When I was a very young child, I didn’t think much about my shape, size or weight. I was blind to what the world said about how a girl should look. I was not self conscious about the way I looked but had self-confidence in myself. I simply didn’t know any different. I look back on that and realize it was a place of freedom.
I teach preschool Music and Movement classes so I see this freedom, confidence and contentment regarding body image every day. When preschoolers come to my classes, they jump, move and sing without any thought to how others see them or what anyone thinks of their bodies.
One example of this is when I had a very overweight student. When he would come to my classes, he could hardly get up off of the floor if he sat down. Despite this, he loved dancing, jumping and moving to the music! Not once was he embarrassed by how he looked while doing the movements. Even though he took longer to get up off of the floor, none of the other children even noticed!
What if I could see myself and other people in that childlike innocence? If I stopped comparing myself to what the world says is “beautiful”, maybe I wouldn’t be tempted to diet in order to have that “perfect body”.
But how do I do this when I am surrounded by a society that says only a size 4 is considered beautiful? Every day we are bombarded with media that screams “BE STICK SKINNY!” This is something I will never be! I am a curvy girl. Even at my smallest size, when I was TOO small by dieting like crazy and dealing with exercise bulimia, I had curves!
I have to decide whose opinion matters most.
The world will always see what they want to see. Society will always deem beauty as whatever the fickle fashion dictates. Do you know that 50-60 years ago there were ads to sell products to fatten you up?
That’s right! Being skinny was considered unattractive and being curvy was beautiful!
So, back to my question. Who is going to determine how I feel about myself? If I am beautiful? Whose opinion matters the most?
Well, God tells me many things about who I am in Him.
It is HIS opinion that matters most!
1 Samuel 16:7
The LORD doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.
For your royal husband delights in your beauty; honor him, for he is your lord.
I have loved you, with an everlasting love. With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself.
2 Corinthians 5:17
This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!
Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
When I find my identity in Christ and His love, I can see myself as beautiful regardless of shape and size. I can eat within His beautiful boundaries of hunger and fullness regardless of what I look like.
That is freedom!
“Lord, help me to see myself as you see me: marvelously made.”