Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Uncomfortable in Her Tall Skin

     When nineteen-year old Sheryl enters holy matrimony, according to The Talking Palm: How the childhood storms of a young woman’s life remained hidden until a palm fruit started talking: she does so with a measure of low self-esteem. She thinks she is too tall. In fact, she is taller than her peers and as tall as her six-foot tall fiance. Sheryl does not like that. She does not want to be as tall as her fiancé. That makes her uncomfortable, especially because she grows up hearing and believing that girls should be shorter than men.
     But Sheryl has never fitted that man-woman height mold. To her, she has always towered over her peers. In fact, when she was younger, she felt so desperate, that she asked God to shorten her.
She now stands at the threshold of womanhood, and looks across her fiancé's face, not up at him. Sheryl is not happy about that because the ability to look up at the man, she thinks, is what makes a woman feel pretty, fragile and feminine. She goes into her wedding not feeling as feminine and pretty as her shorter girlfriends.
     The problem here is that teenager Sheryl has not yet learned that God, not culture, should be the source of her identity. If she discovers and believes whom God says she is and what He thinks of her, that knowledge is enough to ground her and build her up into a confident and powerful young woman.
     How do you think a young woman's dependence on societal norms of beauty can impact her sense of self and hence, her marriage?
Thank you.
Esther  Jno-Charles

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