I can look at it and say, "Its not that bad, I look fine", I still feel less confident and find myself smiling less, mostly because I just don't want to be noticed.

Eye opener for me today. Wake up and be happy with who I am! I'm not going anywhere so 5 pounds or 10 pounds, just be happy!

Melody said...

good word my friend.

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