Mirror, Mirror On The Wall
- Betsy St. Amant Contributing Writer
- 2004 29 Oct
Mothers, beware. The annoying little bug of discontent from years past has developed into a roaring monster. With fangs bared and claws outstretched, this monster is seeking to devour your daughter's self image. Unlike most monsters, this one does not live in the closet, but rather, in the mirror.
Teenage girls are perhaps the most vulnerable to attack. I remember from my time at a public high school that the desire to look good, feel pretty, and be popular was all that consumed the minds of the girls around me. The worst part of this disease is that is highly contagious. Negativity is catching. If young women constantly hear the same lies over and over, they will start to believe them.
High school, whether one is home schooling or in the public system, is the time in which a girl grows into a woman and develops physically and emotionally. Unfortunately, during that same time period, the monster emerges with a plan of action.
"I think I'll point out that tiny zit this morning," the monster schemes from his home inside the mirror. "I can barely see it, but by the time she walks away, it'll be all she can think about." Or maybe this plot sounds familiar – "I'll just wait until she turns to check the back view. Then she'll hurt herself by not eating all day."
Sounds crazy, doesn't it? A monster living in someone's mirror, pointing out all of their faults, real or imaginary? Ridiculous? Maybe. True? I think so.
There is a song by the Christian band Caedmon's Call that spoke to my heart just the other day. The song, entitled Pieces of Glass, speaks of this very matter. A portion of the lyrics is as follows: "Who are you that lies when you stare at my face, telling me that I'm just a trace of the person I once was? I just can't tell if you're telling the truth or a lie. On you I just can't rely, after all, you're just a piece of glass."
The Bible states in 1st Peter 5:8 that our enemy Satan prowls like a roaring lion, seeking whom he might devour. I believe with all my heart that this includes teenage girls on their path to self-discovery. I strongly feel that Satan, the Father of Lies, uses a girl's self image to manipulate and control her.
A mother's best defense against this attack on her daughter is prayer. I know my mother prayed for me daily throughout those difficult teenage years and continues faithfully to do so today. An offensive move against this monster on your child's behalf would be that of simple encouragement. Mothers, tell your daughter how beautiful she looks. Pick out something about her each morning that really stands out or makes a statement. It could be anything from exclaiming over how nice her outfit is to simply telling her that she looks bright and cheerful. This small effort will live in your daughter's mind throughout her day, whether its at school or home, and be there as a protective shield when the enemy moves in with those fiery darts.
Fathers, your role is perhaps even more critical. Every young girl longs for the approval of her daddy. Compliments from dads last a long time, in the same way that negative remarks linger. It is imperative for parents to take action against the war that is raging in their daughters' mind every time she looks in the mirror.
It is so important to drill into your daughter's heart, as early as possible, the truths from God's Word regarding her value and beauty. A young woman has nothing to fear from a monster if she is daily equipped with direct love letters from God. Proverbs 31 fully describes a virtuous woman. 1st Peter 3:3 states that the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit is of great worth in God's sight.
I recently watched the movie "Mean Girls". The basic plot of the film is that of a new girl at school trying to figure out where she belongs. While it made for a somewhat amusing film, the fact that is glaringly not funny is that the overall theme is true. You can only protect your children from what they see and hear to a certain degree. The sad truth is, the enemy's lies are everywhere – sometimes even in what we deem a "safe" place, like church.
It is very difficult being a woman in today's world. Mothers and daughters both would do well to remember that what the media identifies as being pretty and perfect is not what God sees as beauty. It is hard to watch the commercials and see the movies and the beautiful women on the screen and not compare ourselves with them. We know in our minds that the actresses have had plastic surgery not to mention sitting for hours in front of skilled makeup artists and hair designers. We realize this, but it doesn't make it any easier for us to look into the mirror. This is a daily struggle for all women, including myself, and for many, serves as the frontlines of the battle being waged in and around us.
Women, take heart! Drill into your minds that God made you exactly as you should be. Convince your heart that you are beautiful and worthy in God's eyes. Teach your daughters to do the same! Instill in their young lives of what true beauty really consists. It is important that they hear more of the positive inside the home than they hear of the negative outside the home.
God is bigger than our fears, our faulty mindsets, and our broken hearts. He has the power to stand in front of your mirror and rid it of the monsters within. The key is stepping back and letting Him work in your life. It takes a conscious effort. We can't be free from the chains of insecurity with one quickly uttered prayer. It is a battle that we wage daily.
Next time you find yourself asking," Mirror, mirror on the wall? Who's the fairest of them all", filter through the lies of the monster and listen carefully. If you let God speak to you, you'll hear His voice. "You are, my Princess, my beautiful daughter. You are."
Betsy St. Amant resides in northern Louisiana with her newly wed husband, Brandon. She is currently attending Louisiana Baptist University with a major in Christian Communications and is actively pursuing a career in inspirational writing. You can contact her at [email protected].