These little “MormonAds” would come out in every issue of The New Era, the LDS magazine for youth and as a teen, looking for the new ad each month was a ritual for me as I leafed through each shiny, new issue.
This particular ad was my favorite. For a couple of reasons.
One, I absolutely love daisies! And to see a daisy in comparison with all those roses….yeah, I got that, because I’d rather get a bouquet of daisies than roses. (Not that I don’t also love roses!)
But the main reason I loved it is because I never really “fit in” and needed reassurance that it was okay that I didn’t. I don’t know that I always internalized the message from this ad as well as I should’ve (and still don’t). I still spent countless hours wishing I was something I wasn’t (and still do).
But I have always remembered the image of the daisy among the roses.
And I thought of this ad recently when I watched a documentary about body acceptance. The film addressed the pressure that women are under to look a certain way in order to be acceptable. Basically, to all be roses. But not just any roses. We must all have perfect petals with no flaws. Our stems must all be long and straight. Leaves in just the right places. If not, then we just don’t belong in the bouquet!
It was very eye-opening to see just how much we have let the media influence who we should be and that we have reduced the definition of ourselves to the appearance of our outer shells.
How sad that must make our Father in Heaven!
Here we are. A diverse garden of unique and beautiful flowers. And all we want to do is look like one kind of flower. What a boring garden that would be!
How much more beautiful for each flower to be the best flower it can be, “flaws” and all. To bloom where we are planted. To face the sun, grow up strong, and be proud of who we are.
Daughters of our Heavenly Father.
That alone makes us exquisite. That alone makes us beautiful.
And we enhance our beauty with the lives we lead. By being kind. By loving fully. By serving others.
That kind of beauty is the highest form of beauty.
And while I’m not gonna stop wearing makeup, I am going to try to look for and embrace my own kind of beautiful. I am going to try harder to love this imperfect body that has grown and birthed five amazing humans. And I am going to work on believing in the beauty that is already there, deep down in side.
It’s time to embrace being a unique part of a beautiful, diverse garden of womanhood.
It’s time to be your own kind of beautiful!