3. Radically redefine my concept of personal beauty.
No amount of sweetly earnest, “Motherhood made me more beautiful” blog posts have ever shocked me into realizing how much I’ve let our deeply disordered culture impact my self-image quite like this little piece from Cosmo (note: link will take you to a bathing suit photo shoot featuring the fashion industry’s concept of a “plus sized model”). Oh sure, you’re probably wisely pointing out that Cosmo and its ilk are about as healthy for a woman’s self-esteem as a shot of anthrax directly to the cranium, and you’d be right. But it’s the comments that followed the article that were the real kicker. Woman after woman resignedly noting, “The industry sets the terminology, not the magazine”. The million-mile stare of a generation of women, hardwired by our Creator to long for beauty, while being told by the world that they will never achieve that goal. Instead, I will constantly remind myself that being size 2 and having long, lustrous hair and an hourglass shape are not, in fact, going to help me in my vocation of wife and mother. And since all beauty has God as its source, it only makes sense that the closer I get to God, the more beauty surrounds me.
Don’t get me wrong – I’ll still pull on the Spanx before going grocery shopping, but I won’t think it’s making me a better person. Just a less floppy one.
So there it is. Three areas I resolve to work on this year, and hopefully with St. Guy’s constant intercession and God’s grace, I’ll make some progress.
If not, well… there’s always next year!