The concept of beauty in our Western European, or "Gentile" world, lacks
much. I've posted elsewhere a description of the Navajo concept of
"hozho", loosely translated as "beauty", but with a much deeper
meaning. We simply don't have enough nouns or adjectives in English to
accurately describe what "hozho" means to the Navajo mind, and
describing it fully by a white man like me is impossible. But here are a few
helpful English words that may help us to understand: "hozho" represents
beauty, joy, peace, harmony (particularly with nature), blessing, happiness, and
because "hozho" has the qualities of a verb as well, it can be taken as
a walk or a lifetime journey through all of the aforementioned terms. One of the
highest compliments that one can pay to another in Navajo is the term
"nizhoni", a derivative of "hozho", which can be taken as
"you are walking in beauty, harmony, along the straight path that a Navajo
is expected to walk." We western Europeans could learn much from the Navajo
concept of beauty.
"How am I supposed to feel any self-esteem ...?" The question should
stop right there. Whether it is beauty, intelligence, athleticism, or general
"coolness," the answer is the same. Focus on the right things and let
the rest take care of itself. Your worth is not based on any of those things."How am I supposed to remain confident and not get discouraged when
the guy I am with looks at another woman or tells me how "hot" she
is?" You want a guy who will love you when you are 80 years old, long after
the physical beauty (and intelligence, athleticism, etc) has faded. That problem
is with the guy you are with, not you."I yearn to look like
those women to get men's attention." I believe most women dress to
impress other women more than men. In fact, I believe many women are far more
shallow than men, especially the men you would want to take to the temple.The things that make any woman attractive to me are clear eyes and a
beautiful smile, especially one that comes from deep inside and truly reflects
her belief in who she is.
I agree, to compare is human or natural. But we are invited to overcome the
natural man or women tendencies that we have and, through divine help, do and be
better. Comparing and competing will always lead to disappointment and
discouragement. There will always be someone more talented, better looking,
successful, wealthier, etc..., and that is true even when we allow for the
distortions of photo shopping,new technology,etc.. So, perhaps in a world
saturated in distorted images, we need our creator's help (divine help) to
overcome the natural and human tendency to compare and compete and to enjoy the
uniqueness of all His creations, including ourselves. If there is something in
ourselves (physically, emotionally, spiritually, or otherwise) that needs to
change, He will help us to see that ("as it really is" --without
distortion), and He will help us to change and to recognize the progress we are
making and to ultimately be content with who and what we are.
Out of curiosity, who selected the image of the woman included in this article?
The article stated the following "[...] with technology like
Photoshop, filters, perfect lighting, contouring makeup, etc., we can end up
comparing ourselves and expecting ourselves to be just like things that
don’t actually exist."Seems unusual to mention this and
still include an image of a woman that probably meets that definition. The
presence of this image in the article seems to reinforce the spirit of what
"Issues with image" is frustrated about.
As a man, there is no comparable measure to what women feel with the extreme
tide of vanity in the modern world. The way women are groomed by culture to
feel unworthy if they don't meet unrealistic stereotypes is a sickening
proposition. It tries to negate the very tenderness and eternal value intrinsic
to all women. As a father, despite all I can do to tell my daughter
everyone is a child of God, eternal qualities are more important, warn about
dangers of vanity, etc., and keep immodest images out of my home, she will be
inundated regardless from other children and various sources outside the
home.As a Mormon, I love the Primary and Youth programs that teach
all children about the eternal worth of every soul, etc. However, all the
things to prevent girls (in particular) from feeling inadequate from distorted
perceptions of self-image through worldly influences does not seem to be enough
at times.I know as my daughter lives the principles of the Gospel of
Jesus Christ, she can come to see her eternal worth. But, I also see how she
will stumble because of the world. What is to be done?
Eternal Perspective,Nothing will be enough at times, but that
doesn't mean a bout of distorted perspective is permanent. Besides teaching our young people, boys and girls, about their divine worth we
have found it helpful to "part the curtain" so to speak during our many
conversations with our children and point out the shallowness of the "right
look". It helps to have a sense of humor. My daughter came home
from junior high laughing about a conversation she had overheard. It seems a
girl was complaining that her dad would not buy her an expensive pair of ripped
jeans. Instead he offered to buy her a cheaper pair and rip them for her. She
had had countered with the argument that she wanted a "professionally
ripped" pair. This phrase became our watch word when discussing
fashion and looks - keeping our kids perspective in check. Also,
when a husband and father shows his unconditional love to his wife there can be
no stronger message sent to youth about what real love looks like and who is
worthy of it.
I wonder if those other women you are talking about are secure in their
appearance. Perhaps they are even more insecure than you are because their
persona is wrapped up in their beauty and they feel they have no other virtues
to fall back on.Maybe that explains why they go to extraordinary
measures to enhance their "beauty." A nip here, a tuck there, cosmetic
surgeries of all types, starvation diets, cosmetics, jewelry, revealing
clothing, even tattoos. It seems they are never truly satisfied so they are
always trying to improve their appearance. That doesn't sound very secure
to me.The scriptures talk about people who are "ever learning
and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth." Perhaps these
"beauties" that you envy are also "ever enhancing but never able to
come to an understanding of their real beauty."
Its a convenient excuse women use when they see any picture of a beautiful and
slim woman: "she must be photoshopped"The Des news has been
going way overboard lately trying to convince women(mostly mothers) that they
have no control over their bodies and its impossible to have a slim, attractive,
and toned body so don't worry about it.I don't think this
attitude is any better than what Hollywood teaches us.
@Chris B - I think you're being a tad overly-critical of the DesNews. I
don't think the message they are sending is that women have no control over
their appearance, so they shouldn't try. Rather, I think the message is:
when setting your self-expectations, don't set the benchmark somewhere
impossible for anyone to reach. I think the women need to remember
that this issue does go both ways. Plenty of men out there feel like
they're not up to society's standards of "good looking" or
"handsome." I just think that men deal with it differently and are
generally more accepting of themselves.But I think both men and
women would do well to remember that "attraction" is rarely ever based
solely on physical appearance. A man/woman could be the most aesthetically
appealing person on the planet, but still be unattractive because he/she is a
horrible person. As others have pointed out, physical appearance changes over
time, but what remains is the person we are... Of course physical attraction is
important, and we should all take care of our bodies; but being a good person is
even more important.
There is a really good talk given by Elder Holland in the October 2005 general
conference entitled "To Young Women" that addresses what "Issues
with image" is frustrated with. Here are some snippets:"Frankly, the world has been brutal with you in this regard. You are
bombarded in movies, television, fashion magazines, and advertisements with the
message that looks are everything! The pitch is, “If your looks are good
enough, your life will be glamorous and you will be happy and popular.”
That kind of pressure is immense in the teenage years, to say nothing of later
womanhood. In too many cases too much is being done to the human body to meet
just such a fictional (to say nothing of superficial) standard."[...] In terms of preoccupation with self and a fixation on the physical, this
is more than social insanity; it is spiritually destructive, and it accounts for
much of the unhappiness women, including young women, face in the modern world.
And if adults are preoccupied with appearance—tucking and nipping and
implanting and remodeling everything that can be remodeled—those pressures
and anxieties will certainly seep through to children."
I agree with what Chris B is saying (shocking), but I'll tread more lightly
than he did. There's a tradeoff here that a lot of women (and men)
struggle with.On one hand, there's having self-esteem and being
OK with who we are. We have to realize that only a blessed few have hit the
genetic lottery that gives them that "perfect" body that seems to stay
that way no matter what they do to it. Likewise, there are even fewer who have
the time and means to do the work required to keep a perfect body. For folks
with normal lives, this type of look is probably unrealistic and we need to
realize that.On the other hand, if you become "too OK" with
who you are, then that leads to embracing unhealthy habits and lifestyles.
Ballooning to 400 lbs. because you're "comfortable with who you
are" is dangerous too.Ideally you want to be OK with looking
like something less than a supermodel, but not so OK with it that you stop
seeking the desire to improve your health habits. It's a hard line to walk
and many have trouble doing it.
Shawnm750 and 1.96 Standard Deviations,Thank you. Excellent
comments.Brave Sir Robin,I think most studies suggest
that folks who grow to than unhealthy of a weight started with self-image or
other issues. It wasn’t just a “hey, I am good enough at whatever
weight” mentality.All,Think of your high school or
college. Now think of the three or four most attractive guys or girls on
campus. Then realize that none of them are good enough for the magazine cover.
First, they must be toned and sculpted with exercise, diet, and very likely a
surgeon’s scalpel. Then, makeup and just the right clothes and lighting
are needed. And then - even then, they are insufficient. Not good enough. The
image must then be manipulated to make what is already an unreal image into an
even less real image.And then we allow the barrage of media to tell
our sons and daughters that this is what they should be and that this is what
they should expect of their dates/spouse - that which does not exist in the
natural world.We can and must do better.
Shawnm, I really don't think I am that far off from the truth. If
you've been following the Des News the last 6 months or so in particular,
rarely does a week go by that we don't get a mommy blog or similar article
telling women that because they've had a baby its impossible to have a
great body, or that because photoshop exists its impossible to have a slim and
toned body.Hollywood sends the message that looks are everything - I
get that. But it really has gone to the opposite extreme from the Des News.
There have been several women in the national news the last year or
so that have gotten attention for showing off very slim, toned, and attractive
bodies shortly after giving birth(no, no surgery) and promoting the value of
fitness and eating right. Rather than using photoshop and having
kids as excuses for overweight and out of shape bodies, why not highlight the
many women who exercise regulary, EAT RIGHT, and have fit/slim bodies whether
they've had kids or not?
Chris B:Eating right, exercise and treating our body well is all
good. However, the world's obsession with showing off "slim" or
"fit" bodies is pure vanity and a symptom of other spiritual problems.
1.96, working towards having a slim and fit body is no more evil than a woman
who colors her hair, paints her nails, or wears anything other than pioneer
clothing. But speaking of problems, not having a slim and fit body
is highly correlated to a multitude of health problems.
My advice is simple.Shut off the TV, don't go to many movies,
and lay off the Hollywood gossip, learn to relax.If you keep
surrounding yourself with images that make you feel bad about yourself, you are
not doing yourself any favors. Imagine you are on a diet, and you work at an
ice-cream shop. You are always going to feel bad. Remove yourself from that
situtation.Next, when it comes to guys and dating, if he is
seriously looking at other girls when on a date with you, then tell him to take
you home. It isn't worth your time to be with a guy who isn't
interested in you. If you only think that he is checking out other girls while
on a date with you, you need to work on your self esteem some more.
Working to have a fit body means you are healthy, which is way better than
putting on makeup especially for your heart and lungs. LOL. Makeup compared to
workout and healthy eating. I think a fit woman is more attractive than one
wearing makeup and nail paint. Just me though.
I agree with CBAX. That said, many women overdo it setting unrealistic
expectations. There are a lot of women that are just fine they way they are
already that think they need some kind of a change. It is important to set
healthy goals. Athletic performance is a better goal than weight - it is harder
to go wrong. E.g there are a lot of women that have "model" weight but
very few of them will be able to run a 5 K under 30 minutes because their hearts
and muscles are too weak even for the support of their light weight. Healthy
diet and exercise can fix it with some very rare exceptions - I've seen it
happen many times. I've seen people fail, too, but in every single case I
remember there existed a severe lack consistency with diet and training. And I
agree with others who say dump the guy.
For starters, ditch the guy who is checking out other women, let alone making
the comments. Any man who is doing the "elevator eyes" thing with women
(whether when with you or not) considers women objects. Research shows that when
men look at women in that way the part of their brain involved in human
relationships (emphasis on "human") goes dormant. In other words, all
the feelings of love and tenderness and compassion are set aside. Yes, those men
who don't objectify women can be hard to find, but the effort will be worth
it. Their spirits project a feeling of love, respect and consideration to
everyone they meet, men and women alike.
Here are just a handful from the Des News lately. And don't get all worked
up claiming I'm supporting an obsession that some women have to weight 100
pounds. I'm just suggesting going overboard like the Des news does is not
healthy either. Why not run an article every week highlighting a
woman who had a baby or not and how they've managed to stay healthy and
slim and yes attractive(gasp) through exercise and proper nutrition?"Babies ruin bodies" - Jan 2 2014Healthy approaches to
dealing with your post-baby body" Jan 14 2014"Developing a
healthy body image: Mothers, stop trying to fix your daughters" - Nov 7
2013"Jennifer Lawrence proud to promote realistic body image for
girls" - Nov 12 2013"Teen activists combat body image
negativity with online tools" July 4 2013‘Enough is
enough: Maintaining a positive female body image in a competitive
society’" Dec 5 2013"Teenage girls eating cotton balls
to stay thin" Nov 20 2013"Bouncing back after baby"
August 7 2013"Loving our bodies" July 2 2013"Feeling attractive after baby"
RE: Angels improve yourself is divine i.e….Rely on your own Inner
Self - the Divinity within you. Tap the source through looking within. Improve
yourself. Swami SivanandaRE: Twin Lights We can and must do better.
God became man so that men might become gods,”Christians immediately
fear an influence of Eastern mysticism from Hinduism or pantheism.But such an influence could not be further from the Orthodox understanding.
The human person does not merge with some sort of impersonal divine force,
losing individual identity or consciousness. Intrinsic divinity is never
ascribed to humankind or any part of the creation, and no created thing is
confused with the being of God. Most certainly, ‘humans are Not accorded
ontological equality with God,’ nor are they considered to merge or
co-mingle with the being of God as He is in His essence.
I have comments regarding this writer's question.1) I expect to
see a talk in conference reminding priesthood holders that objectifying and
women by referring to them as "hot" is not appropriate. No need to
comment on the emotional state and maturity of any man that would do so in the
presence of his date. As an Aaronic Priesthood Advisory I continually taught
this principle.2) To keep things in perspective, watch middle-aged
couples. I think most people would observe that the love and affection that
exists between the various couples whose paths cross their own is completely
unrelated to how "hot" the woman (or the man) is. If you want a
fulfilling relationship with someone for a lifetime, then you need to aim for
something that isn't founded on "hotness." "Hotness" fades
for everyone eventually. In truth, for many "hot" women it fades as
soon as the make-up comes off. For everyone it eventually fades with age.
If I may point it out, the closest thing we have in the LDS community to the
Navajo view that I described in the first post on this thread, is the Thirteenth
Article of Faith, much of which repeats the "admonition of Paul"
(Philippians 4:8): "We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent,
virtuous, and in doing good to all men...If there is anything virtuous, lovely,
or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things." True, the
Lord expects us--man and woman--to be comely before him. But the characteristics
listed in the Article of Faith are the true essence of beauty.
Women who are overly obsessed about trying to look sexy are insecure and
probably would not make a good long term partner. The longer I live, the more I
realize that beauty is mostly personality (brains, spirit, education, optimism,
compassion, etc.) and has very little to do with anatomy.
To the young lady posing the question: you have it perfectly analyzed in all
regards.Now ignore it. You can't stop someone else's noticing
what affects them. You recognize the fallacy of comparing yourself to others,
so don't. Be your best within reasonable effort and call the day good,
because it is.
Not every man is attracted to slim, painted bodies. And not every man who
chooses (and finds attractive) women who aren't slim, perfectly coiffed,
"fashionable," and genetically gifted as 10's on someone
elses' scale has low esteem and is 'settling" for less while
always looking elsewhere. Truly, beauty is subjective and in the eyes of the
beholder. How much easier to be yourself and be attractive to someone liking
you for being you.My peeve is make-up. Can't stand to see
otherwise attractive women wearing make-up. So glad my bride of 34 years got
that message, stopped wearing the stuff and has stayed beautiful. It's a
scam! You plaster gunk on your face, get sold chemicals to clean the gunk off
your face and then get sold stuff to moisturize and hide the damage from this
daily torture to your face.Models convince you to wear heels so your
knees bend to counteract your balance in turn pushing out your behind so your
have carry your upper torso forward and tilt your chin back... and these pointy
toed wonders reward you with foot and ankle surgeries later in life.
Donn,I’m sorry but what are you talking about? My comments
(and all the comments above) are about how society stresses young people’s
self-images and that such influences must be countered.My
compliments to Mark Shuttleworth BTW. Please cite who are quoting.
The desire to look good is a great thing. The desire to be healthy is a better
thing. Treating our bodies with respect and trying to keep them healthy through
diet, exercise, appropriate relationships, etc, is something that each of us
should focus on to the best that our individual circumstances allow.However, both of these goals can be taken to excess and can become a vice.
Our ultimate goal in this life is to come unto Christ and to develop a
relationship with Him. If we do this then we will get an ever increasing sense
of self-worth and sense of our divine nature. This will lead to our being
comfortable with ourselves and with the desire to improve ourselves and to help
others. These traits, which are very attractive traits, will take our mind off
the opinions of others and off the image that the world wants us to follow and
keep our focus on what God wants us to become.
@ Eternal Perspective:Might I share this much. I have two daughters (9
& 6), I make my best effort to tell them everyday how pretty / beautiful
they are and along with that, I include something about how talented and special
they are. I want them to understand that beauty is more than just their
appearance (which is beautiful in my eyes), but to attach the description to
what they are like inside - their talents, their abilities.I have
also found that if you have friends who do not lift you, but who consistently
point out your flaws (personality and/or appearance), you need to find new
friends. The Lord would never degrade anyone and I don't think we need to
waste our time with people who do that either.Finally - women who
fit the description of the perfect specimen are too costly to maintain and not
real to begin with. I prefer to be around real people.
@Twin Lights Please cite who are quoting, 2 Peter 1:4 Through these he has given
us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may
participate=(koinōnos/*communion ) in the divine nature and escape the
corruption in the world caused by evil desires.“*the communion of
saints", in the Apostles' Creed. RE: Twin Lights , My
compliments to Mark Shuttleworth. We finally agree, Plus The
Orthodox(Christian) Church understands theosis as a union with the energies of
God and Not with the essence of God which always remains hidden and unknown.
However, the experience of the Church testifies that this is a true union with
God. Orthodox( Christians) believe there are three persons in the Godhead, each
divine, distinct and equal. The Father God is the eternal head; the Son is
begotten of the Father; the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father. See(
Athanasius creed, on Tri-unity)
To "ulvegaard" if you ever find your daughters talking about how cute
certain boys are or how they want a really good looking spouse, do what I have
done. Tell them to go peek into the High Priest group at church and tell them
to spot the "hottie".
I tend to feel for people who worry over their boy image, because I'm one
of them. It may be a comfort to realize that it's something many people
experience, and you're not alone or petty. The way I find best in managing
it for myself is, like with many things, seeking balance.On the one
hand, let it spur you to action. Exerting a moderate effort to look good is a
righteous show of appreciation for your body and a desire to care for something
God has blessed you with. The majority of people I meet who vocalize serious
concerns of their own body image could, in fact, do for more exercise and a
healthier diet; I can say from experience that the sooner you jump on it, the
sooner you'll feel better physically and mentally.On the other
hand, there are difficult and even impossible standards in media, for men and
women both. To clear up a common misconception; men don't really want the
exagguratedly perfect bodies women are presented with on magazines, even if some
men don't realize that.
Most of it is a skin/pigment thing of a deal.(for the cosmetic part) We should be honest here, and that is a man does like beautiful woman, not
because of his uncontrolable desire for lust, but woman do make a difference
about spirituality.They are like flowers, and like a sunshine and they do
uplift the mood of others.The ugly and the beauty are in the eyes of
the beholder, not in the contest of the degree.You can see real ugly
women, who have strained off course for not taking care of their inner beauty.
You can see those who look more as the average would be, but are not, standing
in line with a bright radiating climmer of happiness.You must take
care of your attitude and your happiness, and iron out the "faults" that
came from neglect and being unhappy. I think the most disturbing
factor in beauty is guilt.If you live with your Redeemer, you will attract
everyone who is worse a try.
How can one feel pretty in a sex-crazed world?First and foremost: by
knowing who they are; a being of priceless worth, a literal child of God.And, in my opinion, if one is not physically attractive, by doing their
best to develop their inner 'self', their spirit, here in mortaility
while they wait for their eventual resurrection.That is correct,
there are no "ugly" people in heaven.
The best way to do this is to remember that modesty and spiritual beauty matter
a lot more than "sexiness" and physical beauty. One is permanent,
eternal, and determines a person's true worth. The other is transient,
superficial, and ultimately means nothing in the grander scheme of things. Men and women both are targets and victims of the proliferation of
pornography and the sexualization and objectification of the human body in
contemporary culture. In the case of men, it encourages immoral behavior that
renders them unable to serve the Lord in the way that God intended. In the case
of women, it leaves them feeling worthless and unimportant unless they lower
their standards and sell themselves at the value the world would place upon
them, which is far lower than that which Heavenly Father places upon them, often
leading to self-destructive or harmful behavior.
The girl in the magazine does not look like the girl in the magazine. I heard
that somewhere. Do you want to know how much makeup actresses wear? Probably a
very unhealthy amount. Seriously, I think some celebs gain 5 pounds after
putting on makeup:). If you want the guys to notice you, be nice and
considerate, humble, and talk to them!!!!!! And if you believe you are beautiful
(which you are. Everyone is in their own way) then you will be even MORE
beautiful. Overall, remember that looks really don't matter. All of
God's children are great in his sight, and he loves them all, no matter
what. This world is messed up, and the image the media portrays of girls is
plain insulting sometimes. No, I do not want to wear bright red lipstick. No, I
do not want to wear a showy dress, thank you very much. I remind myself of the
countless hours wasted for something so temporal when I start to feel jealous of
how "pretty" the models look. Best of luck!;)