Monday, February 22, 2010

Don't Be a Victim of the Mirror

I'm a librarian in embryo, so naturally I enjoy the song "Librarian" by My Morning Jacket. I was surprised when looking through the lyrics to see some actual depth in the song besides, "Take off your glasses and let down your hair for me." Bear with me for a minute through the cheesy librarian references and some kind of forced rhymes.

"Duck into the men's room, combing through my hair
When God gave us mirrors, he had no idea.
Looking for a lesson in the periodicals
There I spy you listening to the AM radio

Karen of the Carpenters, singing in the rain
Another lovely victim of the mirror's evil way
It's not like you're not trying with a pencil in your hair
To defy the beauty the good Lord put there."

I remember the first time I heard about Karen Carpenter dying of an eating disorder. I thought, "How could someone with such a beautiful voice care so much about her weight that she ended up destroying her heart?" Obviously there's a lot more to anorexia and similar diseases than just wanting to be skinny. At the same time, I don't think I know a single woman who is completely satisfied with how she looks, no matter how together her life is. She needs to lose five or ten pounds. Her hair is too thin (or too thick, long, short, brown, stringy, etc.) Her eyelashes are too short. Her lips are too big (or too small). We never think, "Wow, I sure am great at my job," and then feel like we are good to go, nor do we think (often enough), "My, aren't my eyes a lovely shade of green? Isn't my hair shiny this morning?"

We've talked about this issue before - think positively about how great you are and you feel like you are great. I'd like to add something to that. Don't "defy the beauty the good Lord put there." You are great. People love you, and there are reasons that they love you. Don't forget to count those when you're tallying up who you are.

In closing, I'd like to add this quote by e.e. cummings. (I told you I had e.e. cummings quotes saved up. Just wait. There are more.) "To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting."


Miri said...

Seriously--it sounds conspiracy-theorist, but the world IS doing its best to make us into everyone else. All the makeup, the movies, the makeovers--even What Not to Wear--it's all about what someone else thinks is right. We aren't all the same person and we shouldn't aspire to look the same, act the same, or believe the same as other people. Just being YOU involves a whole lot of learning to ignore what other people think.

Melissa said...

I find myself looking at other mothers at church and wondering how they can afford such cute clothes and why their hair is always so perfect. It makes me so mad at myself because of all places church should be a place where you should be loving and accepting and not judging others (yes even though it doesn't seem like it, sometimes we judge others on how GOOD they are or look and we judge ourselves against that standard and it isn't good to do).

Heidi Marie said...

I think my biggest weakness in life is comparing myself to others... in so many ways. and I just realized from your quote that obviously it's the world winning my soul huh? I'm loving what it has to offer more than what I, or what the Lord has put in me, has to offer. Lame... a hard weakness to untie. but possible :D