Writer’s Name: Nanette Buchanan
Title: A Jewel is Different with Each Mold
As You Grow Old
As a diamond is amongst the gems, a jewel is different with each mold
You are shaping and perfecting, in beauty and knowledge, as you grow old
Your creation and birth the beginning of development in life’s rut;
Your formation everlasting evidence of your parent’s love and God’s blessed touch.
Life will sometimes question your mold, hoping you will accept defeat.
As a diamond of value continue striving until you become complete.
As your life brings you constant change; lessons for your mind body and soul.
Remember you are a diamond amongst the gems
A jewel, a beauty with direction and purpose
As you grow old.
Thoughts and Reflections Copyright 2010 Nanette M. Buchanan
For many generations the lifeline of a woman focused on everyone but who she may have had the desire to be. History has told us that women, even today’s diva, has to fight, march, and petition for equal rights. The role of a woman more often was that of a wife, mother, hand maid, nanny, caregiver, nurse, etc. These roles ingrained in many cultures, what was expected, what was tolerated and what was allowed. Women didn’t complain, dared not speak against, and became overly submissive to the traditions that held them enslaved. Following the paths of the females in their families and communities they would comfort each other when overwhelmed and depressed. Self-esteem took a back seat to the needs they were and are required to fill.
In the American culture, the ideology of becoming a wife and a mother was the dream of every young woman. It was the fantasy, the fairytale and in other cultures this expected life was “prearranged” and fulfilled when the girl became of age. The term, “You’ve come a long way baby,” a statement for a cigarette ad in the late sixties fits today’s woman. The woman of years past had no idea who she was or who she was capable of becoming. Women could only tell their daughters of the life they lived, the rules they followed, and at best how well they cooked, took care of the family and supported their spouse. Girls were taught to hide their beauty, intelligence, and possibilities. Being independent was frowned upon; being determined to achieve was considered abrasive and unlike a true woman. These women who led the campaign for women’s rights, equality, and the right to discuss woman’s issues openly won. Since that Virginia Slim cigarette commercial we have indeed progressed. Throughout the United States women are treated fairly in jobs, are given educational opportunities, and we don’t have to marry the man chosen by our parents and family. However, that doesn’t negate the fact that many of us, females of all ages have insecurity problems. We are still in search of who we are and we can’t possibly know or understand who the generations behind us think they are.
From birth to puberty we promote the appearance of our “princesses.” We buy the latest fashion, care for their skin and hair, and photo after photo depicts what we focus on - what the public sees. It can be proven that by the time the princess is a “tween,” as puberty kicks in for the eleven or twelve year old, that she too is concerned about her external appearance. Their value is more materialistic and they are determined to have it all, the best.
Most of society views these young girls as fast. The traditional young lady has vanished. Morals, values, and self-respect should be taught long before the young lady can match fashion. We’ve moved away from tradition. Teaching our girls how to love themselves, and their bodies is imperative. This lesson will bring value to who they are as well as promote self-respect. Puberty brings about changes both physically and emotionally, and the new body creates new responsibilities. These years require family support and a voice that most girls suppress hoping to be noticed and not ignored. It is not popular to be different. Unfortunately peers have a major influence on how teenagers present themselves. If one’s self-skills have not been instilled prior to puberty a young women’s resources are limited.
Who they are and who they will be must be determined as they toddle through the home. Parenting, guidance, and love will promote a healthy mind and body. Once in place the choices of dress, who they surround themselves with, and their dreams will be predetermined. Building one’s self-esteem balances life’s scale of reality and fantasy.
In today’s society there are more self-help books, counseling sessions, group therapy, and talk shows that focus on one getting in touch with who they are. The best therapy is teaching what is and has been valued since the creation of women. Women have a purpose. This statement in itself stands firmly on ones understanding of their personal morals and self-respect. From head to toe the outward appearance reflects time consuming care. Caring or covering is the question.
Covering their outward beauty diminishes the internal beauty.
The destruction of one’s self-esteem is as bad as them not recognizing its necessity. It seems we’ve gone back one hundred years. Women have allowed the people they love to walk over them crushing what they need to be stable. Growing up in a dysfunctional home, one that lacks emotional support and love can deter a young girl from ever being satisfied with her self-worth. Being outcast by their peers and family, only promotes the cycle to continue. When one values themselves based on how others treat them, negatives will cause a lack of trust and depression. Abuse, both verbal and physical carries from relationship to relationship opening emotional wounds. Only those who believe in who they are will survive. The foundation of one’s survival, the strength to rise above the obstacles, lies within knowing who they are, what they want to be and what they value. The greatest love of all is built on self-esteem.