Tonight’s theme was “Barbie, Beauty and You.” The goal of the night, as written in the lesson plan, was to “be able to look into the mirror and see your heart, as well as your face or your body, and learn that God loves you just the way He made you.”
I put these magazine pictures on the wall, and I asked the girls to take a look at them. We talked about how it made them feel to look at these women, and asked them what they thought about their looks, about their skin, about if they looked “natural.” They agreed that they didn’t look very real – they looked like Barbies, they said. I told them that sometimes images like these can make us wish that we looked like them – and that can make us think we’re not beautiful.
Then we watched the Dove Evolution video, which I just love. The girls were shocked to see how different the woman looks on the billboard than she does in real life. They exclaimed, “That’s wrong! That’s mean! That’s lying!” Then we went over to the Dove website where they have a little quiz to see if you can tell the difference between images that are real and digitally manipulated. (go here: http://www.dove.ca/en/default.aspx#/cfrb/girlsonly/image_manipulation.aspx) It is scary!
I shared my own stories about times I have felt insecure about my image. How in highschool, I simply did not leave the house without a ton of makeup on. Once, my brother watched me do my makeup routine, and afterwards he said, “You look like you’re going to the prom!” He was right, and that’s the way I liked it. I didn’t think I was pretty without makeup. I hope and pray that these girls aren’t going to believe that lie, especially now that they’re getting into their “tween” years.
We ended the discussion with some statements about what real beauty is. Here’s a few:
-Real Beauty is being exactly who you are and never apologizing for it
-Real Beauty is being honest with yourself, no matter how painful it is
-Real Beauty is loving your body, no matter how imperfect it is
-Real Beauty is looking in the mirror and smiling about what you see
-Real Beauty is about seeing the beautiful things in others and telling them
-Real Beauty is walking around with self confidence but not with an attitude
I asked the girls to come up with their own definitions of “real beauty.” I was so happy with what they came up with.
I felt really good about how the evening went. We had lots of good discussions and I’m pretty sure the girls understood the message. I think it’s so important to make sure young girls know that you don’t have to look like Barbie to be “beautiful” or valuable.