#WisdomWednesdays|DEEVA PROSE: Who Sets The World’s Beauty Standards?

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NADINE-CALABAR CARNIVAL-1In 2009, I had a friend come visit. It so happened that she met two of my daughters, Nadine and Chavonne playing the game of ‘pretend .’

On this day, they pretended to be contestants in a beauty pageant. So they came out in Nigerian traditional attires to strut their stuff.

To my amazement, when Nadine who was then nine years old came out to display her attire, my friend teased her…telling her she had a big tummy. She said she wondered how big her tummy would be as a young lady if it was this big now. And she was having a good laugh over it!

Since when were children judged by such beauty standards? How would you analyse such an unkind comment directed at a child even if it was said with the best intentions?

There is nothing as sad and unforgivable as robbing children of their childhood. If there’s anything to be appreciated most about childhood, it would be Innocence. Nothing should bother a child because adults are meant to do the worrying for them. So why not allow them enjoy this liberty while it lasts knowing that before long, they also will grow up to do the worrying for their own children?

CHAVONNE-CALABAR CARNIVAL-1Chavonne Williams at the 2009 Calabar Christmas Carnival

What wouldn’t we give to have the brain of an adult and the characteristics of a child? Jesus encouraged us to be like them. Their skin looks and feels like buttermilk. Their metabolism is perfect. They don’t gray or wrinkle. When they smile, it is worth more than a million dollars.

They believe in Santa and the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy and Fairy godmothers. They even believe animals can talk! I can imagine how perfect our blood pressure would have been, if we could only build our own make-believe world of happiness. This is Faith. Such faith scares away the evil forces of nature from your life because you don’t believe they have the power to harm you in the first place. So this mindset renders evil powerless.

Don’t you see that sometimes when a tender child is ignorant of danger, that child is protected by a powerful unseen force because its heart knows no fear? Yet these gifts of Boldness, Innocence and the power of imagination are what we seek to destroy.

Who gave us the standards for beauty? Who told us a female can only be judged beautiful if she is blonde, blue-eyed and skinny? Who said the criteria for being judged a handsome man was to be above six feet, with six-pack abs?

This is why we see men and women shopping for body parts in a cosmetics surgery clinic as often as they shop for groceries. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against cosmetic surgery if one does it because it is absolutely necessary. I only have have issues with it, if it is done because one has problems with self-esteem.

A low self-esteem usually starts with teasing. A child grows up thinking he or she is ugly. An adolescent becomes self-conscious and loses confidence because he or she has acne. A young lady has no social life because she has ‘under developed’ breasts or guys call her ‘Watermelon Mama’ because they feel she’s too busty. A young man hasn’t the confidence to ask a girl out because his fellow guys have been teasing his ‘little friend’ in the locker room. The worst of all is the “I want to look like my favourite celebrity” syndrome.

NADINE-CALABAR CARNIVAL-2My first daughter, Nadine Williams and I at the 2009 Calabar Christmas Carnival

Please people, lets be wise. It takes a moment of realisation to awaken a state of enlightenment. I grew up hating my legs, simply because I was always teased about having legs too thin for my frame.

One day, I got wise. Would I rather cut off my legs because I hated them? I love good shoes, so how was I going to wear them if I had no legs? I then realised I was ungrateful to my creator. I did not appreciate the effort and the great work of art involved in creating me.

So I made sure I flaunted those legs in the prettiest dresses, skirts and shoes. Before long, people noticed the confidence. They had to because it became contagious. Now I look at those same legs and wonder why I once punished myself, thinking they were ugly.

I teach my children, especially my daughters never to let any negative comment get to them. “Bounce it off!” I tell them. I tell them as often as I can how beautiful they are and indeed  they are BEAUTIFUL.

We all are beautiful, so stop the self-hate. If you truly love yourself, others will see the beauty in you.

CHAVONNE-CALABAR CARNIVAL-2My second daughter, Chavonne Williams and I at the 2009 Calabar Christmas Carnival

 

 

 

Article Written By: Peace Ben Williams.

No part of this article should be copied or published without the permission of the author.

Who Sets The World’s Beauty Standards? ©2014

©Peace Ben Williams Blog. All rights reserved.

Photo Credit: PsycologyToday.com | Masculine Epic | Best Massage Toronto | City Pages | Ben Williams-Lenstrokes Photography |

 

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