Sorry, that costume won’t make you look like a model

Posted on October 29, 2010

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Halloween costumes at Barrio Antiguo, Monterre...

Image via Wikipedia

My Halloween costumes always sucked growing up. For a creative person, this was an annual FAIL on my part.  We didn’t buy costumes from the store. We made them.  I would procrastinate and end up with some lame costume like a hobo or a greaser.

But there was no pressure for us to have great costumes then. It was usually dark, cold and raining, so most people had coats on over their costumes anyway.  Now, the grade school has a Halloween parade where the parents can see all of the kids in their costumes for a few minutes. It really is a lot of fun and the kids are so cute. And the parents seem to step up with the costumes for our kids.

Now, we get a bazillion costume advertisements in the mail each year. Few people actually make their costumes.  We buy them. Our girls love to look through the pages and change their minds over and over again.  Fortunately, they take after their mother and always look adorable on Halloween, regardless of their costume choices.

My oldest daughter chose a cat costume from one of the magazines this year.  However, when she put it on this morning she didn’t feel as cute as she thought she would. Something just didn’t live up to the expectation she created from seeing the model in the magazine.  “She’s only in second grade!” I thought.  “Does she already feel insecure because she doesn’t look like someone in a magazine?!”

I’ve tried to explain to her that the kid in the magazine probably doesn’t even look like that.  With technology and airbrushing, cropping, etc. anything is possible. But that’s a hard concept for a seven-year old to grasp.

Those of you with daughters can certainly relate. As a guy, this is a bit of cold irony because I was the typical “how YOU doin’?” frat guy in college. It didn’t bother me that most costumes for girls were too revealing – I LOVED that. Shallow? Sure. Honest? Yep.

Now I struggle with protecting my daughters and teaching them what REALLY matters. What really matters is who we are, not what we look like and how much other people approve or disapprove. What really matters is that God made us in His likeness and God is perfect.  If the creator of the universe likes how someone looks, who the heck are we to disagree? But we do, don’t we? All of us?

What really matters is the example I portray for my girls, not just the words I say. My world has been turned upside down. If a Victoria’s Secret commercial comes on TV, I quickly change the channel instead of drooling on the remote.  When we see magazines at the store, I subject my kids to long and confusing speeches about being content with themselves and the evils of editing photos! I get angry when I see altered photos and girls with eating disorders and low self-esteem. This world is more confusing to me. Who is this bald guy in my mirror?

Fortunately, God was listening,as HE always is. When I took my wife’s car to the shop this morning, they had a Christian radio station playing (K-LOVE). “Beautiful You” by Jonny Diaz was on. It was the right message at the right time for me.

Watch the video below and listen carefully to the words.

Play this song for your daughters and explain to them (in better ways than I have) that how God thinks is what matters.

And, please share with us how you speak to your daughters about issues like this. Happy Halloween and God bless!

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Posted in: October 2010