Earlier this morning I saw this video and it got me thinking.
For years I’ve struggled with body image issues, often buying into the notion that in order to be loved I must be skinny and “pretty.”
I don’t know where the idea came from, but it was constantly reinforced by the media.
It breaks my heart that, according to Dove, only 4% of women believe they’re beautiful. When you break it down, our ideas about image and weight are purely human constructs. Who determines fat from thin?
Yes there are medical rationales for drawing the line where it is. But medicine changes and some human being decided where to put the line we have now. God never told us how to divide the fat from the thin. He never told us which is beautiful and which is not.
God does have something to say about health and beauty and the message is simple: take care of what I’ve given you and physical beauty is only fleeting.
He does tell us what’s beautiful but it’s not what you see in the ads. What’s beautiful to God is devotion to Him. Beauty is a life lived passionately for Christ. Beauty is a life modeled purely on His will.
Christ didn’t take into account weight when selecting His disciples.
So why do we put so much stock in it?
There’s this idea that someone who is overweight is disgusting or have given up on themselves. They’re somehow slovenly and less worthy. We wrinkle our noses and ask how someone could let themselves go like that.
But you know what? Underneath all of that fat is a person who needs love and needs Christ just as much as the person perfectly within the height & weight guidelines at a local doctor’s office.
I agree with Dove: instead of tearing each other down and reinforcing negative ideas, why not build each other up? Why not show love to everyone you meet regardless of size? The overweight and obese are just as much children of God, just as much our neighbors, as any “healthy” person.
So let’s stop reinforcing these harmful ideas. Let’s increase that 4% to 40% then to 94% then to 100%.