This is something I wrote a while back and doing day eight of the 3030 challenge -check it out or follow along- reminded me of it. Now, I want to share it with anyone who is interested. Anyone who struggles with their body image and how this fits in with your faith. This specific piece is pointed towards women, however, it is not limited to women because I am well aware it is not only this gender that struggles with it.
It’s not an easy thing to deal with in today’s society but I hope this encourages you as it did me during the process of writing it!
Media today has a cruel way of setting an example for young women. How many times a day do women come upon Victoria Secret ads, dieting and exercise apps or simply commercials that advocate a certain body type or appearance? The answer is, a number larger than we realize.
These are not random; these companies have access to information on what you are searching regularly. Once they have this, that company strategically places women, displaying their products to pop up on the screen. Women that are just under six feet tall have slim long legs, flawless skin and a body young women wish they could have. Flat stomachs, thigh gaps, zero fat and without a second thought, people are attracted to this and strive to be this.
Many don’t understand that this image is usually tampered with; Photoshop is an effective tool when used for the right reasons. When anyone can rearrange and transform faces and bodies, how do you ever know what is real? Too many women don’t even question this, assuming this figure is something they should acquire as well. Little do they know, it is physically impossible to achieve…naturally.
The number of apps out there that allow anybody to touch up and filter photos is astonishing. There are tools to get rid of blemishes of any kind, to change the color of your eyes, or to make your nose look smaller and hundreds of other options. What is this teaching women today? That suddenly it’s okay and expected to change your body? That the only way to have this perfect figure is to starve yourself or over exercise, and then get online and shift and shape the rest?
“So God created mankind in his own image; in his own image God created them; he created them male and female.” Genesis 1:27. There is proof in the very first chapter of the Bible who we were made after. By going along with this “trend”, especially being involved ourselves, are we not mocking God? Saying, “My body isn’t good enough,” then, turning to unnatural ways to attempt to fix it.
Later in 1 Corinthians 3:16 we are asked an important question, “Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst?” If our bodies are considered a temple to God, we should desire to take care of it in a healthy and appropriate way.
What happened that made society believe it’s okay to have standards and expectations for women that are unreachable? More importantly, what do we do to end these unrealistic ideals?
First, we break the mold ourselves. Easier said than done. However, starting with our own bodies and understanding that each piece was masterly put together by God Himself is a place to begin. Only then, can we reach out to those women and others around us who are not aware of the truth that God created them in His likeness for a reason. Harming and changing our bodies just because we idolize women who look “better” is not only hurting ourselves but our Creator as well.
Until next time,