June 13, 2013

A Godly Teen's View on Body Image

Two-thirds of women around the world agree that media and advertising set unrealistic standards for beauty.  The average woman over twenty is 5'3" and weighs 166.2 pounds.  The average fashion model, on the other hand, is 5'10" and weighs 120 pounds.

But what's really heartbreaking is that by age six, most girls have expressed weight concerns.  Now some of these may be legitimate concerns-the girl might be a bit overweight and she wants to be healthier.  But most of the time, these girls see their skinnier classmates and feel unpopular and ugly, among other things.  40-60% of elementary school girls are concerned with their weight.  And while they should be concerned with maintaining a healthy weight, it shouldn't be obsessive and they shouldn't want to be skinny.  That leads to eating disorders and the median age for the onset of an eating disorder is 12 to 13 years old.  Pretty sad, huh?

I even have body image issues.  I'm not entirely concerned about my weight, but there are features I'd like to change about myself.  I'm going to make a list (you can do this, too, and post it in the comments or keep it to yourself).  For every thing I don't like about my body, I have to list something positive (and the same for you).

Things I Don't Like
~my nose
~my skin
~my height (I'm short)
~my weight (I'm underweight)
~my thighs

Things I DO Like
~my eyes
~my mouth
~my hair
~my weight (Because while I'm underweight, I do like being thin.  Just not this thin.)
~my fingernails (People are always telling me my nails are so long, so I've really strived to stop biting them.)

But there's something I should remember, even when I'm disliking my skin, my nose, my weight, my height, and my thighs.  I need to strive to be God's definition of beautiful more than the world's. 1 Samuel 16:7 says, "But the Lord said to Samuel, 'Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him [talking about which of Jesse's sons Samuel was to anoint as king; Samuel was paying attention to how powerful the young men looked].  For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart."
Now, this isn't to say outward appearance isn't important.  Our body belongs to God (1 Corinthians 3:16 says, "Do you not know that you are God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in you?"), and we need to take care of it, and yes, we can wear pretty clothes and make-up and do our hair.  But we need to focus more on the condition of our hearts.  Being godly teens is more important than beauty.

I want to share some more Bible verses, just to give you some food for thought.

Psalm 139:13-14- For you formed my inward part; you knitted me together in my mother's womb.  I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made.  Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.
Genesis 1:27- So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created them; male and female He created them.
Ecclesiastes 3:11- He has made everything beautiful in its time.
Proverbs 31:17, 25, 26, 30- She dresses herself with strength and makes her arms strong... Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the times to come.  She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.  Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.

12 comments:

  1. Wow thanks Emma! That is what I needed to hear today!

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  2. That was great Emma I really enjoyed it:) Unlike many girls I want to gain some weight im underweight too and alot of clothing stores don't fit me ):

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    1. Yes, that's my problem, too! My legs are pretty long for my height, but waist and hips are so thin that finding pants is difficult. And then just clothing in general.

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  3. Things I hate:
    My stupid eczema!!
    My feet (big!)
    My nose (too squashed)
    My short 5 feet height
    My weight (would be nice to be on the growth chart)
    Things I like:
    My blue eyes
    My blonde hair
    My long legs
    My weight (I like to be thin!)


    Thanks, Emma! :)

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    1. I count 5 things you hate, and only 4 things you like. ;)

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  4. Umm....I like........my cheeks! (everyone always asks if I'm wearing blush, and I don't wear makeup!) ;) Guess I was feeling pessimistic yesterday, haha!

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  5. Hi, Emma! I really like your blog :) I've been trying to keep up a writing/reading based blog, somewhat like yours, but no one seems to visit it! Anyway...

    Hmm. Things I hate about myself:
    -my height (wish I was shorter! It would be so much easier to vault. I'm not that tall anyway, only 5 foot one)
    -my weight (I wish I was thinner. I'm already on the lighter spectrum of things, but gymnastics is easier if you're a bit skinnier. Oh--I'm a gymnast, forgot to say that)
    -my fingers. They're so fat, and not that long. My mother says I have "boy's hands." And my brother's fingers are so slender and long, haha. Not fair.
    -my thighs. They're way too fat.

    Things I like. This is harder; I don't want to seem conceited or anything:
    -my hair, since it's so long and is different colors under different light
    -my eyes, since they're a very bright green (like Harry Potter!) and they're big.
    -my flexibility (if it counts. I just recently achieved my oversplit with a regular chair, which I am so happy about)

    If you have time, could you please (please, please, please?) come see my blog? www.writingaudrey.blogspot.com

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    1. I count 4 things you hate, and 3 things you like. ;)

      I'll go check out your blog right now! :)

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    2. Oh, well...hmm. I still hate my very ugly fingers, but my thumbs are very double-jointed, which means I can do a lot of weird tricks with them. I don't know if I like that, though, because a lot of people think it's gross, haha.

      You hate and like an equal amount of things...I guess that's good. To not have a super low self-esteem, but to not be very arrogant and say you're perfect.

      I just followed your blog! :) And thank you so much for following mine :)

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  6. Things I hate:
    My thighs
    My weight (larger then I wish to be)
    My upper arms (not very strong)
    My hips
    My nose (nostrils have a tendency to flair when I don't want them to)
    My fingers (right fingers are shorter than left fingers because I play a string instrument and left fingers get stretched)

    Things I love:
    My eyes
    My smile
    My height (I'm 5 foot 7)
    My lower arms (always tan)
    My hair
    My fingers (same reason as before)

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  7. Things I hate:
    My shoulders (wayyy to broad)
    My chest
    My height (I'm only 4'11" in 9th grade)

    Things I love:
    My eyes (used to hate but I got glasses so it looks better)
    My smile (uniquely me)
    My hair
    My legs (runners legs)
    My arms (runners arms)

    I absolutely love this. So amazing. Thank you. :)

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