Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the fairest of them all? Lessons from a fairy tale.
As an Image Consultant I have the joy of helping women discover that they are lovely, and showing them how they can celebrate the way that they have been created. I love that moment when I see a woman realise how fantastic she can look!
I spend my working week running our cosmetics company and training Image Consultants. A lot of my week is therefore concerned with how women see themselves on the outside and helping them to be the best that they can be. At God-given moments I get an opportunity to speak into what’s going on with their internal image of themselves – their identity. Our outward appearance is ‘what’ we are and our identity is ‘who’ we are. God wants us to be secure in both.
Let’s think about where we get our identity? As women, it’s often complicated! That makes it even more important to look at it. We have many roles that can influence our identity; not necessarily in a bad way, but they can become all encompassing if we let them. They can end up defining us. What roles do you have in your life at the moment? Mother, wife, daughter, sister, career, employee, business owner?
Do you remember the story Snow White and the Seven Dwarves? It’s about a wicked Step Mother trying to destroy Snow White. The chorus that runs through the story is, “Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?” The fairy tale is about jealousy, vanity, competition and comparison versus beauty, kindness contentment and rescue. It’s a story of how one woman’s insecurity about her identity drives her to drastic and evil action. It’s also the story of another woman, secure in her identity, who is beautiful, happy and contented and who spreads that happiness and contentment wherever she goes. She enables others to be their best selves.
What are the lessons we can learn?
Snow White’s Step Mother looked to others to define her identity. “Who is the fairest of them all?” Her identity is based in what others say about her. And before we condemn her out of hand, it’s very easy to do.
As women we can easily fall into the trap of getting our identity from who we are in comparison to others.
I’m not as……
My house is not as…
My children are not as…..
They juggle being a mother and working whereas I….
They stay at home and look after their children whereas I…
The problem is that comparison and competition will always lead to a lack of contentment and peace, because someone is left lacking – either you or them. Comparison and competition attack our identity.
Snow White, by contrast, is portrayed as contented and complete. What’s more she enables others to be the same – think of how she affects the dwarves she stays with. Even Grumpy ends up smiling!
If we are going to be salt and light in our community we need to have our identity secure in ‘who’ and ‘what’ God has made us to be, not comparing ourselves to the women in our friendship group, fellowship group, school playground, etc. When we are secure in how our Father in Heaven made us, we can enable others to grow into the person they were made to be. We become an enabler, full of the Life that bring life.
Jane Fardon’s vision is to see women live in their God-given beauty and God-given identity. She does this through training women to be Image Consultants who release beauty and affirm identity in women’s lives, and through running Jane Fardon Cosmetics (www.janefardon.com). If you have a heart to reach women and ‘bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes’ (Isaiah 61:3) she’d love to connect with you either at the conference or via email! firstname.lastname@example.org