Monday, May 18, 2009

Don't Blame Barbie

Barbie turned 50 this year. Do you mind if I'm just a little catty? I think she's had some work done. I mean, she's perfect. Tiny waist, perfect hair, flat tummy. For 50 years, she has projected a standard of beauty that's, well...impossible.

She's plastic. She's fake. She's not real. And what's more important, her beauty isn't real either. But Barbie's not the only one sending out impossible beauty signals. Everywhere we look we see dangerously thin models, photoshopped cover girls, and celebrities who've had more than a little work done.

With all of these beauty lies floating around, it's easy to become disillusioned with our own beauty. And it's easy to blame our dissatisfaction on the models of perfection esteemed by our culture. But I'd like to offer another possibility. Yes, we are in a battle to defend true beauty. I would propose that culture is not the enemy. But, there is an enemy.

I write about this in my book, "Graffiti: Learning to See the Art in Ourselves.'

" The Bible reminds us who our Enemy is and encourages us to study his tactics.

' Four our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms' (Ephesians 6:12).

What? Culture is not to blame? Fashion magazines and supermodels aren't the source of our insecurity? No, not according to God's Word. When you begin to question your very value, you are indeed engaged in battle, but it is with an Enemy who has his sights set on your destruction. Scripture also warns us that the Devil isn't passive. He diligently seeks to take what God intends for good and turn it into darkness.

' Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour' (1 Peter 5:8) (Graffiti, 128).

The truth is beauty can be one ugly subject. And when we fail to see our God-given value and embrace the beauty he has created in each of us, the stakes can go sky high. Outside of God's Truth, eating disorders, destructive dating, self-injury, addiction, and toxic friendships are just a few of the outward behaviors we tend to gravitate toward to validate our worth.

That's why we cant' blame Barbie. We can't blame supermodels. We can't blame Botox when we are feeling ugly and worthless. We must recognize that Satan is the enemy who seeks to rob of us of our worth. And how do we fight him?

Epheisans 6:11 offers our hope. " Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes."


tephi said...

hey thanks for this blog entry... really what I needed to hear... I'm always in a constant struggle to NOT let myself be overly concerned with my outward appearence :) I have this verse taped on my mirror and I thought i'd share it : "Do not let your adornment be merely outward—arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel— rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God." -1 Peter 3:3-4

Thanks again,

Kristy said...

Did you know that if Barbie were a real human being that she'd have to walk on all fours cause she isn't made proportionally to a real human at all?

Pretty weird when you think about it.

erindavis said...


I am so thrilled to be an encouragement to you. I know what it is like to be in a constant struggle not to let the world define your sense of value. That is the exact situation I found myself in for more than a decade.

Do you know how I found freedom? By studying God's Word. He has so much to say about your beauty and your value.

I am proud of you for recognizing that and meditation on 1 Peter 3:3-4. What a great verse. Try also checking out Psalm 45:11. It is one of my favorites.


erindavis said...


She'd also have a 9 inch neck! That's one long neck. Not to mention those weird hands that make it so hard to get her dressed...she's definitely not the real deal.


Kristy said...

Hi Erin! I just got Graffiti in the mail today!!! I can't wait to start reading it. Thank you so much!