This morning, I was annoyed.

I was listening to the radio, a station I listen to regularly, when suddenly a song I had never heard came on. The first line of the chorus described a girl’s ‘painted on’ jeans. It went on to describe her in more detail, but what struck me was that the songwriter chose to begin not by describing her personality, not her as a person, but how she looked.

It brought to mind so many songs I hear on the radio –many of which aren’t even inappropriate — which aren’t painting women in the way I believe they should be.

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy being told I’m pretty. I’m just as vain as anyone, I want to be perceived as attractive. But if my looks were ever the first thing a person thought of when they considered me, I would have serious worries.

I see so many kids who’ve grown up in the spotlight fall into the trap of thinking that to prove to everyone that they’ve grown up, they must showcase themself in some risqué fashion.

I ask, why?

Why the huge focus on the face, the body, the superficial?

I’ve fallen far too many times into the trap of thinking that maybe I’m not edgy enough. Maybe being a nice, good girl isn’t enough, maybe I’m too boring the way I am. I’ve bought the lie that a person needs just a little ‘bad’ to make them exciting.

But I always come back go the same question. Why should being risqué equate to maturity?

Why do the more important parts of a person get pushed into the background? The opinions of a person, their trials and triumphs, the merits that are actually worthy of notice are forgotten in our world’s constant obsession with pushing the envelope.

And what is all this surface value worth? The manifold ‘good’ in it is fleeting. Good looks are a fine thing for a person to have, but it’s not what makes a person. You can’t build a human being out of perfumed puffs of air.

Shouldn’t maturity mean more than that? Self control, forgiveness, sacrificial love, aren’t those the traits that should speak of maturity?

As I grow older and see more of the fruits of this false ‘maturity’ in the world, I find myself valuing edginess less. I find myself caring less about appearing exciting and craving more wholesome.

I hope that all the girls and boys out there who are making the uncomfortable change from childhood to adulthood know that they’re more than just a face or worse, just a body, and that adulthood is so much deeper than what the world tells you. ‘Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain’. There’s so much more to all of us if we dig deeper than skin deep. Don’t be just a face.

‘Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit’

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