As a round-faced little girl, I wore large hair accessories, oversized bugs bunny t-shirts, multi-colored glasses, and neon wind shorts that hiked up a little too far in the middle (a Little Miss Sunshine look-alike). This was one of my favorite outfits…
My biggest dream was to be a unicorn. (Don’t tell me you haven’t ever thought of the awesomeness of being a mystical creature.) There were 2 reasons why I loved unicorns. First, I wanted to live in the universe that was printed on my Lisa Frank folder. Second, I saw the unicorn as the essence of perfection. It was the most beautiful creature I could imagine.
I wanted to be a beautiful creature.
I was already aware of the comparison between my roundness and that other skinny atheletic girl. I already knew how to see her as pretty, and me, as not. I knew how much my family adored me. But even then, I wanted to hide my 8 year old body with big t-shirts. How, at such a young age, was my body already a source of insecurity? Seems so shocking to me as an adult to put into words what I was feeling. I had already labeled myself as ‘not good enough’. 20 years later, that label is still with me.
So the next thing to say is that the media is at fault.
That the women on the magazine covers showed me a near impossible standard. That the Disney movie love story was only a half truth (When the Beast changed into a prince, I bet his temper didn’t). That every ad geared towards women is to make any and every aspect of our lives better because we don’t measure up. All of these things, I do think, could be to blame. But media is a fairly new develpment, in terms of how long humans have been on this planet. I think that something else has been going on much longer.
There doesn’t seem to be an age in which women stop feeling insecurities. There doesn’t seem to be a weight in which I say to myself, “Now this will do.” From times when I’m at my thinnest to glowing with child, I still viewmyself as that little round faced girl, awkward in her own skin. But what if this all comes with the territory of following in the footsteps of Eve?
Instead of telling ourselves we’ll be content when we get to that certain weight, that certain age, that boyfriend, that husband, postchildren, postdiet, we instead tell ourselves that we may never be content because this body is not our own. Our own imperfections are really reminders that this world is not our home. What was imperfect will one day be made whole again.
What a crazy thought, that every time I see my childbearing stretch marks, I remember the hope that I have in Jesus’ return.
The disclaimer with this is, as creatures made in God’s own image, of course we should strive to view ourselves as lovely as He sees us.
But for those times, when we are standing naked and helpless, dear sisters, remember that we will never be whole on this earth. For one day, through God’s grace, we will be made complete. Humiliation will have no room to breath.