In our celebrity obsessed culture, we are bombarded by images of people who are “picture perfect.” While the average woman in this country wears a size 14, the “never too thin” world of fashion considers a size 8 plus size. Until we start creating more positive images of beautiful curvy women, it’s easy to understand why TV and magazines could leave us feeling less than perfect.
A Glamour magazine study (October 2011) asked 300 young women of all shapes and sizes to record every anxious thought they had about their bodies in oneday. The study found that 97% of the women had an average of 13 negative or anxious thoughts a day, some as many as 100. The women noted some very disturbing thoughts. “I’m ugly." "Too skinny. Look sick.” “You’re fat. All the pretty girls are size 2.” The writers solicited the help of psychologists to breakdown why this continues to happen, regardless of size and what can be done about it.
I started to wonder...what does the Bible have to say about the issue, and I turned to Psalm 139:14. Of course, God knows everything about us. He created us. We are fearfully and wonderfully made. His workmanship is marvelous! Do we not know it?
When it comes to how we see our bodies, do we think God made a mistake?
Without thinking, we say things to ourselves that we would be really offended to hear from someone else? Imagine how you would feel if someone walked up to you and said “You look disgusting with those cottage cheese thighs and stretch marks. Nasty. No one will want to touch you.” Unfortunately, these are the horrible things we say to ourselves that drive us to obsess about our weight and diet or even develop eating disorders.
What is this obsession with our imperfections? Neuroscience has shown that whatever your mind focuses on shapes your brain. "Those pathways become stronger and stronger and become habits.” says Dr. Kearney-Cooke, a Cincinnati specialist in eating disorders. So, saying these things over and over to ourselves creates a self-deprecating cycle that becomes one nasty little habit.
Well, It seems you are what you think you are. “God knows our hearts and our anxious thoughts.” And here’s what the Bible has to say in Philippians 4:8 (KJV), "...whatsoever things are of good report; if there be ANY virture, and if there be ANY praise, think on these things."
Examine your own self talk. How likely are you to walk up to a mirror, checkout your reflection and say, “You look marvelous?” The answer may give you a revelation about how you really feel about one of God’s creations…YOU!
Here’s my advice: Why not make an appointment with the mirror? This is not a passing glance to check your hair! This is a commitment to focus on the best in you...and you can start right now! Take a lesson from Phillipians 4:8 and start celebrating the way God made you.
1) Make a list of all the good things that come to mind about YOU! Don’t worry about being self-absorbed or becoming a narcissist. This will simply counteract all of the negative things you've already said about yourself. Be gentle with yourself. It's not going to become automatic overnight. Focusing on the positive will take some time to become a habit.
2) Shop your closet and play dress up. Put on the outfits that you love to wear because they make you feel good about YOU! These are the looks that most likely accentuate your best physical traits and will give you more of those good vibes.
3) Meditate on Psalm 139:14. “God, I praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Marvelous are Thy works. And I know it body and soul.” Repeat it when you look in the mirror....or when you start to wish you had someone else’s thighs...or think about starving yourself to be thin.
It’s true. God makes no mistakes.
What are you going to do to feel more confident in 2014? Post a comment here or Facebook or tweet me @thecurvystylist. MUAH!!!
Image: Styled by me. Wardrobe: Lane Bryant boyfriend jeans. Top by Calvin Klein & accessories: my own. Photog: Stanley Debas