Writer’s Name: Danielle Taylor
Title: Cultivating a Diamond in the Rough
Building the self-esteem of young teenage girls can seem to be a very challenging entity within itself; while, destroying it is a lot easier. After looking at what society deems to be the latest movement on how a woman should look, act, think, and feel, it has become apparent that no one really has a clue! Society has become way off course here. For one, God didn’t create each of us to be the size 4 which they consider to be the perfect size (at 98 pounds fully clothed and soaking wet standing 5 foot 9 inches in height). This false ideal starts our young women down the roads of eating disorders and self- hatred because they’re not up to what mainstream thinks they should be. Little do they know that these young women are “Diamonds in the Rough.”
If we were to take a very close look at how the diamond is created, there are many processes that must take place before it can be a diamond. A jeweler places his glasses on to look deep into the diamond for the qualities that it has to have before it will become that perfect setting for a ring, earrings, watch or necklace. It is goes through extreme pressure and temperatures before it will even be considered. God is the same way. He is the perfect jeweler and knows what he wants us to have. God created us, as he wanted us to be - blueprints not carbon copies fresh off the assembly lines. There is no one diamond the same, just like a snowflake.
Even though some twins and triplets may resemble each other, they are different. We should encourage our young African American women that their Black is Beautiful and not be ashamed of the full lips, voluptuous hips, and their natural hair and be proud to know that they have been wonderfully made in the image of God. Beauty can be purchased at a price, but at what price, one may ask?
I recently saw a picture of Lil’ Kim, and it wasn’t a pretty sight at all! She’d really messed herself up. She paid the price for beauty like so many others have who were not comfortable in their own skin. Too many times we’ve been looked over because of our bodies. Every single African American woman is worth more than just her looks.
We need to build up our women to be productive citizens and business owners, wives, teachers and lawyers, and encourage our women that they can be anything they want to be when they put their minds to it.
The entertainment industry is placing so much emphasis on wanting to be a Black Barbie. And I’m thinking why should we encourage our young women to become a plastic doll? Honestly, I haven’t really figured that one out yet. On the contrary, our black women are rocking like something serious these days; we’re in the White House! Michelle Obama sets the example for young girls; if she can do it so can they. We’re even astronauts, doctors, and authors too. Let’s tell our daughters, nieces, cousins, aunts, and friends that they can be all they can be, just like the Army!
We can teach and lead by example. Who is the first woman your daughter will see? You are! So why not show her how a woman must and should carry herself. We should speak life into the lives of today’s young women and tomorrow’s leaders. Let them know they’re much more than beauty and body, tell them they have BRAINS!!
When we see our young women going down the wrong road we need to keep encouraging them of the right roads they must take. Tell them that they are built to stand against the negativity that others speak over their lives, and tell them they can do ALL things through Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:13). Encourage them to dream big and live life to the best ability that God has given them. Tell them it’s okay to be comfortable in their own skin, and they don’t have to accept anything less than perfect in life. Tell them they have the ability to accomplish everything in life that’s in the will of God. Tell them they have the right to be whom God created them to be, and God makes no mistakes on how he created them. Tell them they are unique, gifted, and designed with a purpose.
Society can be so cruel to the young black woman. They tend to take her self-esteem away by saying, she’s only good to be a baby momma, the other woman, and even worse, calling her a female dog? Really? There’s enough wrong going on in this world, and what is carried out in the media that depicts what should be. Society also tells us the tighter the clothes and the more cleavage a woman is showing makes her a dime piece? Come on now, really? There are some great things that have finally happened for us. After many years we have an African American Princess that was created by Disney, even though it was a fantasy. Overall, it is important to realize that we have a face and voice in this world. We can be anything we want to be, and the sky is the limit.
Photo Credit: Lee Taylor