(Image courtesy of Pinterest)
Us women have always desired to be beautiful, radiant, pretty, gorgeous. Ever since the beginning of time, humanity in general has loved beauty, whether it be the simple perfection of a rose in full bloom, or the dramatic brilliance of an evening sunset. God created in us the ability to acknowledge and appreciate the beautiful world He fashioned.
And a major part of that beautiful world, quite obviously, is us.
With the immense desire of women in this country to be beautiful, flawless and perfect according to society's standards, have we lost sight of what true, God-given beauty really is?
I believe so.
It is a sad reality; but the fact remains - most women in the US alone hate their bodies, or at least a part of their bodies.
Young girls and adult women alike are pressured to conform to what the hottest celebs and fashion leaders deem trendy and acceptable, and practically 99% of that time, what's being pushed is something which isn't appropriate or godly, in one way or another.
Even if what is being pushed is something that's actually okay/appropriate, it's still such a tragedy that women rely on anonymous corporations and celebrities miles and miles away - people they've never even met - to determine what's beautiful and what's not. Going even further, you know what? When it comes down to the bottom line, it's a tragedy when we rely on any person's opinion more than our Creator's - no matter who the person may be.
So here we are - stuck in a time and place where ladies are constantly bombarded by the supposed 'need' to be tan as a beach bum, have unnaturally white teeth like in the toothpaste commercials, be as skinny as a pole and yet wear a size D bra... America's "requirements for physical beauty" could go on and on indefinitely.
And with all these pressures, and the exposure to people who supposedly "look better/hotter/more beautiful than us", let's face it. Most of us struggle with self-hatred concerning our bodies, in some form.
Body image self-hate is common today among each age group and body type. I know a very skinny girl in her mid-teens, who thinks she needs to lose weight/go on a diet...and I should mention, she's tall and could probably be considered model material, in some talent agencies.
On our beach trip, I met a 13 year old cheerleader, with an athletic/average build. She complained on end about her body's many supposed 'flaws', even though in my eyes, she looked perfectly healthy.
And then you have ladies in their later stages of life, looking in the mirror and sighing at the grey hairs and wrinkles.
All this discontentment! And the irony of it all, is that what one girl hates about herself, most everyone else will shrug off or think is totally healthy and beautiful.
I want to share a bit of my personal self-hate journey with y'all.
As a 12 year old, I wrote in my journal once that I thought myself fat and unattractive. I compared my body to those of some of my friends; because all throughout my life I have always been bigger than the other girls my age...as a 12 year old, I considered this an unpleasant fate.
As a child, I was the tallest in my Awana Bible club class. I was always as tall as, or taller than the boys in my age group. Things stayed this way until about thirteen...when boys I knew started getting tall really fast.
Even to this day, I am one of the tallest females that I know, and I weigh more than most of my girlfriends, and women I encounter, because of my larger body-build. Having to look up at other women is something I'm not used to, and it feels very odd.
I am not a small person. I will never be skinny, or *healthily* weigh under 120 pounds.
My hourglass body type is as curvy as an Appalachian mountain road, and a doctor told me once that I possessed shoulders which could "pull a plow." Needless to say, they are pretty broad shoulders for a girl. My waist is smaller, but my wide hips are my downfall. While I have never hated my entire body's appearance, I have continually found displeasure in my lower half - the behind and down.
I used to hate my legs just in general. Since hourglass figures usually maintain a steady weight all over their bodies, unlike apple figures, my legs are certainly not "bird legs". They've always possessed a lot of curve. Granted, most of this is muscle, but that's not apparent when you're trying on a pair of jeans and all you see in the mirror is "thunder-thighs".
My parents would assure me as an early teen that a person's weight had nothing to do with them being 'fat' or 'thin'. But since my weight always lingered a bit higher than other girls', I would abandon this truth and consider myself overweight. (which in reality, I wasn't)
And I'll admit today, that while I am content with my weight and physical standings, there are times when I find myself feeling disgusted with my naturally large thighs and butt. I am aware that it is just something to be expected with my body type, but as much as I try this is the one 'problem area' I have.
If we were all honest, we'd admit that there was something about our bodies we didn't care for in particular. In my case, it's my behind/thighs. I know some girls who don't like their arms, and some ladies who are sick of their tummies.
So, I guess what I'm saying is: Stop hating yourself! Satan will constantly try to drag our minds down into a state of depression and discontentment. He's found a way to do this, simply by implanting and encouraging self-hate ideas about our bodies; which pull us away from the reality that we are all created in YHWH's Image and exceedingly precious to Him.
The truth is, every single girl on planet earth is beautiful in His eyes. Did you hear that? Every single girl. Every single woman.
And He certainly didn't create us to be loathing our own visages!
So, y'all, I know this was kind of a out-of-nowhere, random (and long) post. But I hope it serves to encourage you about being thankful for the beautiful person our Creator made you to be.
Don't let the trash of the world contaminate your mind. Be set apart, and appreciate the incredible body you were given!
Choose to dwell in negativity, constantly bashing your body and questioning why God made you the way He did, and your life will reflect on this. Negativity breeds negativity.
If you dwell in contentment, your life will be blessed.
Now for some feedback. Is there a particular part of your body you struggle with appreciating? Do you have a "problem-spot?" What's one thing you LIKE about your body?
P.s. You're probably wondering now what happened to Bethany. I am guest posting for her today because she needed some time to work out some things in her busy schedule! Be looking for her return, next week.