What I am about to say may come a shock to some of you.
As a young girl I didn’t love Disney Princess movies.
Don’t get me wrong, I loved all things pink, dolls, and playing dress up, I just could never get into the Disney princess craze. While I didn’t trade my identity for Cinderella or Ariel as a child, I like to think I know enough to navigate some of the popular princess plots.
But regardless of your interest in princess movies – most of you are probably familiar with the plot from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. But just in case – it goes something like this:
Snow white is a beautiful princess.
She lives with her evil stepmother.
Evil stepmother is jealous of her beauty.
Jealous stepmother always asks the “magic mirror”, who is the most beautiful of the land?
The mirror reveals, that in fact, Snow White is the most beautiful.
Evil stepmother then wants to kill snow white.
(Sorry for getting violent guys; it’s the plot.)
What’s the deal with the stepmother?
The story from Snow White is a classic example of the typical “jealousy/revenge” plot. The evil stepmother felt the need to seek daily affirmation from this “magic mirror.” Why did she do this? Because she wanted to be the best, the most beautiful, and the most noticed. She constantly asked “ Mirror, Mirror on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?”
She needed this “magic mirror” to affirm her dignity, beauty, and self worth. The stepmother was only satisfied with one answer- herself. The stepmother failed to appreciate and recognize the beauty and gifts in other woman. She was the only one that mattered.
So what’s the point?
I promise I am not just blabbing on about Snow White for no reason at all.
The point is this: the stepmother in the story Snow White reveals certain temptations that take place in the hearts of women. We as woman face the temptation to compete with one another, be the most noticed, the most accepted and the most desired.
We have all been there. Shopping with our friends, secretly thinking “the shirt you loved” looked better on our friends. Or just insisting to your parents that you have to get the latest fashion item so you can be the most fashionable in your class.
Or maybe you feel the need to be the best on your sports team, even to the point of bringing your team members down.
Maybe you compare yourself to every girl you encounter, to somehow prove to yourself how much better you are than them.
Or maybe, you struggle with self worth and never feel affirmed or beautiful.
The scenarios are endless but as I said, we’ve all been there. I don’t know any girls that are excluded from these temptations.
Here’s the thing…
These temptations don’t make us evil, they just make us human. All female hearts are wired with the desire to be known, loved and wanted. Unfortunately, we sometimes seek to fulfill these desires in unhealthy ways.
Ladies, I want you to know something. You are all beautiful, worthy, special and desirable. Different and unique, yes- but all beautiful. There will always be “the next girl” until we truly come to believe this. Sometimes it can be hard being a girl (shhhhh, don’t tell the boys!). We drive ourselves crazy making sure our appearances our better than others, our grades, our sports, our profile pictures, our hair, makeup. You name it, we do it.
Let’s not be like the stepmother in Snow White.
We can only conquer competition among women if we recognize our own gifts as valuable and rejoice in the gifts of our sisters. We all have different attributes, talents, and gifts. Scripture speaks of the variety of gifts too! (Romans 12:6, 1 Corinthians 12:4-6) The desire to be known, accepted, and loved is a natural longing. These desires become healthy when we are thankful to God for the gifts and beauty of other women, rather competing with every girl we encounter.
But there is one more thing. It’s the most important part. We won’t be successful in this if we don’t recognize that we are noticed by God.
A lot of our desires to be the best, and the most beautiful come from the desire to be affirmed. We have to first live in the knowledge that we have a God who loves us, cares for us and sees us as his unique daughters. Only with this knowledge can we live out healthy relationships with other women and ourselves.
Easier said than done, right? Be patient with yourself. This is something we need to remind ourselves of daily.
Know that God loves you and ask Him for the strength everyday to believe this. Seek the Lord in prayer and ask Him to reveal these truths to you. He will.