It’s summer time, which means shopping for bathing suits, dieting, and working out for that “bikini body.” I’m not the kind of woman who feels insecure about her looks, but there are times when even I feel like a hundred-pound cow. Last night, a video of men trying on women’s bathing suits showed up on my social media feed. I rolled my eyes at the antics of the men, but I felt extremely, irrationally jealous over the woman who modeled the bathing suits.
I grew up reading stories of girls starving themselves or making themselves throw up to try and look like their favorite celebrity or to be as skinny as possible because our society sees skinny as beautiful. I never had those issues, but I still recall when I got called “snaggletooth” in high school due to my crooked teeth and a “Cabbage Patch Kid” in college because I wore braces and bucket hats. Sometimes, it takes time for a girl to grow into her looks.
“That’s all well and good, you say, but how does that help how I feel about myself right now?” you ask.
It starts with having an attitude of gratitude. You may not have a bikini body. Love it anyway. You may not even feel like you have a healthy weight. Work towards that. You’re still alive and presumably able to go about your day normally, which means you are on some levels healthy. You can at least start with the fact that you are alive, which is always a blessing in and of itself. Then remember these Bible verses:
“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” – Psalm 139:14
“Charm is deceptive and beauty fleeting; the woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.” – Proverbs 31:30
“But the Lord said to Samuel: Do not judge from his appearance or from his lofty stature, because I have rejected him. God does not see as a mortal, who sees the appearance. The Lord looks into the heart.” – 1 Samuel 16:7
Start from the inside and work your way out. Maybe you have the talent of playing a musical instrument or you’re really good with saving and investing money or you know how to change the oil in a car. Maybe you have a great passion for gardening or know how to cook a seriously good omelet or you can knit a sweater better than your grandma. Maybe you’re serious about the things that you love and stand up for it no matter what. These are all amazing gifts to have and are part of what makes you beautiful. Forget what One Direction says. You need to know that you are beautiful and own it. That is what makes you beautiful.
Whether or not you believe it, you were created with careful thought and love. Remember in Genesis that God saw his Creation and said that it was good. I realize that also includes mosquito and cockroaches, but also keep in mind that Hebrews 2:7 says “You made him for a little while lower than the angels; you crowned him with glory and honor.” We aren’t entitled special snowflakes who deserve the world on a silver platter, but we should value ourselves as human beings.
No matter how you look, know that you were created with love.
Today, I got ready, but I didn’t put any makeup. I went to get the mail dressed in your typical jean shorts and tshirt. Then I opened up a package that contained I’ve been waiting an entire week to get:
MY BUFFY T-SHIRT!I don’t care that it’s summertime and wearing black is basically asking for trouble. I know it’s not a bathing suit. I don’t even care that I’m not wearing any makeup. I feel like a superhero. And that’s all that matters.