PARIS, TX–Daisy Michaelson, a 25 year old member of Elmcreek Baptist Church, has sought to boost her low self-esteem by disguising her attempts to receive affirmations that she is beautiful as intellectual discussions about modesty. Endlessly insecure, Daisy has figured out that a good way to brag about her looks and receive compliments is to ask questions about modesty, share horror stories of boys hitting on her, and innocently ask how she can avoid leading guys on.
“At church, we are taught not to boast, and we are also taught that physical beauty should not be emphasized because it is fleeting,” Daisy mused. “But I still want to hear that I’m cute because, deep down, I’m scared that I’m not. I’ve found that if I force discussions on modesty, I can get others to tell me that I’m gorgeous.”
Daisy’s conversations and social media posts confirm this strategy. Late last week, Daisy posted on Facebook:
“Ugh! I was pumping gas at a Shell station when a couple of dudes who looked like athletes came up to me and started hitting on me! Sorry guys, I didn’t ask to be your eye candy. I was even dressed down in basketball shorts and a baggy shirt. What’s a girl to do?”
Sure enough, the likes and encouragements came flooding in:
“It’s not your fault, girl. You’re just naturally beautiful!”
“Well, you just have to stop being so pretty ;).”
“You can only do so much. Guys are just pervs.”
The boys in question were tracked down and asked about their side of the story.
“Huh?” one of them, Billy, asked. “Oh, that girl with the short-shorts? Yeah, she was pumping gas in a strange way: Sticking out her butt and giving us a weird look. We thought she was asking for help so we went over and asked if she needed anything, but she just giggled a lot and struck poses. We were kinda creeped out so we left her alone.”
When asked if he and his friend were hitting on her, Billy recoiled. “Oh, definitely not. I mean, I know we aren’t supposed to be superficial and stuff, but come on…”
Daisy’s methods are not limited to social media. Several Sundays ago, during lunch after church, Daisy asked a seemingly serious question to the people with her, “Hey, a lot of guys have been liking me lately. I’m not trying to lead them on and I try to dress modestly. How can I avoid these situations?”
A more skeptical church member incredulously asked, “Who?” but his question was ignored. Instead, Daisy’s focus went to those members who told her that while she can do her part in being modest, she cannot control other people who may like her for her good looks and personality. Daisy reportedly sighed in apparent resignation. “Well, I guess I just have to get used to it. Or maybe I should just wear a giant parka and cover my face!” The group laughed hesitantly.
In more desperate times, Daisy has used self-loathing techniques to garner sympathy and compliments. “If I really want a compliment but it’s not forthcoming, I try to put people in awkward situations where if they don’t say something nice, they’ll come off as jerks,” she explained.
Recently, she demonstrated this at her church’s young adult meeting. She lowered her head and told everyone, “I know I’m fun and I’m actually good at sports unlike other girls, but I wish I was beautiful. I know we can’t have everything, but it’s hard for me. I hate it when other people tell me that I’m beautiful too because I just know it’s not true.”
Jared, a very sensitive guy who is perpetually single, touched her shoulder. “Daisy, remember that you are fearfully and wonderfully made. Any guy would be lucky to be with a gorgeous girl like you.”
Jill, another member of the group, however, struggled to find words. “Uh… I mean… we shouldn’t focus on looks… what matters is on the inside and your heart and stuff…”
“What do you expect me to say?” Jill later asked. “Lying is a sin.”
Though Daisy’s tactics can be somewhat successful, they are not totally lost on her congregation.
“Daisy does this a lot, and it puts a lot of people in a tough situation,” Frank Johnson, pastor of the church, explained. “When she does that to me, I just try to say something vague about inner beauty and then get the heck out of there. It’d be less awkward if she was attractive… in a worldly sense, of course,” he hastily clarified, “but clearly God wants her to focus more on what can’t be seen.”
Phil, another member of the church, was more forthright. “Look,” he said flatly, “I want her to dress more modestly, but not because I feel like I’m going to stumble… unless I’m stumbling into the bathroom to find the toilet.”
(Inspired by The Onion and The Babylon Bee 🙂 )