by Suzanne Titkemeyer cross posted from her blog True Love Doesn’t Rape
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The chapter starts out with a lot of talk about how wonderful it is that all the girls share the same room before an awkward segue into being self critical over appearance.
“All of us have gone through times when we’ve felt we needed to lose weight. And we’ve all looked at the girl in the mirror and sometimes found things that just didn’t seem to measure up.”
I find that most curious considering in many reams of writings about the benefits of homeschooling and keeping your kids away from any popular culture claim it creates secure individuals devoid of all peer pressure or pressure to conform. Not according to the Duggar sisters.
“Suddenly the girl who looked just fine yesterday seems like a total loser today compared to all those cute girls at the mall… or your school…or your homeschool group…. or even your church.”
This was followed by a long story written by Jill of taking a l.o.n.ggg time picking out an outfit for church the next morning only to see her sister Jessa the next morning and realize how great Jessa looked, leading to a frantic outfit change after rampaging through the closet, small domestic dramas about running out of hair spray, etc, etc, until she was almost late for church.
“And it all started because I compared myself to one of my sisters and felt that my appearance fell short.”
Surprising how concerned with appearance Jill was. I thought from reading the other Duggar books that outward appearance was not something the Duggars spent much time worrying over, more keeping sweet and making sure the heart was right.
“It’s easy for us to compare ourselves to others and think we have to be like them to measure up or to be accepted. But too often it’s impossible to meet the goals of perfection we set for ourselves, and as a result, we end up dealing with all sorts of destructive feelings: poor self-worth, lack of confidence, jealousy, discontentment and so much more. Before we know it, momentary concerns about our outward appearance turn into lies about ourselves that swirl constantly through our minds, telling us, ‘I’m not good enough.’ ‘I’m a failure.’ ‘Nobody loves me.’
I guess some things cut across religious and cultural lines as it seems that this is something that could have been written by any teenage girl dealing with feeling inadequate. Since the Duggar girls aren’t being as bombarded by society’s messages about personal perfection as frequently as most women it seems like this is an issue that pops up regardless of how carefully you’ve been sheltered from ‘The World’
Jessa follows Jill with her own tale of feeling not good enough at a friend’s birthday party, how no one complimented her on her outfit while others got told how cute they were and her realization much later that she’d given away her own personal power by allowing what the others thought control her.
Not much I can argue with there, except I keep puzzling over how much like the typical middle class American girl that goes to public high school, dates and hangs out at the local mall the Duggar sisters sound like. Very different than the homeschooled young ladies at my old church.
“This teacher said that if we reject our physical features, we reject our self-image and often assume that others will reject us, too. This assumption can cause us to make poor decisions based on our own misperception of ourselves.”
That’s actually a pretty healthy idea. Was this book actually written by the Duggars or ghost written by a psychologist that deals with the problems of youth in our time?
And then it all takes a sharp left hand turn into crazy fundyland thinking…
“But if we’re upset with that girl in the mirror, it means we’re upset with God for how He designed us. We may start to think He messed up when He designed us or even that He doesn’t love us.”
Gasp! It all leads back to sin! That’s about all I can take of the Duggars today, folks. Interesting factoid about Chapter 1 so far there are three, count ‘em, three references to worrying about if boys will find you attractive. So much for purity and true love waits and modesty and all that crap I suppose.
Suzanne is an empty nester lives near Washington DC with her husband, cats and various rescue exotic birds. She the administrator of NLQ. Was raised Catholic in South Louisiana before falling in with a bunch of fallen Catholics whom had formed their own part Fundamentalist, part Evangelical church. After fifteen uncomfortable years drinking that Koolaid she left nearly 8 years ago. Her blogs are True Love Doesn’t Rape and Seeking The Light