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Gratitude for “It’s (Not That) Complicated”

It’s been a year now since we published It’s (Not That) Complicated, and the feedback we’re getting is incredible. God is answering our fervent prayers by using it to change lives.

notcomplicated

A sampling of the notes we’ve been getting:

“Of all the relationship-oriented books, blog posts, and Christian magazine articles that I have read, none have been as Biblically solid or as helpful as this book. Were I to go through this book with a highlighter, the entire thing would be neon yellow.” – P.

“It totally challenged me in the way I relate to young men as brothers in Christ. I have officially made it my favorite book, and have strongly encouraged all the young ladies I am acquainted with to read it!” – Tiana

“…exactly the kind of book I have been looking for for so long! I laughed out loud and took extensive notes. There really is not any other book like it.” – Brydon

“You should know that I finished it in one afternoon. It gave me an entirely new perspective on how I should be treating my brothers in Christ, as I have always struggled with how to love them and come across the right way. I was so blessed by the comments from various young men. It put everything into a new light for me. I have been able to put much of what you shared into practice this year with both my brothers, and my sisters in Christ (encouraging them to do the same!), and the results are simply amazing. May God use this book to bless young men and women all around the world!” – Amanda

“The only book I’ve ever cried over. Every girl should read this. Anna Sophia and Elizabeth Botkin have wisdom beyond their years, and they present biblical truth with grace, but without holding back.” – Emily

“In my opinion, every girl in America needs to read that book. No, EVERY girl needs to read that book.” – Amber

“…my highlighter was thoroughly worn out when I was done reading…and I’ve been trying to get into as many girls’ hands as I possibly can!” – Sarah

“It’s (Not That) Complicated was hysterically funny, incredibly amusing, and properly edifying all at the same time. Anna Sofia and Elizabeth wrote about the Truth of God in a way that we girls who live in the 21st century can enjoy. Their words are accurate, but they use anecdotes that we can understand and relate to. I’m already rereading the book for the second time. (Yes, it was really that good!)” -Cassandra

“I can’t thank you enough for the way you spare no punches and give us the real deal–it shows love in a way no sugar-coated “girly talk” can!  It’s helped me to adjust my goals and ideals of what a good life is… Also, I’m impressed by the way you present salvation so candidly with none of the modern Christianity fluff.  That’s what we need, it’s what everyone needs: a no-frills, Biblical gospel, and I admire the straight and narrow way you presented it.  Keep it up!” – Alaina

Girl-Guy Relationships
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Session One Finished and Available!

Praise the Lord for giving us a successful first session to the Reclaiming Beauty webinar. And our very warm thanks to all of you who joined us on Tuesday night!

For those of you who didn’t, we’ve decided to make the recording of this one session available to everyone free of charge. Go here to download the session, and here if you’d like to sign up for the rest of the webinar. There are six more episodes to come!

Beauty and FashionBotkin Projects
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Fathers, Daughters and the Beauty Subject


Daddy’s little girls: us at 6 and 4

Beauty and personal appearance is one area of a girl’s life that many fathers feel unqualified to speak into. However, in this mp3 message, our father Geoffrey Botkin explains a father’s biblical duty to be shepherding his daughter in this crucial area of her life – affecting the way she grows up to see herself, the culture around her, and her role as a woman. Listen to this message along with our mother’s on the same subject, and get a full-orbed picture of how a father and mother work together to prepare their daughters to be “corner pillars cut for the structure of a palace.” (Psalm 144:12)

Beauty and FashionFamily Relationships
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Mothers, Daughters, and the Beauty Subject

Us with our mother in 2001, ages 16 and 14… before the days of hairstyling, makeup, or clothes that fit.

As the launch date for our “Reclaiming Beauty” webinar draws near, we’ve been thinking about what an important part mothers play in this part of their daughters’ lives. Though the webinar is targeted at young women, we’ve persuaded our mother to share some helpful words for other mothers on how they should approach this issue and help their daughters with it. We considered having her share this as a guest in one of the sessions, but decided this message was so important that we wanted to make it available to everyone for free. Please listen to this message. Pass it around to your friends. And don’t forget to sign up for the webinar! September 25 is just around the corner.

Beauty and FashionFamily Relationships
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First “Reclaiming Beauty” Session Open to the Public!

Friends, we’ve decided to make the first session of the “Reclaiming Beauty” webinar free to the public! Tune in from 7-8PM, Central Time, on September 25, and join us for a eye-opening look at “What God Says About Beauty and Beautification: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly” — a fascinating introduction to the issue that launched a thousand ships. Bring your questions, and get ready for a new look at how to glorify God in your body! (1 Cor. 6:20)

Space is limited, so after registered participants, seats will be awarded on a first-come, first served basis. Click here to sign up for the first session free of charge.

We look forward to starting this journey with you on September 25!

Beauty and Fashion
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When Fairness is Unfair

Earlier this year, 18-year-old Florence Colgate was dubbed “Britain’s Most Beautiful Face,” not by the authority of beauty pageant judges, but by the authority of science and math. Miss Colgate’s face won out over 8,000 others on the basis of best match-up with a mathematically devised blueprint for perfect facial proportions based on the Golden Ratio.

Her “scientifically proven” prettiness sparked a huge debate that still rages all over the internet. Hundreds protested (for good reason) that the mystery of what makes one face more attractive than another can’t be solved with a formula. A much bigger concern, however, was over what that formula would do to the self-image of millions who can’t measure up to it: Women would feel like they were doomed to ugliness because their faces didn’t match the grid. … Read more →

Beauty and Fashion
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Any Questions?

What have you always wanted to know about beauty and beautification? Whether your questions are philosophical or practical, we’d like to invite you to throw them our way as we prepare for the “Reclaiming Beauty” webinar. We’ll be answering questions live during the webinar, but hearing your biggest questions now will help us make sure our sessions will tackle are all the major topics our listeners want to hear about. Just email us at damselsATvisionarydaughtersDOTcom, and let us know what you’d like to hear us address. We’re looking forward to hearing from you!

Beauty and Fashion
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Reclaiming Beauty: A Webinar

ReclaimingBeauty

A New Look at How to Glorify God in Your Body

What is beauty?

Some say beauty fits in a size 0. Some say beauty comes in all shapes and sizes. Some say beauty is only skin deep. Some say beauty is only a quality of the heart. Some say beauty is truth. Some say beauty is a lie. Some say beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Some say beauty is as beauty does. Some say Elizabeth Taylor and Grace Kelly are beautiful. Some say everyone is beautiful. Some say beauty is divine. Some say beauty is corrupting.

From all this confusion, one idea emerges clearly: The world knows beauty matters. They talk a lot about it, write poetry and paint paintings celebrating it, and spend $160 billion dollars a year on it. But what’s equally clear is that they don’t know what it is. The question is: Do we?

Today’s young Christian women have grown up in the most image-obsessed generation in history, a generation that worships some of the most twisted ideals of beauty the world has ever seen. But whether we love them or hate them… they tend to shape our own perceptions of what beauty is. Some of us accept its ideals, and struggle to fit into its mold – others of us are repulsed by it, concluding that physical beauty itself is immodest, worldly, and unspiritual, and reject the realm of beautification completely. But when all we’ve ever seen is the counterfeit the world offers, we can sometimes forget that the world did not create beauty – God did. And though we all know the world has a lot to say about image, we sometimes don’t realize how much God does too.

Fashion though history

It’s time to reclaim beauty. For thousands of years, believers, pagans, Gnostics, Humanists, Neo-Platonists, iconoclasts, and creators of culture have battled over this critical turf called “beauty.” Today, we have only to look at who designs the fashions, markets the beauty icons, rules the red carpet, adorns magazine covers, crowns Miss America, and designs clothes-and-makeup advertisements, to know who is currently holding the turf.

It’s time to take beauty back. When faced with an industry that runs on photoshop airbrushing, plastic surgery, starvation diets, grotesque catwalk styles, and billions of squandered dollars, our response can no longer be, “Beauty is not for us.” It’s time for our response to be, “Get your flag out of our ground.” It’s time for us to be a light in a culture that uses beauty as a weapon against God. It’s time for God’s ambassadors to make His principles – such as modesty and femininity – look as beautiful as they really are. It’s time for us to show the world: Ugliness is not beauty. Emaciation is not beauty. Androgyny is not beauty. Immodesty is not beauty. Unnatural distortion is not beauty. From Genesis to Revelation, God paints a different picture of the inner and outer beauty of a woman, and it’s time to show the world what it really looks like – one soul, one body, one face, one closet at a time.

A Webinar on Reclaiming Beauty
with Anna Sofia and Elizabeth Botkin

Webinar on Reclaiming Beauty by Anna Sofia and Elizabeth Botkin

This fall, the authors of So Much More and It’s (Not That) Complicated and producers of “Return of the Daughters” are launching an intensely practical, image-rich, 7-week webinar on the meaning and cultivation of beauty from the inside out. Join sisters Anna Sofia and Elizabeth Botkin as they dive into Scripture for the answers to an issue of great importance and frustration to young women: personal image.

Is it OK to look pretty? Wear makeup and jewelry? Put effort into my clothes? Take care of my body? Do I have to care about how I look? Where can I find modest, classy clothes without spending a fortune? What should my attitude be toward the latest fashions? How do I figure out what looks good on me? What is appropriate to wear when? What in the world do I do with my hair?

Reclaiming Beauty: A New Look at How to Glorify God in Your Body” will cover topics ranging from such practical issues as skincare, fitness, posture, voice, modesty, home-made beauty products, and color analysis… to subjects as penetrating as personal identity, insecurity, comparisons, worldliness, vanity, idolatry, our attitude toward others, and the state of our hearts before the Lord.

Discover:

  • What it means to represent the Lord as His ambassadors to the world
  • Where true beauty starts
  • What the Bible says about beautification and adornment
  • How we should respond to the world’s idea of beauty
  • The history and philosophy behind the most popular garments
  • The proper priority-level of beauty in the Christian’s life
  • The biblical relationship between the physical and the spiritual
  • What it means to be separate from the world
  • What we can learn from the beauty industry
  • What the beauty industry has gotten wrong

Get practical tips on:

  • Clothing yourself better for a lot less money
  • Making modesty and femininity look excellent instead of frumpy
  • Making off-the-rack clothes modest
  • Putting together great outfits with what you already had in your closet
  • Using makeup tastefully
  • Giving sloppy garments new life with minimum alterations
  • Cultivating taste and style
  • Getting out of a fashion rut
  • Creating a minimum-time-and-effort plan for looking nice every day

A Webinar That’s Not Just Skin Deep

Webinar sessions will run every Tuesday evening, 7-8 PM Central Time, from September 25 to November 13 (excluding October 30). The seven sessions include:

#1. What God Says About Beauty and Beautification
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

#2: What Style Is Your Heart, Mind, and Soul?
Pardon Me, Ma’am, But Your True Identity is Showing

#3. Getting Your Temple in Order
The Physical Foundations of Beauty

#4. Fearfully and Wonderfully Made
How to Work with the Build, Coloring, and Natural Beauty God Gave You

#5: Putting Things Together
Composition, Style, Occasion, Accessories

#6: Acquiring New Pieces (and Revitalizing Old Ones)
How to Get What You Need with Minimum Time, Money, and Fuss

#7: The Focal Point
Being a Good Steward of Your Face and Hair

The webinar registration fee is $44 per family. It is recommended for young women 12 and up, although parents are encouraged to listen with their daughters.

Click Here to Register

Anna Sofia and Elizabeth Botkin

Starting out as aesthetic ascetics and determined frumps who were clueless about beauty and fashion, Anna Sofia and Elizabeth have had to build their understanding of beauty from the biblical foundation up (a work still in progress). They have no beauty certifications whatsoever, though they do have experience dressing for everything from speaking engagements to political events to concert harp performances to good old dirty work around the farm, and each get everything they need (clothes, shoes, hair care, accessories, cosmetics, etc.) for around $130 a year. They’re also interested in reclaiming the biblical family, film, art, music, and politics, and work with their family’s ministry, Western Conservatory of the Arts and Sciences.

Beauty and FashionBotkin Projects
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A Princess without a Prince

As we pointed out in our last post, Princess Merida is a pretty conventional tomboy. However, “Brave” does not present a conventional happily-ever-after: its Disney princess is the first ever to not get a prince. From the beginning to the end, she is all the man she needs. …Which is handy, because in her world, there aren’t any others she can turn to.

Merida may not have been a particularly brave new kind of princess, but we believe that “Brave” presented the newest and bravest fairytale world in Disney princess history. Castles and tiaras notwithstanding, this brave new world is actually a lot more like ours, for two reasons. … Read more →

Marriage and SinglenessWomanhoodWomanhood in Pop Culture
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Can We Have a Braver Princess, Please?

Twenty years ago, our mother walked down the Walmart Pink Aisle, past all the Disney-heroine Barbies, Disney-movie-inspired vanity playsets, sequined polyester fish-tail skirts with seashells, and itchy yellow off-shoulder Belle dresses, and decided, “Not for my daughters.”

We were 4 and 6, and like most little girls, were each on our quest for the holy grail of femininity, the all-inspiring vision of who to be when we grew up.  Like many mothers, Mom realized that the entire panoply of Disney “woman” options, from Snow White to Ariel and Belle, were not it.   … Read more →

WomanhoodWomanhood in Pop Culture