In this day and age I have known so many girls who struggle with various eating disorders all because of our society’s sick impression of what is beautiful. Beautiful girls in sizes 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, and yes…even 16, 18, and up are all tormented because we don’t meet our society’s and media’s impression of beautiful – you know, those size 0 and 2’s.
Now, I am not condoning being overweight. I think that it is important to take care of yourself, including eating right, exercising, and being healthy – all of which attributes to a healthy form and figure which means you are far less likely to be overweight or obese. But there are many who have actual health issues that contribute to weight gain and they cannot stop it or help it. And you know what? They are still beautiful. It is beyond sad to see them look at themselves as not beautiful just because of their weight.
And then there are the perfectly healthy girls who are at the weight considered normal for their height and they consider themselves “fat.” I cannot tell you how many people have looked at me and asked, “Am I fat?” and when looking at them you would think they are healthy, active girls who are just the right weight! But because they don’t meet our society’s and Hollywood’s twisted view of size 0 or 2 and being a complete stick figure they don’t view themselves as a beautiful girl created by Him!
|Photo Courtesy: P.A. Renoir|
While writing this, I was talking to one of my friends about this article who is about the same size and height as me. And it was telling that she knew exactly what I was talking about! When I mentioned the article’s topic she was like, “Oh good one! You and I are fairly fat you know…” Now neither she nor I believe that. But in our society’s eyes…we would be considered overweight, and possibly fat, because we didn’t meet the “beautiful” or “skinny” look that Hollywood has made the idol. We are of average height and average weight. Also known as healthy. And how God created us.
Many of us focus so much on our weight. When holidays roll around so many are stressed because they gain weight. Now there are two things that could help that stress. One would be to eat a little healthier and the weight gain would be less drastic. And two would be to realize that the weight is not THAT big of a deal. When a girl is pregnant, there is so much focus on how much weight she gains. Some of it is for a health purpose, but much of it is actually because of our society’s perception. After a girl has a baby, one of the first things that the new mom often thinks about is “How am I going to lose this weight?” Then there is the vexation as it comes off “too slowly” and it almost becomes a race among women who can see who can lose it first.
I’ve been there. After I had my little boy, I often thought about the weight gain and how to lose it. But I began to realize that it would come off…and if it didn’t, it wasn’t that big of a deal. What was a big deal was being healthy. So I worked to be healthy. And after several months, the pounds came off. But if it had taken longer or even if I had not lost all of it…that would not have made me fat or ugly.
|Photo Courtesy: Norman Rockwell|
There is so much more to beauty than weight. We are a created piece of God’s handiwork. That does not mean we need to starve ourselves or make ourselves sick just to meet society’s twisted perception. And while I do believe it is good to make yourself healthy and work to eat right…there is a far more important beauty aspect that we must tend to as it is far more precious. What does our character look like? Are we concerned about what God thinks? Or what our society thinks? Our character and what God thinks is what truly matters….
So next time you are looking in the mirror, look at yourself from that perspective. Maybe you need to lose a few pounds…but that does not mean that you are fat or ugly. Look more at your inner character and see if there are ways you can improve yourself by His standards and then secondly by standards that are healthy. Not by the unhealthy, twisted standards of our society.