Category Archives: Girl Talk

Frappuccinos and chivalry.

(This was written during finals week; somehow I never ended up publishing it. Mah baaad!)

I’m sitting in a comfy chair in the corner of Starbucks right now “studying” for my literature final on tragedy in drama. Needless to say, reading my Bible and blogging sounds significantly more enjoyable. Since I’m already in a Bible-reading, journaling, prayerful mood, something that just happened in front of me triggered a crazy analytical response faster than I could think it out, so here goes an explanation because I thought it was interesting. I’m just trying to distract myself from Oedipus Rex for a little while longer.

So you know those vertical hanging posters in the entry of Starbucks advertising the new (delicious) coconut Frappuccino? A lady just walked in and knocked one of them off of the hanger while rushing to get in line, and it crashed down pretty loudly. She stopped, frustrated, and tried to hang it back up unsuccessfully. The dad sitting with his kids at a table across from me stood up and offered to help her, so she handed him the sign wordlessly and walked away as he hung it up. I was taken aback by her rude attitude, but he did the task anyway, making sure it was aligned perfectly, then he sat back down. But as she was getting in line, he glanced up at her almost as if he was hurt – or at least as if he was expecting a thank-you, which he entirely deserved.

I realized then that so often that’s how women end up treating chivalrous men. It’s frustrating to see women who aren’t thankful for men who open doors and treat women respectfully, all in the name of proving that we are as strong as them and we can “do it ourselves.” Maybe I’m old-school in being a huge fan of chivalry, but I think it’s how it should be. Sadly, with the attitude that so many women have, eventually even the strongest, most Christlike ”Warrior-Poet” (as Leslie Ludy likes to call them) is going to get discouraged, lose hope, and fade away.

But here’s the really amazing and uplifting part about all of this: The ultimate Warrior-Poet, my King Jesus, will never, ever stop coming to my rescue and waiting for me to acknowledge His presence, despite my continuous rejection of Him. The infinite, limitless love that He has for me is insane. I rarely ever thank Him enough, acknowledge His presence enough, or praise Him enough, yet all he has for me is unfailing love in return. I can walk away from him without thanking him for doing something he did not have to do as much as I want, but He is always there to catch me when I fall – and He doesn’t even bring up the fact that I rejected Him. WOW. Our God is an awesome God.

Beau·ty [byoo-tee]

This advertisement appears in the recent issues of Professional Photography magazine promoting an image retouching company. It juxtaposes an unedited, naturally pretty young woman to a heavily retouched doll that many people would identify as “flawless” or “perfect.”

Although this is simply the company’s attempt at drawing in business, I can’t help but think it characterizes the influence of the media on young women’s idea of beauty today. It screams, “See that girl on the left? She is not as beautiful as the girl on the right. You should try to look like the girl on the right!” But the thing is – the girl on the right does not exist! She is not a real human being, but the girl on the left is, and she possesses honest, natural beauty for which the world has lost appreciation.

When girls who are still developing their self-image and figuring out who they are begin to believe that the girl on the right is how they should look, no wonder their expectations get completely screwed up! We tell girls that their freckles, their flaws, and the details about them that make them unique should be covered up, smoothed out, and brightened more than they already are, and this hides their individuality and their God-given beauty. If we are made in the image of the perfect God of the universe (Genesis 1:27), why are we trying to cover all that up in the name of the world’s beauty? It breaks my heart when young women focus so much on meeting this unrealistic goal, which only gets higher and higher as they get closer to reaching it, that they miss out on nurturing and developing the incredible beauty that they already possess because of their Creator’s loving formation of them, knitting them together in their mother’s womb (Psalm 139:13-18). He designed them so that their definition of their beauty need not be focused on braided hair and gold jewelry (1 Peter 3:3), which are not meant to become their top priority because they fade away and do not last past a fleeting moment (Matthew 6:19). Instead, God knows that the appealing qualities in a woman that do not fade away and what have more lasting value and impact are a “gentle and quiet spirit” (1 Peter 3:4) with meaning and purpose.

While a lot of young women already know this, what they’re doing about it is an entirely different story and so many people need the reminder as it is so easy to just get caught up in the commercial realm of beauty that the world is constantly throwing at them. So are you defining yourself and other people by God’s definition of beauty or that of other flawed human beings?