You won't believe what one lingerie company is doing to show what makes a woman truly beautiful. I've got a great story for you. Get a hankie.
When it comes to lingerie companies, we've gotten used to some pretty graphic ads. You know the kind I mean: ones that feature impossibly perfect, airbrushed models wearing frilly and revealing underwear.
But the other day I came across the most amazing lingerie ad I've ever seen. No, I was not reading a Victoria's Secret catalog. I was watching an online ad created by the Thailand branch of Wacoal, a Japan-based lingerie company. It was part of a three-part series called "Beauty Inside." And it magnificently depicts the true value of women.
The first ad opens with a married couple sitting nervously in their doctor's office, holding hands.
"After trying so hard for many years, she finally got pregnant," the husband says.
But today they're getting some bad news.
"I know it's hard," the doctor says sympathetically. "But please make a decision as soon as possible."
The couple, clearly stunned, drive home, hold one another, and cry.
"On that day at the hospital," the husband relates, "the doctor told us that she's got cancer. She has only two choices. First, she might be cured if she took chemotherapy. But that may cause our child a disability. Or we might lose our baby. The alternative is to keep our child. But she might have to fight the cancer alone, without any remedy."
The woman cries as her husband holds her. The next morning, she gets up and walks to the living room, where the baby's crib is still sitting on its box. She runs her fingers along the crib and makes a decision: "I will do it for you, baby."
The mother begins putting the crib together and plays with a stuffed animal, anticipating her child's birth. Now she is back in the hospital, in labor. When her doctor holds up her healthy baby, she cries with joy. After cuddling and kissing her child, the mother hands him to her husband. She smiles at her little family as a nurse takes her down the hall and into the chemotherapy room.
These ads — which are both profoundly pro-women and pro-life — have become a global phenomenon. Millions of people have watched them online. Clearly they've hit a nerve — and I think I know why.
First, most lingerie ads focus on women's bodies, suggesting that a woman's appearance is the most important thing about her. But these ads challenge young women to value themselves in other ways: To celebrate strength and sacrifice, courage and compassion.
They're teaching women something else, as well: that a worthwhile man will value them, not based on outer beauty, which is fleeting, but on inner beauty, which is based on character. And when life throws them a curve ball — such as cancer during a pregnancy — a strong man will help his wife through it.
Finally, I believe modern young women may be getting tired of being encouraged to take the easy way out when they run into a problem — such as a problem pregnancy. Women are, I think, moved by the idea that self-sacrifice is noble, and can be the source of great joy.
It's hard to watch this ad without crying, especially when you find out it was based on a true story. Whether it meant to or not, the Wacoal company gives us a perfect illustration of 1 Corinthians 13:7: "Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things."
I hope you'll watch these ads, and share them with your friends, sisters, and daughters. Their positive messages will help cancel out the hundreds of negative ones that bombard young women every day.
And you just might consider buying the woman in your life some lingerie, not from Victoria's Secret, but from the company that teaches that the value of women is in the nobility of their character.
Originally posted at breakpoint.org.