I should be skinnier.
I should be prettier.
I should be more likable.
All of these are lies that I’ve told myself. I’ve struggled with body image for years. And it’s not necessarily something that I was taught or learned one day- those lies developed from deeper things.
I can honestly say these lies were bigger in my life when I was younger, twelve and thirteen. When it felt like maybe I wasn’t enough, wasn’t the best, wasn’t at the top. I was a little bit insecure and a little bit shy (hey, still am sometimes) and not really sure just how to be comfortable in my own body.
I wanted to be like other girls who seemed to ‘have their life together.’ You know the ones. In my drama group, maybe the ones who were always smiling and laughing and cutely dressed. At church, the ones who were extraverted and could talk to adults like it was nothing. At home, I wanted and sought affirmation and the feeling that I was ‘good enough.’ That I and my body measured up.
And over time, as these lies would pop into my life, I got sick of them.
When I was going on fourteen, I really started digging into my faith; what I believed, and what it truly meant to be a Christian girl in this crazy world.
As I started (*slowly*) learning the truths found in the Bible about faith, femininity, and trust in Jesus, I realized how much happier I felt. I started not caring so much about the little things.
Why am I not skinny like her? Is my weight okay? Am I too short? Where’s my sense of style? Should I be wearing something like that to fit in? Why can she pray for an hour a day and I can scarcely sit still for two minutes in front of my Lord? Am I doing Christianity ‘right?’ Should I have more friends? Are my grades acceptable?
There were so many things floating in my mind… but the truth is, the closer I got to Jesus, the faster the lies disappeared.
Truths started filling those places where lies had once occupied.
Body image is hard to talk about. I’ve talked about it in two different podcast episodes and probably written a few things about it here on the blog. It’s a hard topic because the world is constantly telling us what we should look like, how much we should weigh, what we should wear, and how we should act. Upon other things.
Whenever I would stand in the mirror (and this still happens- a sometimes constant battle in seasons of discontentment), I would nitpick my body apart. Things I didn’t like about myself, things I wish I could change… until one day I heard someone say something that made me stop.
“God is our Creator. He created us. Therefore, should we be telling our Creator how wrong he has made us?”
Whoa, whoa, whoa. Me? I’d been doing that? A gnawing feeling settled into my stomach. That’s exactly what I’d been doing. Looking back at the mirror again, I flipped my viewpoint around and started THANKING Him for how He had made me.
Did you know that in an average 70-year lifetime, an average human heart beats more than 2.5 billion times?? And our hearts do that without us thinking about it. We can run and fight off colds and smile and hug people and do SO much with our beautiful, beautiful bodies.
Who are we to say, “Lord, You made me wrong”?
Girl, I’ve been there. I still mess up. I suddenly rethink my outfit on Sunday mornings whenever the girl in the cute dress walks into class. I shouldn’t have worn this sweater! I should wear a dress like hers.
And then the Holy Spirit nudges me. Hadassah, how did I make you?
How did I make you? That little nudge can change a whole day for me.
He made you beautiful. And yes, there will be days (maybe plenty of days) where you just don’t feel beautiful. You don’t feel loved. Understood. Maybe you’re a tad insecure about what you look like, your weight, how you talk or how you walk, or even what you wear. Maybe you’ve already heard the “You’re beautiful!!!” thing and deep down, don’t believe it. But flip that lie upside down.
The world’s missing a lot of truth and beauty if we’re all *supposed to be* this way, this weight, have a perfect hourglass figure with perfect curves and a perfect height and perfect lips.
How boring would the world be if we were all the same? If we all dressed the same, looked the same, were the same height and same measurement of beauty?
To sum this all up, here are just some things that have helped me (and continue to help me) overcome my struggle with body image:
- rejoice in what your body can do (also, side note, exercise is a wonderful way to appreciate this gift of a body!)
- fill every lie about yourself with a truth found in the Word of God
- tape some truths onto your mirror so you see them every morning
- pray every time you feel discouraged
- wear clothes that are you, fit you, and glorify Him and how he made you
I hope this post helped you. 🙂 It’s something that’s been on my heart for a while now and I knew it needed to be shared!! (And I pray I don’t come off too harsh about any of these things.) How do you combat lies with truth and overcome body image struggles? I’d love some encouragement below!!
// hadassah margaret //
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.Ephesians 2:10
“For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.”Psalm 139: 13-14
** the first photo is of me & my cousin at about age 3 (me on the right!) // second photo is by Charlotte B. Photography