Society constantly tells women that their value is found in their looks. I’m 28 and this specific lie is one I bought into for the majority of my life. But, about a year ago, I really started questioning this. And instead of jumping on another diet in attempt to improve my self-image, I decided to give intuitive eating a try. Once I learned about intuitive eating it was like the veil was lifted from my eyes and I was exposed to the fleeting promises of diet culture.
Women are constantly flooded with media messages on how to burn fat and lose weight.
Why? To be valued, loved, and cherished of course.
Oh, and most importantly…to find a man. Seriously?! (*shakes head*)
As a single woman, I’ve felt extra susceptible to this message. The lies that typically loop in my head remind me that if only I looked a certain way or dropped 10 lbs. then Mr. Right would come running into my life, which is so far from the truth.
The thing is, the more time I’ve spent on my looks the emptier I’ve felt. But, the more time I spend with God, I find my value and worth so glaringly apparent.
Jesus loves you just as you are. He doesn’t care if you’re wearing makeup or the trendiest outfit. Jesus is concerned with your character and your heart. As I’ve placed my trust, faith, and identity in the Lord, He’s been transforming my life from the inside out. Including my self-image. And I’m confident, that He’ll do the same for you, if you let Him.
THE PROBLEM WITH #BOPO
I used to be pretty supportive of the body positivity movement. You’re probably familiar with it? Loving your body, just as it is. I totally believe it’s important to accept and love yourself, but I’ve come to learn the deeper problem with this message.
Body positivity STILL focuses on a woman’s body and looks when that effort could be placed elsewhere, with much more value…I.E. a woman’s personality, character, and heart.
Check out this TED Talk by Lindsay Kite, body positivity advocate and co-founder of Beauty Redefined, to understand where I’m going with this. Kite discusses how women are suffering not only because they are defined by beauty BUT their bodies first and people second. Can I get an Amen?
When we stop obsessing over our looks by partaking in grueling fitness regiments and fad diets only then can we learn how to gently nourish our bodies. You see, when we spend hours in front of the mirror, or on the treadmill, we may have good intentions.
But, before you continue on, stop and ask yourself, are you working out to take care of your body or to find value?
Don’t get me wrong, I love being active and absolutely love running. But, I realized I’d go that extra mile because maybe if I did, then I’d look better. And then finally I’d be noticed and found.
Not only was this mentally exhausting, but I was chasing a fleeting promise of the world.
God blessed us with our bodies and expects us to care for them while we’re here on earth. But, He never intended us to get to an obsessive point or seek value in our looks.
Our value and worth are found in Christ, and Him alone.
If you struggle with accepting yourself and your worth (which is pretty common for most women) invite the Lord into the equation. From God’s word we can learn how to use our bodies as an instrument to glorify Him instead of an ornament, like the world teaches.
Let’s take a look at what the Bible says….
For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
You are no mistake. Before you made your debut, God knew exactly how you would look from your head down to your toes. He made you wonderfully, sis, and in His image.
God not only loves you very much but also has put His hand on you for something special.
1 Thessalonians 1:4
God is madly in love with you! And as your creator, He’ll always be the one who loves you most. God also made you for something special, which means your life purpose is not to look Instagram worthy.
Do you know what God called you to do? If you do, spend time fine tuning your skills. If you don’t know just yet, seek the Lord for guidance, give Him praise, and try something new!
To piggy back off those special plans God has for you, here’s another incredible promise of the Lord…
‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ says the Lord, ‘plans for well-being and not for trouble, to give you a future and a hope.’
Stop for a moment and let that sink in….
God only has good plans for you! And as His child, He would never withhold good from you. Remember, even when things don’t go as expected, the Lord is working it out (behind the scenes) so you’ll have a bright future.
So since we find ourselves fashioned into all these excellently formed and marvelously functioning parts in Christ’s body, let’s just go ahead and be what we were made to be, without enviously or pridefully comparing ourselves with each other, or trying to be something we aren’t.
With social media at our fingertips, the comparison game is accessible 24/7. If you begin to feel envious about another person’s life or looks, don’t forget, God made you uniquely. And you are so much more than what meets the eye! Be vulnerable and embrace your corks and weirdness! God created you to use your special gifts, talents, and personality, to bring glory to His name.
Don’t be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God.
1 Peter 3:3-4
The world will tell you to put your time and focus into your looks. But clearly, God isn’t concerned with the exterior but rather your soul. Ask the Lord to fill you with the fruit of the Holy Spirit, which include gentleness, kindness, patience, peace, love, joy, faithfulness, goodness, and self-control.