Beauty, pure natural beauty; I was given this print as a gift as a teenager. I asked for it because I thought it displayed pure natural beauty and I still do today. The image of this woman is without flaws, there is no fat or blemishes only smooth lines and tight muscles. This woman simply does not exist.
As women in today’s culture we are bombarded with images of women who look “perfect” on magazine covers, make up commercials, in the media, movies, TV shows etc. We have been over exposed to perfection which makes looking in the mirror quite the daunting task. The women we idolize physically have been airbrushed in magazines. The ones who really look that way have gone to great strides to transform their normal bodies to look perfect through extreme exercise and disciplined diets. God designed a woman’s body to give birth to the human race not to keep the shape of a little girl. We have hips and more fat for a reason. Our body is a temple given to us by God that should not be abused, overfed and UN nurtured. We should always exercise, eat right and maintain a healthy and active lifestyle. When we do these things obesity should not be lurking around the corner.
However, we seem to be at one extreme or another in this country. We are taught by media influence to be a beautiful woman you must be thin, tall, wear fashionable clothes and invest in make-up that makes you look younger. Many women fall into the trap and pay way too much to cover up their natural beauty with make-up. Many women are right there to buy the next popular shirt and skirt and don’t get me started on the shoe industry. The most harmful trap we women fall into is cultivated in us at a very young age “Am I fat?” You hear 6 year olds saying it and sucking in their tummies. It becomes part of our inner dialogue and we cannot seem to shake it especially as adults.
The best solution I have found in my life is to exercise 30 minutes a day 6 days a week and eat healthy. Yet, I still have that inner dialogue playing through my mind. Its swimsuit time and many of us don’t want to be seen pool side. God gave us this body. He does not want us to abuse it through neglect, indulgence or extreme deprivation. Like all things we must find a balance so that our bodies are active and healthy and so are our attitudes towards our body image.
I would love to open the discussion of how each of you handle body image in your own lives. Please leave comments today to help other women.
Copyright 2011 Lori Hadorn-Disselkamp
About the Author
Lori Hadorn-Disselkamp - mom of 4 teens/wife for 20+ years. Lori has been writing at her own website Faith Filled Mom. She writes about the journey of faith we live daily and the ability to recognize God. She is a retreat director at Sacred Heart Academy HS. She just earned her MA in Pastoral Ministry as well as a certification in spiritual direction.