by Hayley DiMarco
The title of this book is sure to grab your attention, and make you wonder “What is this all about?” It is a book that is written for teenage girls, to address the issue of how they present themselves to the world, and especially to the opposite sex. One of the texts the author quotes, is 1 Tim. 2:9, 10...
“...that the women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly clothing, but, which is proper for women professing godliness, with good works.” She acknowledges that at this age, God has caused boys and girls to be attractive to each other, but this must take place in a godly manner. In the introduction, the author writes: “(This book) is a place for you to start to better understand your sexuality and how it impacts the guys around you.....it is a book that will help you better define who you are and how you can attract the opposite sex without losing sight of your faith and your commitment to purity.” (p 9)
This book is written in a very honest, easy-to-read, straight forward manner, in “teenagey” language. It first focuses on the importance of understanding males, and the way God has made them. They are turned on by what they see, whether they are 18 years old, or 80!! From the little bit they see, they create a mental image, and can fantasize about a girl's (or woman's) body. By revealing a small part or parts of your body, you are causing men to stumble and sin. Matt. 5:29 is quoted: “But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” Then also Rom. 14:21 is mentioned: “It is good to neither eat meat nor drink wine nor do anything by which your brother stumbles or is offended or is made weak.”
The book covers many areas of how to dress in a God-pleasing manner. Hayley DiMarco writes that short t-shirts or low pants that show off the stomach, encourage guys to look there. Girls don't realize that the tummy is the doorway to the parts guys are longing to see and touch. This is the same with bikinis! Also, t-shirts with low necklines, which show a bit of cleavage, are a magnet for guys' eyes, and they wonder what the rest looks like, or feels like! T-shirts that say something across the breasts, are meant to draw attention to them. Likewise, pants with something written across the backside. You don't necessarily have to be revealing flesh. Also, showing a bit of lacy underwear at your neckline or pants-line, or wearing very short skirts or shorts is tantalizing to guys, who fantasize about the rest that they cannot see!
Hayley writes “What are your motives, your goals?.....We usually wear make-up for one of two reasons. One is to look healthier, maybe cover up zits and dark circles, and to just feel better. The other is to look older, which in turn makes you look sexier.....What mothers and young girls alike don't understand is that too much make-up too soon can make you look so much older that creepy older guys start getting really turned on. So, be aware of your motives. Who are you trying to attract, and what are you doing with your make-up?” (p 71) She encourages just light, natural-looking make-up.
The author writes about body piercings and tattoos, which many use to “improve” their bodies. However, she warns that some body art is created for sexual arousal, not just for fashion. A belly button ring or tongue ring, or a tattoo in the small of your back just above your pant line, or one peeking out of your bra line, is just like putting up a sign for the special of the day....attracting attention to those areas. She writes “To make yourself a sexual object is to kill a part of you that was created especially for relationship. God didn't create you to be some boy's toy.” (p 62) She then quotes from the Bible: “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” (Rom. 12:2)
Hayley writes that a lot of “good” girls go bad when alcohol is involved. Women become intoxicated quicker than men. They have a smaller quantity of dehydrogenase, an enzyme that breaks down alcohol, and hormonal changes also cause intoxication to set in faster. A few drinks could thus cause females to act differently than they normally would, also when they are with guys. This can easily lead you to do things you'd later regret. It's a tool of Satan, to try to get you on the wrong track! So, beware of drinking, especially at parties with guys around.
Hayley DiMarco covers many more important aspects. She covers the importance of having good friends so that you can help each other positively; of not having relationships with the world; of not being a “tease” and being excessively flirtatious; of not worrying about self-esteem, but God-esteem (not thinking of yourself, but letting God become your focus), and then how to go about being the person God wants you to be. Her book is interspersed with pictures, interesting facts, Bible texts and confessions of a youth pastor, for example “It's hard to speak to your hearts when all I see is your parts.”
To sum it up in a nutshell, she writes: “Don't let your exterior become your obsession or the cost could prove to be your interior life. Focus on what really matters, your spirit, your soul, your life with God, and I promise you that all the exterior stuff will slowly become less and less important.” (p 78) She encourages girls to follow the guidelines in God's Word: “Do not let your adornment be merely outward – arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel – rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.” (1 Pet. 3:3,4)
This book will be a great asset to mothers and daughters in the struggle for purity in a sexually-orientated world. Because this book is directed at teenagers, the author sometimes uses words which we normally wouldn't use, e.g. “heck”, but this does not detract from the timely message of this book, for both younger and older women.
Review by R Vermeulen