SELF LOVE & BODY SHAMING

Body shaming is a real thing and not just for curvy girls (or guys) but just about anyone who doesn’t meet society idealistic (and unrealistic) expectations. I’ve been petite my whole life. I’ve had some really not so great things said about me, to my face and behind my back. And both hurt. Some of those awful things still taunt me and make me insecure.  People thought I had an eating disorder because I was so thin, but that was just my body!!!

I started struggling with body image in middle school when I got picked on for being short and skinny. People thought I had an eating disorder because I was so thin, but that’s just how I was made. When my friends started looking like women, I was still looking like a derpy twelve year old boy haha. I remember feeling so insecure and would look in the mirror and just hate everything about my body. I would just stare at my reflection and pick myself a part. I haaated that I didn’t look like all the other girls.

God made our bodies all different and unique. One body isn’t better, more pretty, or more worthy of another. God made every curve, wrinkle, dimple, etc and said their is no flaw in you and that we’ve been fearfully and wonderfully made.

To this day, my twenty-four year old self still doesn’t have curves, but I’m learning to love and embrace my imperfections and to no longer be a slave to society’s unrealistic standards of beauty.

I spent too many years being a victim of the comparison game and the more I compared, the more I was angry with God for the way He made me. In the midst of my angry and messy heart, I was reminded of two things:

  1. Holy Moly I’m one selfish human. I am so focused on myself and my appearance.

  2. Jesus doesn’t care about the outer appearance; He cares about the heart. I remember hearing my mom saying this to me growing up or telling me that looks will just fade away, which is true. But the closer I got to Jesus the older I got, I started feeling confident and embracing a beautiful heart instead of a beauty on the outside.

1 Peter 3:3-4 reminds us, “Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your INNER self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.”

Isn’t that lovely?! The creator of the universe says we are beautiful because of our hearts. So, to the girl who is struggling with body image: You’re beautiful whether you’re a size zero or a size ten, if you have blemishes or perfect skin, and you’re beautiful no matter what color your skin is!!! You’re beautiful not because of anything you’ve done or the make up that’s on your face, but because of what Jesus DID for YOU when He hung from the cross and died for our ugly hearts to make them beautiful. It’s because of JESUS we are cleansed, redeemed, white as snow & more precious than jewels. He’s looking down on ya with heart eyes emojis with so much adoration!! #BodyPositivityBecauseJesus

So the next time you wish _______ about your body, stop. And the next time you’re thinking about bashing someone else’s body because they don’t “look” like how you “think” they should, stop it! Because they’re made how God created and wanted them to be.

If we saw ourselves the same way the Creator of the universe sees us, we would see everyone as beautiful. We would stop looking at their outer appearance and start looking at their hearts.

Our words carry depth, let’s not make them the reason someone is insecure about how they were created. Let’s strive to see beauty all around us and be careful with the words we choose to speak over our bodies and other’s. You were made perfectly and purposefully.

The next time you hear a little voice trying to bring ya down, remember what is true and WHO God says YOU are:

“You are altogether beautiful, my darling; there is no flaw in you.” –Song of Solomon 4:7

“Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Honor her for all that her hands have done and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.” – Proverbs 31:30

“She is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with her” –Proverbs 3:15

“But now, this is what the Lord says— he who created you, Jacob, he who formed you, Israel: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.” – Isaiah 43:1

Pray this prayer whenever you feel discouraged:

God,

Give me your eyes to see myself the way that You see me. Help me to have a heart that is beautiful; a heart that is filled with your love, grace, patience, and kindness. Give me the courage and the boldness to live out your promises and truths so I that I may be more like YOU. I surrender any negative thoughts about myself and forgive me for not loving how you created me. Thank you for your unfailing love, Jesus! Amen.

Julia Mann