Since entering the world of blogging I have learned to take cues from writers who blog about their passions and aren't afraid to speak the truth. Today I am reblogging a post from Jory Micah's website. This particular post really excited me as it follows along with this months series and it touches on some ideas that I have started to think about, especially concerning how some pop stars use their feminist standpoint as a way to promote their own bodies. I appreciate Jory's tone and how she sheds light on the confusion this can bring young women. I highly recommend reading other posts on her site jorymicah.com
I have never done well with conformity! I realize that conformity is a necessary part of societal function and that it must be done to a degree, but it is my belief that girls are taught to conform WAY too much. I am a strong believer in teaching girls “how to think,” not “what to think.”
When we teach our girls to be good little conformers to our ways, we teach them to be followers. While it is necessary for girls to learn how to be good followers, it is equally necessary for them to learn to be good leaders.
Sometimes this means allowing your five-year-old to wear a crazy mismatched outfit to school, permitting your 10-year-old to climb a tree that seems too high for your comfort, or allowing your teenager to dye her hair blue. This is called individuality and it is a precious gift that God has given each of us.
Girls in general tend to be trend-followers and often find it easier to conform to societies expectations of them. If a little girl is taught from a very young age to be a good follower and not a good leader, she will be more prone to follow bad trends culture is pushing on her.
For example, Beyonce recently wore a dress that exposed most of her body and while I will get down to some “Queen-B,” she did more than expose her body; she exposed her inner-child following pop-culture-trends despite her very public “woman power” views.
If she had been taught “how to think” and not “what to think” as a little girl, perhaps she would have chosen to wear a gorgeous dress that did not expose most of her body in hopes of being consistent with her true self.
Of course I do not know Beyonce personally, but anyone who is not living under a rock knows that she is a staunch feminist. The problems is that she is a “confused feminist” because true feminism seeks to raise women up to be valued as equals to men in all aspects of life – not to become a piece of meat for pigs to slobber all over.
Don’t get me wrong here girls, I am a proponent of a classy two-piece bathing suit, cute AE shorts that don’t show any cheek, and breaking out a sexy dress once in a while – we are women for goodness sakes! It annoys me very much when churches put extreme pressure on girls and women to dress like Mother Teresa and blame the girls for the boy’s lust problems.
However, I think “Queen B” sent a very loud, clear message with this dress that say’s “My body is more valuable than my soul.” I don’t think she even knew she was sending that message; I think she is desperate for attention and love as all of us girls are at one time or another.
With millions of fans and all the “love” in the world, Beyonce still does not feel loved enough to wear what her true inner-identity is – a lover of protecting and raising up girls and women! I still love “B” of course, but this was not the shining moment she intended it to be.
We don’t have to show every inch of our body to the world to be loved. We don’t have to expose ourselves to be equally valuable and as powerful as our male peers. In fact, we must do the opposite. The good guys are turned off by this type of dress; they like a little bit of sexiness (don’t get me wrong), but they are most intrigued by mystery and “good girls” who are confident in themselves.
If we want to be taken seriously as girls and women, we must dress the part. Sadly, it is hard to take Beyonce’s views on true feminism seriously when she dresses this way. She becomes just another “idol,” but not a true difference-maker. Us gals are SO much more than our bodies and in one moment of thoughtlessness, Beyonce disconnected with what she already knows. Her body shined SO bright, that the whole world forgot about who she is.
My advice is to teach girls at a young age not to be conformers and to think for themselves, even if you think their ideas are strange or make you uncomfortable. I am not saying to let them “sin,” but let them be individuals and make a lot of their own decisions.
I would rather our girls dye their hair blue than wear a sheer dress any day!
Thank you Jory Micah for allowing me to reblog this piece, I think your words hold a lot of truth and weight, and I hope women can be encouraged by your thoughtful take on this topic.
Please direct any comments you may have on the original article rather than here so that the writer can respond how she chooses.
Follow Jory at jorymicah.com and on Twitter @jorymicah