All that Glitters…

I saw a commercial this morning for a new Bratz doll – as if the tween world needed another one of those! This was actually the bust of a Bratz doll, about the size of the mannequin heads students practice on in cosmetology school. The name of the doll was “Diamonds Forever” and it came with make-up and accessories to give the big, disproportioned head a makeover. The make-up looked like pure glitter. The shrunken t-shirt was bedazzled. This was supposed to look glamorous. Instead, it looked ridiculous.

Why do we tolerate society telling girls that who they are is not beautiful enough? We tell them they need shimmer and highlights and grown-up clothes. It is challenging to find a t-shirt for my preschool daughters that doesn’t say “princess” or “hottie”. This is unfortunate, because what it tells girls is that they have to promote and package themselves to be beautiful.

But despite our faux glam culture, a real diamond is worth more than all the glitter in the world. Shiny doesn’t always mean valuable. If you examine a fleck of glitter you will see it is like a tiny solid tile. The shine of glitter comes from a surface reflection. The fireworks of a diamond actually come from the inside. As light shines in, it is perfectly reflected back out, producing prisms of light and sparkle. A thousand chunks of glitter in one place cannot duplicate the simple beauty of even the smallest diamond.

Friend, you can’t fabricate real beauty. You don’t need a “Diamonds Forever” makeover. You are a diamond – rare, authentic, and beautiful!

A note on controversy…

Leonardo DiCaprio stars in a powerful movie called “Blood Diamonds” that exposes the ugly world of diamond smuggling that has fueled civil wars in some African countries. This legitimate travesty has not been sufficiently solved despite efforts by the largest diamond distributors and continues to be a source of international concern.

When I first became aware of this controversy, I worried that it might spoil my analogy! : ) But so far, the analogy holds true. Just because some diamonds have been harvested and sold illegally does not negate the fact that they are still amazing creations. Should you stop buying diamonds? That is between you and your conscience, but a woman’s past is just that – history.

So, be moved to what ever action you deem appropriate concerning these controversies, but remember: a diamond is an awe-inspiring gem despite the fact that its beauty has been exploited and its history has been traumatic. Women are no different. Around this small world of ours women are demoralized everyday. In famine lands, girls are rationed more strictly than boys. Under extremist governments, women are forced to abdicate positions of influence just because they are female. In the fashion world, women are manipulated into believing lies about what is beautiful based on current trends and money-driven decision makers.

As women, our history is marred as well. We are trafficked and manipulated. But that does not change the fact that God created us as chosen possessions. We are His workmanship. Our job is to rise above the drama and embrace a new future. Our hope is to find identity in Him.