Christian women may know their value isn’t found in outward appearance, but we still live in a culture that places a high value on that.
You may say, “I know you say beauty isn’t what’s important. I know my faith says it’s not what’s important. But everything around me says that’s important.”
Even though we know we should resist, it’s difficult not to get pulled into our society’s thinking. It’s also tough when we feel the negative effects of deciding to be more modest and more concerned with the state of our soul than with the way we look. Shouldn’t we be happy to be similar to fine wines? Enjoyed and viewed accordingly to our very individual bouquets if you will. Has the cork been removed by bitterness and disappointment leaving you flat?
We all have experienced that moment where we are the one left sitting at the table while all our friends are out dancing. In our current time reality television, music videos and even romantic comedies set us up for unrealistic expectations.
These shows, show companionship and marriage is something women win. They earn it. Keeping fit “pin up” bodies and open intimacy rules. It explains that these things mean that they’re good enough for “it”. I think that sends a damaging message to singles. It communicates, “If you aren’t partnered or married, you haven’t won; you’ve lost and you are damaged.” Relationships are so sexualized on these programs, and anything other than a high level of physical contact is considered abnormal behavior.
Sunday afternoon after Mass I flipped on the television and discovered a show, “My Antonio”. Here was a reasonably successful, good looking intelligent man looking for the woman he could spend forever with. I was curious to see if this show was like all the other ‘hook me up” shows. Of course right away the physical showcase began with young women in cocktail dresses trudging up a hill to get to Antonio. What does he supply them after their race up the hill? He gives them each a manicure and pedicure. If that was not laughable enough at the end of the show you are shown the choice of which will stay and go. The big reveal on this show ends with waiters putting down silver covered platters in which they received “just desserts”. What really set this show apart was the fact that Antonio’s mother was a key factor. In an odd way, it was the first time that any “on-air bachelor” had factored in from the start his mother’s take on the women. There seemed to be a hope that this show wouldn’t be a typical reality date show. It didn’t take long before Antonio started his physical query and quest. He made it very clear that he was looking for the “whole package”. You would later learn that the whole package was a size 0 and willing to entertain him with alluring dances.
We look at the women who cry when they’re rejected on these shows, when they’ve barely gotten to know the man who rejected them. We think they’re so foolish, but underneath they just got confused, thinking that if someone would want them and choose them, then they’d be valuable. I don’t think these women fall in love with the person, but with the concept of being in love and, more importantly, of being loved. They are willing to reveal everything in the need of being showcased as special. The real question at hand is difficult. Have we lost the art of what it takes to truly find the glass for us?