Today I read a really candid post from a dear friend of mine that shares some of her own personal pain to help build up the women in her life, and it inspired me.
Living Life One Laugh At A Time!: A thought... or two
She has shared it with me before, but it just struck a deep chord with me, and challenged me to share something personal too.
She shared some struggles with self-love because of people’s comments about her slim build (she is stunning by the way), and put it in incredible perspective. Accepting and loving myself has also been a struggle for me, as I think it is for very many women, but the thing I am most particularly embarrassed of may be surprising.
I still remember the first time that I began to feel embarrassed. I was sitting around a table as a freshman in high school and the girls were talking about what kind of plastic surgery they would have if they could. I really never remember considering this as an option before. One girl said she would have a breast enhancement…a chorus of yesses all around the table until all eyes fell on me…”Kandi you better not say that you would, you’re massive”.
“Massive”, the most terrible word I have ever heard in all my life. Huge. Enormous. And I heard it over and over again. It’s not nearly as noticeable now, as it was then, because women’s bodies near my age are developed from bearing children, but it still haunts me. I have always been very busty and I developed very early.
And then the next big attack, a man in my church, who I respected very much told me that I needed to be more careful about what I wore, especially while I was singing in the Praise Band, because I was causing young men to lust after me. I looked down at my loose fitting cheerleading t-shirt and then out at the other slim girls with their tank tops and I felt humiliated.
I mean believe me, every summer trying to find a swimsuit, and just trying to find a shirt that is not a turtleneck comes with the anxiety that I might be dressing inappropriately for a God-fearing woman. And every woman who is not busty feels that she must comment on mine and that it is an appropriate subject of conversation, when I would never say (or for that matter even think about) how “small” hers are. Women would tell me how my husband is so lucky and how that’s why men are attracted to me and all I could think is that if there were anything attractive about me (b/c I was even skeptical of this) that it must be attractive in a way that causes sin, lust, and jealousy.
But that is not what God meant for me or you. Let’s stop putting women down and finding our value in comparison to one another. Things like…
“If I had her body I’d be happier.”
“I’d rather have no boobs at all that have one bigger than another.”
“Pear shape is the worst body type”.
“Thank God I don’t have her ____________”.
“She doesn’t look as pretty without makeup.”
I heard every single one of these exact comments in the last week in casual conversation by women!
Stop it! Just stop it! Every last word is poison! And I mean stop it even about celebrities that we don’t know. They are women too, flesh and blood, with real hurts and fears and feelings. God made each of us beautiful, lovely, and yes we have outward beauty, but we have a beauty far greater in that we are created in the image of the Most High God to fulfill His purposes in this world. We are loved, adored, pursued by the God of the Universe, and we need to start acting like it.