Skip to main content

I don't want to be taller


I don't own a pair of high heels.  I did try to wear them for a bit back when I was doing my first degree, but after a few months of tottering about, I pulled them off my feet one frosty spring morning and walked barefoot back to my dorm room, never to embrace the style again.  Whenever I see women in heels (especially those spiky, skinny ones that are sure to get caught in a grate or sidewalk crack or street sewer cover), I wonder how they do it.  I know that some women claim that they can be comfortable, and fashion sense insists that heels make the female leg look great, but I am not convinced.  I think my legs look great just as they are.  I don't need to be taller, either.  I do need to be able to walk safely (and occasionally break into a run) without fear or fatigue.  Silly me - I believe I can look good without 3-6 inches of scaffolding strapped to my foot.

Heels are not evil, don't get me wrong, but they speak to me of the not-so-subtle pressure out there to look or dress a certain way in order to be attractive. What it says most loudly to me is that we are not happy with who we are.  We want to be taller, sexier, more shapely, have longer legs, blonder hair, flawless faces, longer lashes, redder lips, and bouncier hair.  Where can I find a woman that is happy with who she is?  And the age she is?  Why do so many of us have 'downplaying our alleged figure faults' as the primary motivation when getting dressed?  How many of us wear something because we feel fantastic in our bodies?  I love looking good, but who decides what this "good" is?  I would not give that authority to the fashion industry - they are trying to sell us their goods and in order for them to do this, we have to feel we lack something.

In my opinion, a healthy and content person is beautiful.  They carry themselves with an air of confidence that needs no heels to bolster it.  Love also makes people glow.  When my husband and my good friends tell me I am beautiful, I need to believe them.  They know the real me.  Yes, I usually wear make-up, colour my hair, and try to wear matching clothes, but there are times when I don't, and that's okay.  Some days the natural look is a refreshing change, and Dean would certainly agree with this.

I don't need to be taller - I need to stand taller, confident that God made something beautiful in me.
I don't need to be younger - I need to embrace the fullness of life I have now.
I don't need longer lashes - I need to see clearly the beauty all around me.
I don't need a flawless face - I need to smile at more people.
I don't need redder lips - I need words of kindness to grace my lips often.
I don't need longer legs - I need a willingness to walk in grace and goodness and humility.

In case you have not heard it yet today, "You look good!"

the photo:  Dean and me at a wedding this past summer.  No heels, but we both looked fine!  

Comments

Brian said…
Brilliant! Great post Matte. Passing this around and holding onto it for myself!
Matte Downey said…
Thanks, Brian! You look good!

Popular posts from this blog

what binds us together?

For the past few weeks, I have been reading a book by famed psychiatrist M. Scott Peck which chronicles his travels (together with his wife) through remote parts of the UK in search of prehistoric stones. The book is part travel journal, part spiritual musings, part psychology, and part personal anecdotes. A mixed bag, to be sure, and not always a winning combination. At one point, I considered putting the book aside, not finishing it, but then Peck started writing about community. He is no stranger to the concept. He has led hundreds of community-building workshops over the years, helped start a non-profit organisation dedicated to fostering community, and written a compelling book about the topic, one which greatly impacted me when I read it oh so long ago.[1]

In preparation for a course I am teaching next year, I have been doing quite a bit of study on unity and community. Once you start thinking about it, you see and hear evidence of it everywhere. (See my blog on the impact of b…

job hunting

I am on the hunt for a job. PhD in hand, I am a theologian for hire. The thing is, not a lot of places are hiring theologians these days, and if they are, they are usually looking for scholars with skills and experience outside my area of expertise. Today I found job opportunities for those knowledgeable in Religion, Race, and Colonialism, Philosophy and History of Religion, Islam and Society, Languages of Late Antiquity, Religion, Ethics, and Politics, and an ad for a Molecular Genetic Pathologist. Not one posting for a Dramatic Theologian with  a side order of Spirituality and a dash of Methodology.

I know, I know. My expectations are a bit unrealistic if I believe I will find an exact match for my particular skills. I know that job descriptions are wish lists to some extent, so no candidate is ever a perfect match. I also realize that one must adapt one's skill set according to the requirements of the job and be flexible. But there are so few jobs which come within ten or even…

building the church

Imagine two scenarios: 1) Give every person in the room a popsicle stick. Ask them to come together and put their sticks onto a table. Invariably, you end up with a random pile of sticks on a table. 2) Give every person in the room a popsicle stick. Show a picture of a popsicle stick bird feeder and ask people to come together and put their sticks on a table according to the picture. You will end up with the beginnings of a bird feeder on a table.

What is the difference between the two scenarios? In both, each person brought what they had and contributed it to the collective. However, in the first scenario, there were no guidelines, no plan, and no right or wrong way to pile the sticks. People came, placed their sticks on the table, and walked away. In the second scenario, people were given a plan to follow and as a result, something specific was built. Instead of walking away after they made their contribution, people huddled around the table to watch what was being built. Some were…