I want an hourglass body, wide hips, skinny waist, flat stomach, thin arms, bony hands, piercing collar bones, defined jawline, muscular calves, thin thighs, shiny hair, layers of makeup, white teeth and a dark tan. Sounds about like what every girl wants? Not relating yet? Oh, don’t worry boys, I didn’t forget about you. The biggest triceps and biceps, a back full of muscles, huge calves, muscular chest, 6-pack, cheekbones, jawline and cutting thighs. I think that’s about as stereotypical as I can get.
We can all agree that under all of these “perfect body labels” is most of the time an insecure person. The sad thing is, is that this is now the way we are forcing ourselves to be. A survey taken by Park Niccolet Melrose Centre shows that approximately 80% of U.S. women don’t like how they look, 34% of men are dissatisfied with their body, over 50% of Americans aren’t happy with their current weight, 70% of normal weighted women want to be thinner.
A mirror can either be a knife that slowly kills your confidence or a tool that encourages you. I can’t lie, I mostly use mine as a knife and many of us can relate. How many hours do you spend in your lifetime staring at yourself in the mirror? Finding every possible scar, stretch mark, piece of fat, weak muscle that you consider a flaw? Along with that, how long do we spend hating these things? Putting them into a box labelled “useless”, “not good enough”, “fat”? Digging the hole of depression, anxiety and eating disorders even deeper. Not only are we damaging ourselves, but we are changing the mindsets of generations to come. We aren’t holding unto our Bibles anymore, but to the status that we desire.
We are the cause of this problem. I find social media to be the main reason of those labels forming. As we see other’s getting attention as to their physical qualities, we immediately want that as well. Looks are more effective when being attractive as they are the first thing that draws us to one another. With that, we don’t focus enough on how we are on the inside and use that valuable time focusing on how to get rid of fat, weak muscles, stretchmarks, and scars. And this is how we fall off the purpose of being on Earth.
We have turned away from our scriptures and unto the ugly names we call ourselves. Being labelled buff, strong, beautiful, stunning or fit is more important than seeking the warmth of God’s love. Crying ourselves to sleep seems to be easier than reading what God thinks about you to find comfort. It makes me sad to think how long it took me to realize that all the pain that I have caused myself about my appearance caused me to drift away from God. A simple word like “fat” opens the door for the devil to enter your life.
The lock for my door I found in Matthew 10;29-31. God explains how valuable we are to Him and that He knows everything that happens in our lives. You can stand bare, naked, exposed in front of our saviour and He’ll still only find the ways in which you are perfect. By standing bare, I mean by letting out your pain, laying it at His feet as imperfect as can be. And even though other’s judge you or give you hate, God is the only one who can truly judge you but chooses not to. For you are fearfully and wonderfully made in His hands, and those Hands have scars too, but scars which symbolise love.
“Don’t hate your scars or flaws as they are the proof of God seeing potential in you.”
I love to go through downhills in my life, like falling into the ways of the world and becoming conscious about my body. Here is where the scars form and the blood drips, but how proud am I to say that my God sent me through that because he knew I was strong enough to handle it. This is the status I want. I want to be worthy of a purpose and not the size of my muscles. I want God’s love more than skinny thighs. But the only way we can reach that mindset is to turn away from the mirror, no matter how red and swollen your eyes might be from crying or how determined you are to lose weight, and to turn to a flaw-free, all season long, healthy relationship with God.
A summer body is temporary, God is eternal.
29 Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. 30 And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. – Matthew 10:29-31