Magazine covers portray skinny women as desirable. That’s not a news flash. In fact, so many studies have been done on how false expectations of beauty can lead to disturbing self-loathing in girls as young as 5, that one tends to rely on meta-research to get a grasp on the subject. In February, one of my favorite bloggers looked into the truth about what the Bible says about keeping up appearances and not letting ourselves go.
The backlash against the marketing that created unrealistic body images in generations of women is to demonize skinny. Instead of affirming the beauty in a SZ 10, we have to wail on those who wear a 0. I’m whining, and I know it. I can’t say how many times I’ve heard “Who wants to look all small and emaciated like one of those hungry models?” or “ugh, that’s gross!” I have lost track of the “I hate yous” and “eat a cheeseburgers” I’ve heard from well-meaning (I hope) friends.
” Their end is destruction, their god is their belly…But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body…” – Philippians 3:19-21.
Why do some feel that it’s okay to express their opinions about my underweight frame? They would never take the same liberties with someone who is overweight, at least, I wouldn’t. Why is it acceptable to chastise the lean?
At some time in my teens, twenties… now, I’ve learned to despise my spare body. I’ve actually apologized to a seamstress for my lack of curves as she fretted about how to create a shape where none existed. I stood, ashamed, before my mirror, obsessing over every angle and sharp line. Why couldn’t I look like a human and not a victim of famine?
I feel like when beauty is external, when the measure of worth is tied to size, we stop there. We assume characteristics about the person in possession of the body – the plump are indulgent and the lanky must be starving themselves… Our god is our bellies – we spend more time worshiping that god than the God of heaven, who created us. We spend time in contemplation of this false god. I have prayed that some imperfection would go unnoticed.I have deified the ellusive sz 4.
As many diet on a bed of greens to get down to a “perfect” size, I have hated my body, fearfully and wonderfully made as it was, because it didn’t conform to the look of the healthy standard. I hated it when it burgeoned in pregnancy and as it returned to “normal.” My lowly body is not my last, and when I step foot into Heaven one day, I will have the body God meant for me, not corrupted by comparison to images or ideals, but perfect, as my heavenly father’s is perfect. I will know him and be known, not as a skinny kid, twiggy teen or bony woman, but as a creation in the image of her creator.
My goal is not to be THE BODY but to be a part of the THE BODY of CHRIST. That means taking the focus off my belly and putting it on Him.
How has society shaped your body image? How do you think people worship this false god?