Wednesday, May 23, 2007

What If...She Were A Beauty Queen?

I'd like to share with you a conversation I had with my daughter this evening.

Olivia: Mommy, guess what?

Randee: What?

Olivia: I got invited to be in a beauty pageant.

Randee: You did? That's interesting. How do you feel about that?

Olivia: I don't know. I want to know what you think.

Randee: I'm not sure. I have some reservations though.

Olivia: Like...you think I'll get my feelings hurt if I don't win?

Randee: Yes. And...that I'm concerned that you might think that your outer beauty is more important than your inner beauty. What do you think God would say about that?

Olivia: That being beautiful on the inside is more important than on the outside.

Randee: You're so smart and you're right. It is more important.

Olivia: So, you don't want me to do it?

Randee: I'm not sure. I'll have to think about it and pray about it. Do you really want to do it?

Olivia: I don't know. Maybe.

Randee: Have you talked to Dad about it?

Olivia: No.

Randee: Well, you talk to Dad about it and then we'll all discuss it together...the three of us.

End Conversation

Any thoughts, my sisters? I could use some Godly counsel on this one.

20 comments:

Sheri said...

Randee,

I've seen numerous shows on this subject. Based on what I know I am vehemently against children being in beauty pagents.

I not only worry about the girls, but also the moms. All the moms that I've seen interviewed were so caught up the glam of it all that they lost sight of their daughters. I know that wasn't their original intent but Satan knows where our weaknesses are. I believe that this is an area that he knows well because it touches on so many different sins of the flesh.

I've seen little girls dolled up to look like strippers up on stage gyrating, trying to look seductive in their little girl bodies and it turns my stomach.

I don't think any competition should be based on our outward appearances. It isn't what God intended when he gifted people in this way.

It's not like a talent that can be improved with practice. Our looks are what they are and when we win or lose based on something we have no control over, well it just sets us up for destruction down the road.

If you can get past the "f" word, I would recommend the movie "Little Miss Sunshine." The language is pretty offensive but I loved the theory behind it.

Randee said...

Thanks, Sheri.

I, too, share your sentiments on this.

What I struggle with is "holding her back", I guess. Olivia is quite a lovely young lady at 9. She is, indeed, beautiful on the inside and out. But...she is only 9.

Quite frankly, I'm hoping that she'll simply "forget".

Thanks for your input. Greatly appreciated!

(Anne, do you remember our recent conversation on physical beauty? Perhaps, you'll understand my "psychosis" behind this post.)

Lisa B said...

I think you have had a most wonderful conversation with Olivia and offered some great points -- to pray about it and to talk with your husband as well. God can make all 3 of you of the same mind, if you seek His will in this situation. Honestly telling God that you don't know what to do and your reservations will open your heart and mind to hear from Him.

For my daughter (who will be 8 at the end of June), everything is very competitive. If she cannot win or do something perfectly the first time she tries it, she gives up and quits. She has such a negative attitude about herself, and we struggle with that attitude all the time in trying to show her how she looks in God's eyes. If she came to me asking to be in a pagent, I would definitely say no because I know the damage it could do to her personality.

Olivia seems to have a pretty good head on her shoulders and truly desires to know what you think. If she were to decide she wants to do this from a non-competitive point of view (ie. playing dress-up, imagination-type thing) then it would probably be ok to let her participate. Maybe she can share her light and joy to other little girls who are in the pagent? You never know.

I think she'll surprise you :) Especially since you were so honest with her and emphasized praying about it before making a decision -- and talking with your husband as well. All too often my daughter tries to play me against my husband.

There are definitely cases out there where these little girls look too grown, but when you look beyond that, it's typically a mother pushing her daughter. You're definitely not that kind of mother, and you will not let Olivia get to that point of being so vain. It may be that Olivia will need to participate in one pagent just to see that she doesn't agree with all that goes on there -- or doesn't want to participate any more. I'm sure God will lead ya'll to the right decision :) whether it's to totally avoid pagents, or just participate in one.

Randee said...

Thank you, Lisa.

What a blessing for me to have so many Godly women around me who are willing to share.

My cup runneth over...again.

Anne said...

Randee, wow. Once again, something we're discussing together or writing about separately is on the exact topic. I wonder what's up with God in that regard? Yes, indeed I remember our talk about beauty. What a perfect answer you gave your daughter about inner beauty and consulting with her Father and her father. If Olivia was passionate about doing this, then as a mom I'd want to find out more about it. Is it strictly a beauty pageant? Maybe that's not the main focus on the competition. (Now I'm curious.) Wouldn't it be great to create an Inner Beauty contest for young Christian girls? Still let them feel beautiful on the outside with pampering, but award contestants for tangible ways they've shown God's love out in the world.

Randee said...

Yes, Anne! I was thinking the same thing regarding a Christian girls beauty pageant where the focus is on inner beauty.

Oh, don't get me wrong. Olivia and I both love our pampering. As the matter of fact, she has her own spa business complete with business cards and a menu of services. Will and I are her top clients!

But, this idea of an inner beauty pageant? Hmmm...I think we're on to something here!

Sheri said...

Anne,

I love the idea of an "InnerBeauty Pageant." What a wonderful way to build self-esteem in our little girls.

Norka said...

Randee:

In reading the conversation you had with Olivia, I can see that you are a Godly mother with Godly dreams for your daughter.
Also judging from her answers, Olivia has clearly internalized her spiritual upbringing.

You've got to trust, in prayer, that she will make the right decision. I feel that it is an important step for her to stand up for what she knows to be right.

I know she's 9, and the first thougth is "I should make that decision I'm the adult" True. But that would be too easy. She will obey you, but will she still be cherishing vain thoughts about beauty that in the long run will rear their ugly head in some other way?

If she is able to say NO for herself I think that a greater victory would be won there.

But I know it cannot be easy....I'm praying for both of you.

Norka said...

By the way Randee - would you share the outcome with us?

Anne said...

Sheri, I love how you wrote "InnerBeauty Pageant", and Randee, I'm not surprised that you were already thinking along those lines as well. There's a joyful leap in my heart when I think of it. It reminds me a little bit of the little girls at work I made princesses. At work I created this fantasy of me being Queen, and I even have a crown and wand/spectre on my bookcase, along with some Kingdom bubbles. One day when a co-worker's daughters were visiting I bought them little plastic tiaras on my lunch hour and bequeathed them with Princess titles, and certificate. Their mission for the kingdom was to go out and spread joy and kindness in the world. It was a joyful, fun thing to do, and the girls loved it. I have that same feeling about the InnerBeauty Pageant discussion.

Meanwhile, could you beam Olivia over here...I rarely get pampered, and what a wonderful idea for a business! Geez. What a girl.

Anne said...

This Georgia Christian pageant is the closest to a Christian InnerBeauty pageant I could find (except for one in Nigeria):
http://www.gachristianpageants.com/

Wonderful to see that they focus on service projects!

Randee said...

Oh, I have so many responses to some Inner Beauty pageant winners (atleast in my book) right here on this forum.

Norka:

My eyes teared up as I read your post. Thank you for the compliment. My greatest desire is to raise children who sit at the foot of the cross.

I think it would be wonderful for Olivia to say NO to this pageant of her own free will and heart. Will she do it? I'm not sure. We'll see.

I truly believe in allowing my children to make "safe" choices. I believe in this wholeheartedly because I believe in the value of the preparation.

The question is: Is this a safe choice? Still in prayer and I certainly will keep you up to date.

Anne:

It doesn't surprise me one bit to hear your story of fairytale land. How stunningly beautiful. And, how appropriate for your actions to speak louder than your words. How profound you are.

Did you get my email? Your thoughts, please.

By the way...thanks for the links. I'll check them out!

Lisa:

Olivia is part of a Christian musical theatre group and they are very conscious about modest costumes and content. This organization is such a blessing to us and to the community. Should all cities be so fortunate. The arts...how I embrace their beauty!

The Group:

Have I told you lately how much I appreciate you? How beautiful you are? How your transparency touches me deeply?

You are, indeed, Inner Beauties!

Randee said...

Lori and Lynn...where are you?

As mothers of daughters, you must have an opinion on this.

lifecoachlynn said...

Wisdom comes from experience. Since she already has a strong spiritual base, it could be a significant learning experience for her at a young age. If she were to try one pageant, what a wonderful opportunity to develop some godly discernment about inner and outer beauty and spur on great conversations.
If she wants to continue in pageants after that, hold her accountable to find other positive outlets for that energy!

Lisa B said...

I absolutely LOVE the idea of an InnerBeauty Pagent! How wonderful! I remember awhile back that someone (I forget the lady's name now) had developed a program (discipleship, conferences, etc) for mothers and daughters -- Kingdom Princesses -- because we are all daughters of the One True King. You could certainly do a lot with the Princess theme and emphasis inner beauty as well.

This is such an awesome idea!

Randee said...

Another Update On Olivia and the Beauty Pageant:

Apparently, Olivia went to her dad yesterday with the brochures to the beauty pageant. (I had half-heartedly hoped that she might forget. She is nine.)

She asked him what he thought about it and if she could be a part of it.

She told me this morning that he said...I think that's a safe choice for you to make but I really don't think that's "you".

When she asked him what he meant by that, he said...You are a beautiful young lady. You're my princess. But you're also beautiful on the inside. That's what is most important.

But, I can go if I want to?...she asked.

Let's talk to mom but if it's something you would really like to do then I think it's okay.

When Olivia told me about the conversation with Will, I asked her to think and pray on it this weekend. And, that we would discuss it in a few days.

The discussion continues. The decision remains unknown.

lifecoachlynn said...

Sheri Rose Shepherd has a ministry I think called "His Princess Ministries" She is a former Mrs. USA and helps women claim their inner beauty. She has a few books out.

Lori Arriaga said...

Randee, I think you handled that well and your daughter has a good head on her shoulders already. Even if she decides to be in the pageant she has you and your husband who will keep her grounded in what is most important.

And this might possibly just bring out some great conversations to talk with your daughter about that might not otherwise present themselves if she doesn't and deepen her appreciation and understanding of inner beauty as well as her understanding your reservations about it more clearly.

My daughter is 7 right now and I know if the same situation came about for us, I would hope that I would have handled it as well as you did and that my daughter would have an understanding that inner beauty is much more important. If she didn't, I would really struggle letting her do it and this will probably bring up some debate between me and my husband on the issue because if the opportunity came up he would be all for it as long as we could afford it.

What a wonderful idea - an Inner Beauty Pageant!

Anne said...

Randee, you always inspire me with the wisdom, love and encouragement God has placed in you. Please do keep us updated on Olivia's choice and your decision. I didn't have to worry about my Homecoming Queen daughter as her greatest desire was to be a boy until she was well into her teens! Sadly for me that meant my only girl hated dolls, dresses, lace, bows, long hair and anything pink! Of course now she loves dresses - just figures. :)

Shalene said...

Well, I'm sorry to see that I missed most of this post and comments until now. My daughter also received an invitation to be in a pageant recently. I did seriously consider it, having grown up wanting to be a model, and only giving up that "dream" when I learned I was pregnant with that same daughter 14 years ago. You are right to worry about not only the wordly issues surrounding a pageant, but the emphasis put on outer beauty as well. However, there are some good aspects to SOME pageants. There are some out there that do not have swim suit competitions, do not allow girls under a certain age to wear makeup, and generally promote a healthy self confidence. But even that can be a detriment to a young girl's spiritual health, if not used appropriately. I'm not sure what I would do in your situation, Randee. But I did decide that my daughter would not be in it. Partly because of the cost involved, but also because of the influence it could have on her soul. We are all relatively new believers (I am the only one of all of us that believed and attended church as a child; and even I rejected Him for a number of years) and she already struggles with being authentic and transparent about her faith. I look forward to hearing what the outcome of this is. Who knows, maybe your hope that because she's 9 she'll forget about it or it will become less important, will manifest itself. :) I will continue to pray for you and your family.
In Him