Guest Post: I Will Not Be Ashamed
(DefyGravity just graduated from BYU in theatre education and history teaching, and just had a huge success with her show “To Thine Own Self Be True: Being Female at BYU.” She’s an avid reader, anglophile and she’s been a raging feminist since she was in junior high, which fortunately hasn’t scared away her husband of two years.)
My beautiful, talented, brilliant 23 year old sister who faints at the sight of needles just told me she almost had a breast reduction. She had the money, the appointment, the day off, a ride from a friend, the medication, everything. She backed out at the last minute, but I feel like somone just punched me in the stomach. Why? Why would she feel like that is necessary?
I want to cry when I see women who feel they need to change who they are to be beautiful, to be loved and accepted. Like my roommates who were unable to leave the house without makeup, or my mom when she says she doesn’t want to go to my wedding because she looks terrible in every dress she tries on. I yell at the TV when I see commercials that tell women that they are fat, their skin is wrinkled, their hair is gray, their teeth aren’t white, their lashes are short, etc. etc. But don’t worry, they have a product to fix that! Once you fix your weight, skin, teeth, hair, whatever, you’ll be happy and people will accept you.
On some level, we all know that we are worth a great deal. We hear and quote “the worth of souls is great in the sight of God.” One of the Young Women values is Indivudial Worth. We know we are daughters of Heavenly Parents that made us the way we are and love us for who and what we are. We have family and friends who love us even when we’re cranky or haven’t shaved our legs. But do we actually believe that? Do we walk out our front doors without feeling ashamed? Are we proud of who we are, how we look? Our bodies, as well as our minds and souls were divinely created. Do we treat and appreciate them as such?
There is a fine line between doing something because it makes us happy and doing something because we believe we have to in order to be worthwhile. There is a difference between wearing makeup, cutting/dying your hair, etc. because it makes you happy and doing it because you feel worthless without it.
I am tired of being ashamed. I will walk out of my house in the morning and enjoy who I am. Over the past year I’ve been trying to do that by sheer force of will. So my question is how do we reclaim the right to decide the changes we want to make as opposed to letting someone else decide the changes we need to make.