A Lent Thought on Body Image

In my job I work with a lot of teen girls which means body image issues are prevalent. They always have been. It doesn’t matter what decade (and I’ve got nearing 4 decades accumulated of working with teen girls). Yet every decade something new must be hated about our bodies. Now we have the “thigh gap.” “What?” says all of the “old folks.” Thigh gap is too much a part of today’s teen conversations. And how is one to increase their thigh gap when this is yet another feature that relies heavily on DNA. Some thigh-gappers are bow-legged and is that the real answer? #thigh gap is stupid.

Unfortunately, body image issues are not just a teen girl problem. Teen boys are also feeling the pressure. Young men are too. And women—no matter how old we grow we still deal with issues of hating our body.

Jesus came down and put on this same flesh that we have to give us all a chance. Because God’s children are human beings—made of flesh and blood—the Son also became flesh and blood. For only as a human being could he die, and only by dying could he break the power of the devil, who had the power of death. Hebrews 2:14. 

This same imperfect flesh. He wore it proudly and humbly. I doubt Jesus had the broad-shoulders, 6-pack abs, perfect V-shape that haunts men. He had his body and lived in it well. Then he willingly let it be broken on that cross. And you know what? That body was good enough.

Another wow thought: No other religion has this model of God identifying so deeply and compassionately with humanity. No wonder he gets blamed for everything.

I have to believe that my body is good enough. What about you? What about you living this brave single life? What about you lost in your children’s world? What about you with the empty nest? Can you believe that your body is good enough? This is a brave thought I hope we can all wrestle with every day. I hope that you don’t allow your issues with your body keep you locked up in a small world.

Easter is coming. Life. New life. May this Easter you also celebrate a new love for you because worthiness is your birthright. Live in your body well.

p.s. The flu hit me hard this year. During that boring down time I watched a couple of episodes of The Love Boat. As a child of the ’70s, I remember the Love Boat being filled with glamorous and beautiful people. This was also before breast augmentation. There actually was a time when women with small breasts were considered glamorous and beautiful. They were all over the Love Boat. Do not let “Hollywood” or Instagram or Pinterest define our beauty. They will be fickle and change the rules.

(photo credit:  http://ctva.biz/US/Drama/LoveBoat.htm)

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