I was weeding the front flower beds the other night and listening to two young girls play up the street. Most days you see these two palling around and just doing life together. But this must have been one of their off days. They were arguing.
At first it was, "I don't want to play with you either." Then it was, "Well you can't come to my birthday part and we're having a moonbounce." And so it when for more than 20 minutes. Back and forth across the cul-de-sac the insults flew.
Wow did it take me back. The fights I had with my childhood best friends. Maryann and I could mix it up with the best of them yelling from one front yard to the other. And then in later years Niki and I fought in a canoe and threw the oars in the water while we were mad at each other...that's good strand yourself in a small boat in the middle of the lake with the person you don't want to face. How we fought and how we loved. To this day I still count those girls as some of my best friends.
The fight seemed to take a turn, I heard their voices escalate. And the insults changed...every sentence started with "oh yeah". Then it happened, words were said that couldn't be taken back. Like daggers from the other side of the street they fell on my ears and each others' hearts.
"Oh yeah, well your fat and I don't play with fatties."
"Oh yeah?....well...I like to play with Jenny cuz she's prettier and prettier people have more friends."
"Oh yeah?...Well...I'm not fat and Jenny's not nice."
"Oh yeah? Jenny is so nice and people like her cuz she is pretty, like me. Not like you. Boys like us too, not you cuz your fat."
"You can't be my friend anymore."
"I don't care."
Friends, I heard this argument as we were discussing self-image via facebook and blog comments. *Sigh*
And all I could wonder as I sat out there was when does that happen? When do we buy into the lies that pretty people have more friends and fat girls won't be liked? That looks are what its all about. Why do we buy the magazines with headlines like "Find Your Happy Weight" or "Get Skinny then He'll Want You" (um, yes, I did actually see these!)?
You know, I recently saw an ad for a new show. Some reality show were "plus-sized" (any one want to give me a definition of that?) girls get to compete on a show in hopes to find romance. Okay, wait? Don't they have these kind of shows, like the Bachelor and what not? If it were truly reality wouldn't there by women of every size and shape "fighting" to win the love of a man? Proving that we are worried about casting types, and not real love or, heck, even reality Hollywood is helping fat girls find love. How nice.
Honestly, can you imagine if we stopped worrying about how we looked on the outside? Knowing that real beauty shines from the inside out. The fabric of my life is woven together of women of all shapes, sizes, colors and ages and the ones that stand out, the ones of true beauty, he amazing hearts and strength of character.
Instead, (beauty) should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight. 1 Peter 3:4
Imagine if publishing companies switched their focus. We'd have headlines like "5 Ways to Show Grace at the Grocery Store" or "Integrity, Hope, & Drive -- this Season's Hottest Styles".
Sadly, I don't know that I'll see headlines like this at our local grocery store check out anytime soon. I will, however, be willing to let my life be an open book.
As I learn to be the best woman I can be; becoming comfortable in my skin, drenched in God's grace, I will stretch to be a woman that other's might see beauty in. A woman of a gentle and quiet spirit.
And next time I feel like saying, "Oh Yeah?...Well..." to myself or anyone else I'll ponder 5 Ways to show grace in the grocery store.