Monday, April 7, 2014

Measuring up to Barbie

When I was young, my mom didn't let me play with Barbie dolls, at least not for awhile.  She didn't want them corrupting my self-image.  I had a few Skipper dolls, Barbie's younger, less-endowed sister, and eventually "inherited" a few Barbies.  I don't remember the specifics.  I do remember playing with them for hours, creating life events, designing clothes, and such.

As most young girls, I lived vicariously through these dolls, their plastered smiles, perfect figures, sparkling dresses, and devoted Ken dolls.  What girl doesn't want to be beautiful and loved?   (What a person desires is unfailing love. Proverbs 19:22)

But happiness doesn't come through a Barbie world or a Barbie body.  I don't know why it's taken this long to have that "duh, hello!" moment but Nickolay Lamm has designed a more realistic Barbie doll, with average size measurements proportionate to a human teenager.  The design hasn't gone into production yet but I applaud Lamm's efforts.  

Despite what some people are doing to help women regain what it is to be beautifully average, feminine without plastic, I came across something that disturbed me more than I can say.  If you haven't heard of the human Barbie, Valeria Lukaynova, don't bother researching her.  I can tell you everything you need to know. She's basically transformed herself into a Barbie doll, and her unrealistic shape makes me shudder.  She truly does look plastic.  Her heart isn't much more human.  To her, the idea of having children repulses her.  In fact, much of what she's been quoted saying sounds a little too much like Nazism to me. And I wonder, what will happen when that body starts to get old?  Like so many before her, will she continue to buy into the belief that worth comes from outward beauty?  That we aren't acceptable until we are perfect? How sad.

I am learning more and more every year what it means to be loved and accepted, and it comes from the One who designed me and understands me better than I comprehend myself.  Only God can bestow true worth and He does so freely.  I have scars, scars from growing up, from painful surgery, from childbirth.  And yet, I am fully accepted in His sight.  Not just accepted, but delighted in.  He rejoices over me and thinks I'm more than okay.  I am His awesome creation. When I live in the unbelief that tells me anything but this truth--God is for me and loves me always--I will find myself unsatisfied and exhausted because I am trying to gain approval from the world's standard.  As Beth Moore says in her Breaking Free study, "Our hearts will never by healthy unless we learn to accept and abide in God's unfailing love" (178).
Our fulfillment and identity comes from this unwavering fact: I am free and full in God's unfailing love.
Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.  Psalm 90:14
Still, we have to tap into that satisfaction by believing the truth, not the lie.

Your love makes me see who I really am.  BarlowGirl "I Need You to Love Me"
Not everyone will get it: they will try to put their own label on you (beautiful, ugly, accepted, rejected, etc.) but those stickers shouldn't hold fast.  God has already placed His mark on us and it's an untarnished golden crown.

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