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December 2007 Archives

December 3, 2007

Beauty redefined

From the Associated Press:

NEW YORK (AP) - An angry Jennifer Love Hewitt is defending her curves after photos of her in a bikini were ridiculed on the Internet. "I've sat by in silence for a long time now about the way women's bodies are constantly scrutinized," the 28-year-old actress writes on her Web site.

"To set the record straight, I'm not upset for me, but for all the girls out there that are struggling with their body image."

The photos show Hewitt, with a bit of cellulite, on a Hawaii beach with her new fiance, Scottish actor Ross McCall.

Several sites posted the shots, along with some less-than-complimentary comments., for example, said, "We know what you ate this summer, Love — everything!"

"A size 2 is not fat! Nor will it ever be," Hewitt responded in a post Thursday. "And being a size 0 doesn't make you beautiful."

Finally, someone has the guts to speak up about the culture's narrow definition of beauty. recently posted a picture of the Hero's starlet, Hayden Panettiere, 21, with cellulite visible on her backside. If you don't know her from Heroes, you might remember her from "Remember the Titans" where she played the part of the Coach's adorable daughter. I hate for these girls that they have to contend with paparazzi aiming a camera lens at them at all times, but maybe it will begin to break down the culture's lie regarding beauty. I hope young women (and the guys) are paying attention: Women come in all shapes and sizes and cellulite is normal.

You tell us - what's your reaction?

December 13, 2007

Letters to Santa. . . .

It has been a while since I’ve mailed a letter to Santa with my Christmas wish list. And whether or not you subscribe to this holiday tradition, the idea isn’t too far fetched. Meaning, everyone has a Christmas wish list. While the true reason for the season couples a baby Jesus and a manger in a stable (as well as our need for a Savior), it’s not necessarily a bad thing to ask for what you want.

I don't know about you, but I've already been asked several times by my parents, friends and family, "so, what do you want for Christmas?" While the pressure of the moment can sometime be overwhelming to think of a response without warning, it doesn't take long to think of something.

So, we want to know. What’s on your Christmas wish list this year? I’ll post mine in the comments along with yours!

Also, for some fun, find out if you are on the naughty or nice list! Click here and answer a few simple questions (truthfully) to find out. Let us know what you scored by posting a comment!

December 19, 2007

Jamie Lynn Spears, pregnant at 16!

I returned home from a dinner date with my hubby last night to the breaking news that Britney Spear's little sister, Jamie Lynn Spears (16) is preggers. My kids bombarded me with the news the moment I walked in the door. I share this detail to give you a glimpse of how quickly word spreads among our youth when it comes to the misdeeds of Hollywood.

When I sat down to my computer to see if the rumor was fact or fiction, I had quite a few emails in my inbox from concerned mothers whose little girls watch Nickelodeon's "Zoey 101" and admire the lead character, Jamie Lynn. They wanted to know what to say to their little girls over the breakfast table this morning regarding this latest news.

After confirming the rumor (she admitted it to OK! Magazine in an interview and the cover story will hit newstands today) and visiting Spear's official website to find out more about her (I didn't even know she had a show), here is what I discovered on her website:

Winner of Hollywood Life's "One To Watch" Award, Jamie Lynn Spears was also nominated for a Teen Choice Award, in the category of "Breakout Female Performer," for her role on Zoey 101 and recently won the award for Favorite TV Actress at the 2006 Kids Choice Awards for her role on Zoey 101. Zoey 101 entered its second season September and was up for an Emmy in the category of "Best Children's Program".

No wonder these mama's are concerned, especially given that she won a Kids Choice Award in 2006 and was nominated for another one in 2007. Interestingly, I also discovered on another site that her mother has written a book called "Pop Culture Mom" that was supposed to release this spring (Thomas Nelson Publishers), but has now been "delayed indefinitely." Good move.

Now, I share this background in order that you might understand how I responded to my own children ages, 19, 17, and 14. I expect that my response will be considered by some in the Christian community (and otherwise) to be controversial on many levels, but here goes:

"Guys, we shouldn't be the least bit surprised that she is pregnant at 16. Nearly 40% of teen girls will become pregnant at least once by the age of 20. It's certainly disappointing given the fact that she was a role model to young girls, but let this serve as a reminder that even role models, as well as god-fearing Christian kids, have hormones and will face temptations. She (and her boyfriend) gave into the temptation and will now have to face the consequences of that choice. However, I do have to commend her for choosing to have her baby in spite of being raised in a culture that peddles abortion as a quick-fix solution. Given her awards and her "up-and-coming" celebrity status, she had everything to lose (in the world's eyes), and has chosen to fore go her career (translation: it's OVER!) and do the right thing after the fact. How many girls, Christian girls included, given her current status and success, would have raced off to the nearest abortion clinic to "fix the problem" in an effort to continue their ascent up the Hollywood ladder?"

So, there you have it. I am certainly not saying that we turn this girl into a saint for choosing life, but there is clearly more than one teachable moment to this particular teenage pregnancy story. And for the record, this is a particularly touchy subject for me given the following factors: A) I have had Christian girls who were raised in the church, confide to me through tears that their parents made them get an abortion to save face in the church -- one was even a deacon's daughter and another was a Baptist minister's daughter; B) I have had Christian girls share with me that upon discovering they were pregnant, many of their Christian girlfriends recommended they get an abortion, reminding them they would be "forgiven"; C) I have counseled multitudes of Christian women (teen, college, adult) who discovered the hard way that abortion is anything but a quick fix and would give anything to turn back the hands of time; and finally, D) I can relate firsthand to the regret the women who have sought my counsel feel having myself, opted for abortion at the age of 17. As someone who bought many of the lies peddled by the culture, my past abortion serves as one of many motivating factors to get a better message out to our girls. Praise God for His mercy and forgiveness.

Written by: Vicki Courtney, Virtuous Reality Founder and best-selling author of the Teen Virtue series.