Sunday, July 29, 2007

Love the skin you're in?

You may be familiar with the latest advertising campaign from Dove beauty products, the "Campaign for Natural Beauty". Amongst other things, they are encouraging women to throw off society's expectation that women should be a certain dress size and strive to look a certain way. The slogan of the campaign is "Love the skin you're in". I don't disagree with the sentiment that women should be happy with how they are and not spend an inordinate amount of time and money in an attempt to conform with how the models in magazines and on billboards look. However, I suspect that what lies behind the slogan (as well as a team of shrewd marketing experts) is a belief that self-love is the key to happiness in life.

But that is not a biblical view of love, or of our purpose in life. John Piper puts it well in his book Don't Waste Your Life:
For most people, to be loved is to be made much of. Almost everything in our Western culture serves this distortion of love. We are taught in a thousand ways that love means increasing someone's self esteem. Love is helping someone feel good about themselves. Love is giving someone a mirror and helping him like what he sees.

This is not what the bible means by the love of God. Love is doing what is best for someone. But making self the object of our highest affections is not best for us. It is, in fact, a lethal distraction. We are made to see and savour God- and savouring him, to be supremely satisfied, and thus spread in all the world the worth of his presence. Not to show people the all-satisfying God is not to love them. To make them feel good about themselves when they were made to feel good about seeing God is like taking someone to the Alps and locking them in a room full of mirrors.


Ann Addison said...

Great quote... thanks! I'm going to "Stumble" this post and "delicious."

Hannah said...

Excellent post! I was fascinated when I first saw Dove's TV spots on the Campaign for Real Beauty. After all, whether the campaign is motivated by true concern for women or concern for the bottom line, society could reap positive results from Dove's questioning our view of beauty.
However, I felt like the TV spots were anticlimactic when the punch line was "self esteem." It seemed so trite. The John Piper quote you shared was right on. Now, if we could only use Dove's campaign as a launching pad into that truth...that'd be something.

Kristine said...

Timely thoughts; so timely. Our girls, and ourselves at that, need to embrace God's glorious truths concerning a woman's beauty; rather than hopelessly searching for it within themselves.

It's not how we see ourselves; it's how God sees us; and we won't know how God sees us, until we seek His thoughts as revealed in His Word; and it will be there that we discover that our worth is found-not from within-but, OUTSIDE of us in Jesus Christ, alone.

I sincerely enjoyed this post! Thanks for sharing your convictions on it!

Grace and Peace,

Jean said...

Thanks for the insight. I've initially thought of the campaign to be a good platform for girls. And the hype for me died down when I remember that its a secular marketing campaign after all.

Since the topic is on one's perspective of image, is it justifiable to bring in image consultants who are Christians, teaching girls how to dress themselves up to increase self confidence with the combination of scriptures?

I find such events walking on a thin line with very obvious contradictions.

Any thoughts?