Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
We’ve heard it and said it a zillion times.
We talk about how important it is for all people, not just Christians, to keep from judging one another. We live in a world of political correctness where all are supposed to be equal. We fight for respect and acceptance.
But not for ourselves. It seems we can’t grant ourselves the very thing we fight to give everyone else.
Why is it that we can train ourselves to refrain from judging others, but when it comes to what we see in the mirror, we’re our own worst critics?
I recently read a post on marriage and sex on Sheila Gregoire’s blog, To Love, Honor and Vacuum, that made me pause.
(By the way, if you aren’t familiar with her blog, you should get familiar. I think it’s excellent.)
She did a series of posts promoting her new book, The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex, and it she delved into the problem that many women face in the bedroom–accepting their own bodies.
I think I have half-decent self-esteem. I’m okay with myself and the body God gave me. Sometimes. On a good day.
So I was shocked when the challenge on Sheila’s blog that day stumped me.
The challenge was to name five things about your body that you really, truly like.
I couldn’t do it.
I venture to say that there are a very, very small number of women on the planet that can do it, and I’d also guess that most of them aren’t supermodels.
Five. Five things about your body that you can celebrate and be proud of. And things that come in sets don’t count as two.
I’m right there with the majority of women who engage in an unhealthy amount of self-loathing every time they look in the mirror.
And that self-loathing is destroying our relationships–both with our spouses and with other women.
We don’t like what we see in the mirror. We don’t like what genetics, babies, time, and development have done to our bodies. We can’t accept the skin we’ve been given. We want to look like someone else.
We live in a society where beauty is emphasized over character. And that’s so, so messed up.
So, what do we do about it?
Some women turn into recluses, covering themselves from head to toe, hiding. They over-compensate for their looks by drawing attention away from them–covering up, or on the other side, distracting from their looks with funny faces, wild personalities, crazy antics. Then there are those who take matters into their own hands and seek medical correction for the “flaws” they see. Still others, try to “correct” their problems with too much exercise and too little food.
Don’t get me wrong– I think being healthy is incredibly important.
But I don’t think any of these actions are healthy.
I think healthy begins with acceptance. And acceptance begins with learning to like what we see in the mirror, no matter what size, shape, or color we are.
I’m challenging myself and now I challenge you.
Share with me: Can you name five things about your body that you really, truly like?