We're so excited to introduce this guest post from our friend and author, Beth Bruno, who's just come out with an extraordinary book called A Voice Becoming: A Yearlong Mother-Daughter Journey into Passionate, Purposed Living. We've collaborated with Beth to create a conversation and action guide for mothers and daughters. Read on to find out more more and be sure to check the links below to download the guide!
Words from Beth:
American women have a complicated relationship with bras.
In the small college town in which I reside, we all await an appeals court decision on the topless ban. The group, Free the Nipple, argues that banning women from going topless sexualizes their breasts. And yet, on average, American women spend hundreds of dollars per year on this
one piece of lingerie that enhances, beautifies, and protects the same breasts.
As a mother of two girls, just entering this stage, we have had our fair share of conversations
around why, when, and what bras they wear. They fall on different points of the spectrum of
Free the Nipple and Victoria’s Secret, as do I.
But more than raising girls who dress respectably, I am committed to raising girls who do not
have a myopic view of themselves and the culture in which they live. The teen obsession with bodies, boys and besties leads to small story living. The antidote?
We need to call them to something bigger and cast a vision for a global sisterhood they are joining as they enter womanhood.
I work to prevent domestic sex trafficking. Spending a lot of time in high schools and fielding far too many calls from concerned or desperate parents, I am learning that here in the States, we
have gotten “at-risk” all wrong. We are missing the young teens who fill empty souls with
dangerous exploiters, the ones living small stories without a vision to something greater.
Author Kate Conner suggests the answer to small story living is to
“Crack the door and let all of broken, beautiful humanity flood in like a sunbeam.” She writes, “Let it in; let it move her. Let it inspire her, wreck her, challenge her. Let it change her. If you want her to catch the fire, you’re
going to have to put her near a flame.”
When it comes to raising daughters, I am convinced we need to expose them to the reality of
girls around the world. They need to know that when a girl their age starts her period in
Uganda, she stops going to school because sanitary pads do not exist. They need to know that
when girls in Mozambique start developing breasts, they may be more likely to be assaulted if they do not wear bras, yet bras are expensive and rare. They need to know that women in many parts of the world are not given equal rights and opportunities and therefore exploited.
They need to know this because we are sisters. If we believe women were created in the image
of God, then we should expect to see intrinsic qualities shared across generations and culture.
We belong to a global sisterhood that is stronger when we come alongside each other, using our talents and treasure to benefit others. And when our vision is as large as the world, there is not much time for teen drama.
So, women, how do we navigate these conversations? How do we empower and activate our
youth to offer themselves fully to the world in solidarity with their cross-cultural sisters? I’m
glad you asked!
In partnership with Free the Girls, and in conjunction with the release of my book, A Voice
Becoming: A Yearlong Mother-Daughter Journey into Passionate, Purposed Living (Faith Words/
Hachette), we have created a conversation and action guide for mothers and daughters.
Discover talking points around tough realities of sexual exploitation and trafficking as well as
tangible action steps to take with tween and teen girls.
Let us raise a generation of girls whose eyes are set on the bigger story their life tells.
As Nelson Mandela said, “There is no passion to be found in playing small, in living a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.” Girls are capable of changing the world, the ones here in our homes, and the ones exiting sex trafficking in Mozambique. Let us make a way for their voices to intersect.