These are my girls and I worry about them.
There’s good reason for my worry. Our culture’s attitude towards young women has begun to look like that of an unbridled teenage boy on testosterone injections. We live in a super-sexed society!
The sexification, erotification, and objectification of girls drive the sales of everything from crescent wrenches to smart phones. These promotions force a pattern of thinking about girls upon boys and men. It damages their ability to interact with the opposite sex without a lingering hint of sensuality and fantasized focus on female body parts.
This wrecked way of watching women doesn’t only affect men and boys. Instagram, Facebook, and Youtube feed our girls a visual diet of flawless faces and fit figures. Social media superstars have perfected the illusion of creating the ideal body and life which fits nicely in the palm of every girl’s hand sandwiched between a thin layer of glass and electronics. This crafted concoction is a counterfeit that contaminates the eyes of young girls who can no longer look in the mirror with contentment.
And then there are the divas such as Beyoncé, Lady Gaga, Miley Cyrus and many others who have further stimulated young men and women to pursue the provocative. Their erotic exposés have made it to the center of our cultural celebrations. No longer can you enjoy decent entertainment without being visually and audibly violated. Ironically, the very women who demand the right to flaunt their sexuality also lament the objectification of females and feign support for women’s rights.
Some might just say that I’m a father of three girls who’s just overreacting. That may be true, but I’d rather overreact than underreact or not react at all to the sexification of our our society and it’s dangerous effect upon girls.
So what can I do about it?
I want to suggest 6 things that you and I can do to help our girls navigate the minefield of our super-sexed society.
1. Never sexualize anything
I must understand power of my example. My girls are watching me and I want them to see a man who respects women, a man who carefully keeps moral boundaries, who doesn’t laugh at degrading jokes, and always treats all women with honor and esteem. If I can give them a good example it will help them immensely as they evaluate the attitude of young men towards them and consider marriage.
2. Love their mother
Above all women I must love their mother. My relationship to my wife will be what they expect and probably what they will look for in a husband. I must love her as a woman, as a mother, and most importantly as a soul whose inner beauty surpasses all outward appearances. I want my girls to see an adoration in my heart for the heart of their mother, I want them to see that I respect her thoughts, her opinions, and her feelings. I don’t want them to ever think that my love for her is precariously dependant upon an ambiguous standard of outward beauty. She will always be my one and only standard of beauty!
3. Assure them of my love/care/concern of who they are over how they look
I will tell my girls they look beautiful occasionally but more often I will commend them for their accomplishments at school, their talents, their creative skills, their helpful and kind spirits, their humility, their faithfulness, and their service to others. I will also assure them that I love them because they are my daughters and not because they have thousands of followers on Instagram.
4. Unceasingly point them to the source of all true self-worth, self-confidence, and contentment
When they are feeling less pretty than other girls, when they start to believe the lie that their worth comes flawless skin, when their bodies measurements don’t match their favorite pop-star’s, I will point them to Jesus the source of all true worth. I will tell them that self-confidence is not about what the mirror says but about what the Messiah said! Jesus is not ashamed to call them “sisters” (Heb 2:11). They can’t have more worth than that, but it must be found in Jesus and not in social media, a boy’s opinion, or anything else.
5. Discuss the dangers of sexualized media
It takes wisdom and life experience to see through the deception in our media’s interpretation of how girls and women should look and should be looked at. When there is opportunity I must discuss with them how certain images and videos can be damaging to their own way of thinking and how to avoid those false patterns of thinking.
6. Pray for them
It’s scary to send my girls out alone into a super-sexed society. I need to pray for myself, I need to pray that I will trust God’s protection for them and guidance of them. I need to pray that they will seek God rather than the attention of others. I need to pray they will continually grow in their understanding of their worth in Christ.