Today I wanted to talk about something that I believe impacts lots of people. It is body shaming.
Body shaming is refusing to love your body or trying to make others feel bad about their body.
You see it on the internet. People troll others social media and make nasty comments. You see people trying to change what they look like through plastic surgery. You see people go to extremes to fit some mold that I am not sure who created. What is perfection?
We have apps to airbrush away anything we see as an imperfection.
Let me tell you, perfectionism is self abuse.
Perfectionism is rooted in the fear of not being good enough. It is a fruit of insecurity. It is a lie that if a person tries hard enough to be perfect they will not be rejected. It is a painful way to live.
Yesterday I went shopping for clothes for a missionary friend (I do not enjoy shopping-unless it’s online-or gift for someone). Anywho, the ladies in the store spent 20 minutes talking about how they hated their bodies. Both were slim/average, yet they went on and on and on…
I noticed this trend with some women of not feeling good enough, beautiful enough, perfect enough, body shaming, hating something about themselves.
I told them both I liked my body. They looked at me like I was some super wacko. Then they went on to talk about hating certain body parts that well I have more than they do in that area.
My body not perfect, yet it gets the job done. It’s strong, man is it strong. It can box, kick box, krav maga, hold plank for several minutes, do push ups…it is healthy. I am healthy. Yet over the course of my life I have had people project body shame on me.
One, I developed a curvy body pretty early on, maybe 14. I hated the way men looked at me. I grew ashamed of my curves, my coca cola shape and extra abundance in areas. I hated being sexualized. I was still a little girl, yet grown men were creepy and it made me want to hide my body. Even today, I hate being sexualized by men.
I am an engineer/Research Scientist. I did an expo for my job a few weeks ago. I wore a dress, it covered everything up, it was professional. There were still men who came by and held conversations with my chest. They (my chest) do not talk. Some say men are wired this way. Yet I firmly believe it’s a lack of respect, self control, and viewing women as sex objects-our culture promotes it.
I had to move past hating my body because men were being creepy. I also had to move past feeling less than from being around insecure women. You know the woman who is always insulting herself and you have the thing she is insulting herself about. She’s a size 4, you are a size 8 and she goes on for days about how fat she is. Gimmie a break!! It’s exhausting to deal with people who hate themselves. You have that one friend who has an inch of fat she keeps pinching and you want to scream, “Knock it off!!”
Women talk about weight and appearance FAR, far, far more than men do. Why? Men can look like a train wreck and still think they are hot. Why are women constantly putting themselves down? Who started this trend? How can we kill it?
God said I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Who argues with God? Jesus cannot lie.
Ladies, that one inch of fat does not make you ugly.
The ladies in the magazines, some, do not look like the photos. Photoshop and makeup are powerful. Trust me, I worked for Limited Brands. You can make anyone look amazing. Tools baby tools.
I also work in a male environment, even when they don’t look good they are boasting about how awesome they are. They talk about how awesome they are.
Some women put themselves down, while men (some) over exaggerate their qualities. Both need healthy confidence. Putting ourselves down and thinking more highly of ourselves than we should are both pride problems (extreme self focus). Both are vanity.
Think of how much time is wasted criticizing oneself. What if we loved the bodies we are in and sought to make them as healthy as possible? How radical would that be! What if the focus was, “I love myself, therefore I eat healthy and workout“?
I will tell you shame does not produce a healthy life. It produces self destruction. Shame is hatred turned inwards. We were not created to hate ourselves or our bodies. We were created by God for love. Love sees the best.
My encouragement is stop the body shaming. Ladies and gentlemen you are beautiful (handsome) right where you are.
Homework: write on your bathroom mirror
I am fearfully and wonderfully made!
Make positive body and self confessions. If you hear yourself degrading yourself or someone else, course correct and switch to love. Don’t worry about feelings. Feelings are not an indication of truth. Focus on feeding your mind truth and professing truth. Your feelings will catch up later!
Photos pulled from Pinterest.