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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

"real" beauty

Just like our appetite for monster fountain drinks and mammoth screens, the modern template of feminine beauty is out of proportion.  One college student illustrated this clearly with a life size replica of Barbie which was displayed during the school's National Eating Disorders Awareness Week.  The student, Galia Slayen, is an anorexia survivor; I'm guessing this was a personal battle between Barbie and her.  (see the Barbie here)

Now, I'm not a Barbie hater; in fact, I played with them as a little girl (gasp!) and never really believed that she represented perfection (guess my firstborn nature had its own opinions!).  But I understand that it can be confusing to little girls and completely understand why some parents won't allow them in the playroom.  Certainly our daughters don't need another reminder of their supposed "inadequacies."

But, the real problem is the society that laughs at the ridiculous proportions of Barbie on a life size scale, but continues to crave that kind of beauty in ourselves and our entertainment. We embrace our own pain by believing the Barbie lie. 

Beauty is real, beauty has power, and beauty as created by God is good.  But, beauty in our culture is suffering from inflated expectations -  both of those who want to own it and those who want to look at it.

 Beauty must be kept in proper perspective, and that means remembering that Barbie is only a doll, a concotion of plastic and synthetics; the invention of a corporation who created a "beauty" not possible in real women as God made them.  Like baby dolls who never cry or teddy bears who go to tea parties, Barbie is an illusion.  And that's a comforting thought actually; because in real life dimensions, Barbie is a bit terrifying.
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