I know this can be a touchy subject for many people. But it is all over in our culture today and it is pretty damaging to many people.
Advertisements on a billboard, or a commercial during your favorite TV show: “Get the body you’ve always wanted.” “Look like a supermodel.” “Have perfect skin.”
Here’s a question to think about: What makes a supermodel?
You see, our world believes you should look a certain way in order to be beautiful and to be noticed. There is only one shape, one size, a perfect weight. And we have been sucked into believing this, whether we realize it or not.
Don’t think so? Let me ask you: Have you ever been dissatisfied with your shape? Have you ever, even for just a moment, wished you looked different? Had different hair, better skin, prettier features? Have you ever doubted, or denied, you were pretty – even after having so many people tell you how beautiful you were? Too many girls and women fall into this way of thinking. The harm that this causes comes in several forms, but I’ll just mention two major ones that I’ve seen (and felt) through the years.
Form #1: Not Enough
We begin to hate ourselves. We don’t care. We get embarrassed about ourselves and we also tend to annoy others with our constant denials when they complement us. We get discouraged, and jealous, when we see others we think are prettier than ourselves. We don’t believe we are worth much, if anything.
This has to sadden God, who put so much into us and considers us His masterpiece, and we neglect it and think it ugly and worthless. We are always trying to change it. Yes, we may be a mess (we don’t meet our beauty standards) but we are a BEAUTIFUL mess – because we were made by the author of beauty. Just look around. See the sunset? The stars and the moon? Look and see the flowers that grow in the field every spring. Why do we care so much what the world thinks beauty is? “Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder.” It is defined by the person who sees it. And the world is fickle. It will change its definition of beauty every day. But God’s is constant.
Form #2: Too Much
On the other hand…. In our efforts to look better and be better (to prove ourselves to everyone) we can easily go overboard. We don’t eat enough and we wear ourselves out, making it worse instead of better. We can easily get overzealous and injure ourselves (I’ve been in this form, too). It can be very hard to recover from this.
So now you may be thinking, “Where is the balance? How do I keep from going too far one way or the other?”
Believe me, it is not easy to find the balance. On the #1 hand: be content with yourself and don’t long to be someone you are not meant to be. But DO NOT be content with letting yourself yourself go and accepting it as “this is who I am”. We have been given a beautiful gift to take care of. And we should do our best to keep our bodies in the best condition they can be. And that leads me to hand #2… 3 words: everyone is different. Each person can handle different levels of diet and exercise. The important thing here is to know your body… and to listen to it AND the people around you who know.
To sum it up in a nutshell: Take care of what you have been given, but also be confident in who you are. In who God made you to be. For you are wonderfully made. His beautiful creation.
Now go forth with these new thoughts in your mind… and live long and prosper! 😀