I had a shock while thumbing through a magazine
by Christie Browning
I'm typically not a magazine subscriber. I once was, but after they piled up on my coffee table month after month, I decided it wasn't worth it. But for some reason, I received a copy of a well-known women's magazine in the mail yesterday. I didn't request it or sign up for it... so I imagine it is either a solicitation aimed at getting me to subscribe... OR... someone out there sees how badly I need some fashion advice and they subscribed me some help!
I laid the magazine on my desk with the other mail and behold! There it was this morning...waiting for me to flip through its glossy pages, inhale its perfume samples and dive into the fashion advice it offers.
I was shocked to realize that this magazine actually taught me a few lessons:
- I wear way to much fabric compared to these fashionistas. But I rather like covering up all my bits, so I don't look for that to change. I rather believe our age should be an indicator to the percentage of our bodies that should be covered.... 40 years old, 40% of your body should be covered ... just kidding, but we all know some gal out there that is stuck wearing only 18% and she passed 18 years old a long time ago!
- My just-woke-up-hair is totally acceptable in the workplace or at a meeting. However, somehow my tossed tresses don't look nearly as fashionable as it does on the high-cheek boned, beautifully bronzed, Barbie-look-a-like model ... who, I might add, is standing in a business conference room holding a briefcase with her tossed locks and her shirt unbuttoned to her navel.....not the look I've sported in a professional atmosphere, but there's a first time for everything!
- There is no way to inhale or rub these perfume samples without looking like a mad woman who has just seen fire for the first time. Not to mention the paper cuts that are now on my wrists and neck. These should really come with instructions. OH WAIT!! There are instructions... "lift here to experience..." So maybe I just need to sniff and not rub it all over my body. Got it!
All joking aside...my real revelation came from the amount of pages I had to flip through before finding anything of substance. Literally, 61 pages of advertisements for perfumes, handbags, jewelry, shoes and clothes were stacked before the first page of the actual magazine -- which was only the index page! I still had to go another 33 pages before I hit the first article.
Now, I know as well as you that these advertisements are financially the back bone of this and every other magazine out there. I get it. I'm not really appalled at the amount of ads themselves or even the strategic placement. What does make me scratch my head is the large amount of emphasis placed on outward appearance.
Tossed hair-dos and yoga pants aside, I enjoy looking nice. I like to wear nice outfits, have a flattering hair-do and sport my version of the smoky eye -- which looks more like I got into a cage match with my eyeliner and lost. Fashion and looking good is not all lost on me, but these 90 plus pages makes me wonder... really? Really is that what we are aspiring to emulate? Are these the images we want our daughters and granddaughters to pattern themselves after?
Just go with me for a moment --- imagine a gorgeous, glossy magazine cover with a 70 year old (or older) woman on the cover. She's wearing what looks like a tattered robe. Fabric is draped over her head hiding her hair. She isn't wearing a single swipe or smear of makeup and no jewelry is found hanging around her neck or dangling from her ears.
To those passing by this unexpected cover, the image may stand out simply because it is so different than the rest. But if you were to turn to the cover story, you would read about a woman named Sarah. She was married to Abraham and had a baby long after her biological clock rang for the last time.
Or maybe we could put this gal on the cover -- I've read about her and maybe you have as well -- her name is Hannah and she desperately wanted a son. Her story is one of patience, diligence and obedience.
Or how about those ladies we know as Mary and Martha -- not Martha Stewart! You know those two gals who played host to Jesus in their home. I bet they could give us all some tips on keeping house and so on.
Obviously these are not the covers that are going to adorn magazine racks anytime soon. But I think you get where I am going. What if our measuring stick was formed from women that moved mountains for God. What if our comparison and aspirations were held to those great gals who have impacted the world for the Kingdom. You don't even have to look to the scriptures because we have great women right here in our day-to-day living.
Better yet... what if YOU were the one someone could aspire to because of your confidence in who God made you to be, the power He's given you and the grace to be A-OK with that!?! Imagine if our daughters and granddaughters saw us as the women they emulate and want to grow up to mimic. I bet we could teach them more than how to apply the perfect lip gloss and how to wear the latest wedges.
#liverevised -- Christie