If we were honest, all of us girls would admit that we’ve been there… let’s face it every girl at one time or another has had what I like to call a “Dressing Room Meltdown”.
Here’s the scenario: You’re in the dressing room trying on a pair of jeans, you go to zip them up…but oh wait a minute…they won’t zip. “That’s funny” you think, “they are in my size after all, there must be something wrong with this zipper”. After sucking it in and trying for the tenth time, you finally give up and succumb to the ever so frustrating fact that you need a bigger size. But if that isn’t enough, you hear it … a girl in the next dressing room calling out to her boyfriend that she needs a smaller pair of jeans. There you are… sweating like a pig from trying to get those evil jeans on, your hair is all askew, practically in tears, and now contemplating hurting the girl who’s incessantly yelling out to her boyfriend that she must’ve lost weight and now needs a pair of tiny made for Barbie jeans.
Please tell me you’ve been there!
Those frustrating shopping trips can really mess with your head if you let them. All your body image issues choose to surface when you’re faced with a rack of clothes in limited sizes… sizes you could swear have shrunk over the years.
It’s funny that we often times see body image as something that is mostly a teen issue. Because at 26 years old I can tell you I see no signs of it going away. You look in that dreadful three way mirror in the dressing room and you can’t help but wonder “Will this always be a struggle?”. I grew up with my beautiful mom and aunts always talking about what diets they were on…I never thought they needed them. I remember when I was a kid my grandma and my aunts (on my dad’s side) would go on the Scarsdale Diet. Always thought that diet sounded awful and evil…unless that is you actually like a plain grapefruit for breakfast and tuna without any mayo for lunch. A 90 year old woman who used to attend my church talked about going on diets… if this doesn’t send the message that the issue of body image is a life long struggle I don’t know what does.
I for one am sick of it. The message that magazines, tv, and movies send out to woman is that we are not good enough and we consistently buy into it. The “if I only looked like her, was as thin as her” comparison merry go round is exhausting. The up and down trying to be the perfect size roller coaster is exhausting. It only feeds the animal of insecurity. And you just can’t win because in this crazy world it’s never good enough, the illusion of perfection is always out of reach. If you are overweight or average weight the world will tell you you’re fat, and if you are thin some may say you’re too thin and need to gain weight. It’s a crazy cycle.
It’s always those times of insecurity that I’m tempted to believe and wallow in negative thoughts of myself. But instead of letting clothing, magazines, tv, and my own negative thoughts define me wouldn’t it be nice to simply rest in who God says I am?
Who does God say I am? …
“I am fearfully and wonderfully made." - Psalm 139:14
”I am the apple of His eye." - Deuteronomy 7:6
"His treasured possession." - Philippians 4:8
"I am God's child." - John 1:12
"God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God." - 2 Corinthians 5:17
"God has made you also an heir." - Galatians 4:6.7
"I am the temple of the Holy Spirit." - 1 Corinthians 3:16
”You are the light of the world." - Matthew 5:14
"Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved" - Colossians 3:12
”Be imitators of God, as beloved children." - Ephesians 5:1
”So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them." - Genesis 1:27
There is such a big difference between who we say we are and who God says we are. We say “I’m fat”, he says that we are fearfully and wonderfully made. We say “I’m ugly”, he says we are made in his image. We say that we are no good and have no worth, but he says that we are the righteousness of God in Christ and his treasured possession. We say that no one could love us, he calls us beloved.
The question is now who will I choose to believe…me or God? The world or God? Will I remember who he says I am the next time I look in the mirror and maybe am not thrilled with what I see? Will I choose to believe him the next time I fall into the trap of comparison and think that I just don’t measure up? And will I believe him the next time I try on a cute top in the mall and it doesn’t fit, and I get my hair stuck in the security sensor…and end up pulling out half of my hair just to get the top off? Sadly last week when that happened … I didn’t.
I think I’ve gotten to the place in my life where I’m more aware of the fact that my body is a temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19-20), and I need to take better care of it. Eating right and exercising is a good thing. But I don’t want to do it to try and measure up to someone else's idea of perfection.
I want to feel good about myself and stop buying into the lies. It’s a funny thing though, because most of the time I don’t think I have bought into the lies of what the world says I should look like. But those moments of insecurity expose how many of the lies I’ve actually let plague my heart and mind. But a child of the King should never live that way. We were meant to feel beautiful and free.
I want to trade my insecurity for the security of who God says I am.
"There's a wonderful peace that can be had knowing who you are & who's you are." -Jenna Lucado Bishop