True Girl Podcast

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Claire Black: Welcome to True Girl, a podcast for girls and their moms. Together we’ll explore God’s truth for us one drive at a time. Buckle up. You might want to scoot over though, because we’re about to make some room for friendship. 

What’s that have to do with beauty and fashion? I’m glad you asked, because Dannah and Staci are about to tell us. It’s time to grow closer to each other as we grow closer to Jesus. 

True Girl is hosted by Dannah Gresh, author of 8 Great Dates for Moms and Daughters. Let’s get moving for season 1, episode 6, The Bod Squad. 

Here’s Staci.

Staci Rudolph: Hey y’all true girls, I’m Staci Rudolph. Today I’m sporting my nice, little “loved” shirt with my bomber jacket. Now, Dannah I wore it because you told me you like me in this t-shirt and this jacket, is that true?

Dannah Gresh: I love it. I love that your t-shirt says “loved.” I love it when t-shirts say something good and true. I have some t-shirts that I think, That’s not a truthful message. Why would we want to wear that? 

So, that’s really cool, but you know what Staci? I’m wondering, do you do that often? When you’re getting dressed in the morning, do you think about the people you’re going to see and think, I’m going because Dannah likes this or Dannah would wear this?

Staci: Well, honestly, I’m about 50/50. Usually I dress based on how I feel. So if I’m feeling like sweatpants, I’ve got to put them on. But I was like, “I’ll be with Dannah today, I know she likes this.” 

Dannah: I do that every morning. I’m like, “Today I’m going to see this person, and so I hope they are pleased by what they see. Or I hope that what I wear is something they’d be comfortable wearing.” That’s sort of crazy, isn’t it? Like, I’m influenced by the people I’m going to see that day, even though they’re not trying to influence me. 

Staci: I get it.

Dannah: Okay, true girl, listen, here’s the thing: There are a lot of things that are going to influence the way you express your beauty—fashion trends, advertising, YouTube videos, and so much more. But the thing which will influence you the most is a little closer to home. 

Staci: On this date we’ll explore how much your friends influence the way you express your beauty. Let’s just jump right in. 

Dannah: I’d like to begin by telling you about an amazing social science experiment that scientists did on monkeys. 

Staci: Oh, okay I’m intrigued. 

Dannah: So, these scientists took five brown monkeys, and they placed them in an empty room. Did you catch that color, Staci?

Staci: Brown, got it. 

Dannah: The only thing in this room other than five brown monkeys was a great tall ladder, leading up to the hugest most delicious looking bunch of yellow bananas. Now, as you can image, when those monkeys were released into that room, they had one thing on their mind. 

Staci: It was that big yummy bunch of bananas, right?

Dannah: You know it was. But every time one of them would try to climb the ladder, a scientist would grab a water hose and spray that poor little monkey with cold water. And the scientists didn’t just spray the brown monkey climbing for that big yummy bunch of bananas, but he made sure to hit all of the monkeys with the water. 

Soon, the monkeys figured out what was up and became quite tired of all that cold water. 

Staci: I can’t say that I blame them. 

Dannah: Now, here’s what began to happen, whenever one of them decided to climb that ladder, the rest of them would grab him and beat him up.

Staci: Now, this sounds too familiar. You know, when the teacher had the words “pizza party” on the board and she would erase a letter every time you guys got loud . . . and it was just that one kid.

Dannah: That one kid was making her erase the letters, and you’re like, “Calm down. You’re making the pizza parties going away…it’s disappearing.” Yeah, so this is something like that. 

Well, one day the scientists took one of the brown monkeys out and replaced it with a red monkey. Now, the red monkey had never seen the water. All he noticed when he walked into that room was that yummy bunch of bananas, and so he headed for the ladder, probably wondering, What is up with these brown monkeys? Don’t they know how delicious yellow bananas are?

Staci: Don’t do it red, don’t do it.

Dannah: Well, red went straight for the ladder, and, of course, the brown monkeys grabbed him and they beat him up. He never did make it up that ladder for one of those beautiful bananas. Soon the scientists again replaced one brown monkey with another red monkey, and this time that new red monkey climbed the ladder, and you know what happened Staci?

Staci: What?

Dannah: When that new red monkey climbed the ladder, not only did the brown monkeys try to beat him up, but guess who joined in?

Staci: Don’t tell me, that first little red monkey.

Dannah: That first little red monkey joined in beating up the new red monkey. One by one the scientists replaced those brown monkeys with red ones, until there were no brown monkeys left in the cage.

Now, Staci, had those red monkeys seen that water hose or felt that cold water? 

Staci: Not a drop. 

Dannah: Not one of them had felt it, and yet, anytime one of them would try to go get those bananas they would beat each other up. You know what I think? Sometimes you and I can be a lot like those monkeys. 

Staci: I agree, sometimes we just go along with the mindless crowd, just doing things because everyone else is doing them even though we haven’t even an idea why we’re doing it.

Dannah: Yeah, we don’t know why. I don’t think God wants us to be like that. 

Staci: Well, let’s take it to Scripture. Ephesians 4:17 basically says, “Don’t go along with the crowd, the empty-headed mindless crowd.” Now, that’s the SRV, the Staci Rudolph Version. 

Dannah: The Staci Rudolph Version, that’s not a thing, but I like it. Today, we’re going to call “going along with the crowd,” “giving into peer pressure.” Now, I’m sure you’ve heard that word before, but let’s define it anyway. Staci, what would you say peer pressure is?

Staci: I’d say it’s when your friends or people you know are influencing you to do something that’s wrong, or something that’s right. They’re just influencing you. 

Dannah: Yeah, it could be as you said. It could be something that’s right that they’re influencing you to do, because peer pressure can be good. Which brings us to today’s power verse, Proverbs 13:20. Can I read it to you?

Staci: Yeah. 

Dannah: “Walk with the wise and become wise; associate with fools and get in trouble.” (NLT) In other words, if you spend time with friends and family members who are wise, that’s going to rub off on you, you will become wise. But if you spend time with the kind of people the Bible calls “fools,” you’re going to get yourself into trouble.

Now, is it safe to say that those brown monkeys were a tad on the wise side of life? I mean, they learned something from that hose. They knew that hose had cold water in it and that they were going to experience that cold water every time somebody climbed that ladder. 

So, they stopped each other from doing something that created danger for all of them. So, peer pressure can be good. 

Staci: Yeah. But what about red and friends? You think maybe they were foolish? I mean, they just did what the other monkeys did without any good reason at all. Now, that would be bad peer pressure. 

Dannah: Because, they didn’t understand why they were doing what they were doing. 

Staci: Exactly. Now, maybe you’ve already noticed this, but if not, as you head towards your teen years, you’re going to find that your friends might divide into groups or cliques. Each clique kind of behaves the same. They like the same movies; they wear the same clothes; they go to the same parties; they have the same kind of general attitude. If you choose a wise group, you’ll make wise choices. 

Dannah: And I hope you do. I hope that your group only wears cool and trendy clothes appropriate for a true girl, a Christian girl who wants your heart to be visible to others. Who cares about the fashion you wear is reflecting what’s inside of your heart. Either way, I’ve got to say this, it’s pretty much guaranteed that your expression of beauty and fashion is going to be strongly influenced by the friends that you hang out with.

Staci: So, that’s why for your True Girl challenge, this time around … drum roll please … I’m going to tell you what it is. We are sending you and several of your friends on a shopping challenge, if your mom agrees that is, okay?

Dannah: And it could take a little to plan this and schedule it.

Staci: I mean, why do we think we told you to scooch over and make room?

Dannah: Oh yeah, it’s time to gather your personal Bod Squad. True Girl, should you choose to accept it, is to find and to try on at least one item of clothing per girl with a whole pack of your friends. Have fun. Pick something you really love, but here’s the catch. It has to pass the discerning taste of you and each of your friends and the designated drivers.

Staci: Do you mean the moms? 

Dannah: You know I do. 

Staci: Wouldn’t that be the Mom Squad?

Dannah: Moms can be on your Bod Squad. 

Staci: Okay, the Bod Squad doesn’t just rush out with opinions. Wise true girls base everything they say and do on God’s Word and wise advisors, so ask the moms for help. 

Here’s some questions to ask when you’re checking each other’s choices: Does this outfit allow the beauty of my heart to shine bright? Remember our lesson from Philippians from the last podcast. Is it modestly priced? 

Dannah: Or does God want me to spend my money on this?

Staci: Yeah. The less you spend on you, the more you have to give. And God wants us to be givers. 

Dannah: True, yeah. 

Staci: Does it fit well so that I look and feel comfortable?

Dannah: It’s nice to feel good in your clothes, there’s no Bible verse for that, is there Staci?

Staci: No, there’s not, but hey, a girl has to be comfy right? And the last question may be, is it modest? They are like four Bible verses on this topic, so it matters. 

Dannah: That’s true it does. So, again, this is just another optional challenge to take the truth you’ve learned today a little bit deeper. Grab your Bod Squad, head to the mall, happy shopping. And see if you notice the next time you’re there, whether you’re with your Bod Squad or not, are you influenced by your friends? 

Ready, set, go! 

Staci: So, Dannah, is that monkey thing a real science experiment? 

Dannah: Well, it was a small study in 1966, entitled (clears throat) Cultural Acquisition of a Specific Learned Response among Racist Monkeys.

Staci: Now, that’s a mouthful, good job. 

Dannah: Well, it was a mouthful, but not for those poor monkeys. 

Staci: No, you didn’t go there. 

Dannah: I did. 

Claire: Dannah and Staci invited you to put your own Bod Squad together and go on a shopping spree. That idea comes from Dannah’s book 8 Great Dates for Moms and Daughters. In that book, you’ll find a helpful true or bare fashion test to help you as you shop. 

All of the sudden, I want to eat a banana . . . and maybe comfort a monkey. But more than anything, I want to check in with my wise friends so that maybe I could grow wise too. 

Now, let me talk to moms for a minute. I know life is busy, but before you know it, your daughters will be grown up and ready to leave the nest. Don’t miss the years you have together. The date ideas in this book could help the two of you make lifelong memories together. So, get a copy of 8 Great Dates for Moms and Daughters by visiting MyTrueGirl.com

True Girl is a production of Revive Our Hearts calling women of all ages to freedom, fullness, and fruitfulness in Christ.And don’t worry, no monkeys were harmed in the making of this podcast. 

*Offers available only during the broadcast of the podcast season.

About the Hosts

Dannah Gresh

Dannah Gresh

When Dannah Gresh was eight years old, she began praying that God would use her as a Bible teacher for “the nations.” When she sees the flags of many countries waving at a Revive Our Hearts event, it feels like an answer to her prayer.

Dannah is the founder of True Girl which provides tools for moms and grandmothers to disciple their 7–12 year-old girls. On Monday nights, you’ll find Dannah hosting them in her online Bible study. She has authored over twenty-eight books, including Ruth: Becoming a Girl of Loyalty, Lies Girls Believe, and a Bible study for adult women based on the book of Habakkuk. She and her husband, Bob, live on a hobby farm in central Pennsylvania.

Staci Rudolph

Staci Rudolph

Staci Rudolph is a lead teacher for True Girl. From co-hosting online Bible studies like "Habakkuk: Walking By Faith Through Difficult Days" to facilitating biblical discussion of teen topics on the True You videocast, Staci is passionate about encouraging tweens, teens, and women of all ages to walk in God’s Truth.