Why do we succumb to the societal narrative that smooth, wrinkle-free skin is the standard, pressuring us to conform to a certain image?
We all begin with wrinkles, rolls of fat affectionately dubbed "rubber band rolls" by my 11-year-old friend, who finds them cute on my granddaughter's arms.
Puffy cheeks and tired eyes accompany our babyhood struggles, and as we hit puberty, our bodies undergo transformations—some becoming taller and thinner, while others grow round and plump temporarily. It's normal, part of the natural process of growth.
Despite these normal changes, why do we criticize and pressure individuals to alter the bodies they were born with? Women gain pregnancy weight, delivering round and soft souls into the world. We laugh at their chubby cuteness but often stress about our own pregnancy pounds, aspiring to return to possibly unsustainable pre-pregnancy weights.
When did we start doubting our inherent worth? Why do we struggle to fit in when we are inherently valuable and essential to this beautiful collective of souls?
While most days are spent loving my mind, body, and soul, occasional moments catch me off guard, prompting thoughts of reshaping and remolding something that is already natural in my human form. Our bodies constantly change, marvelously made in His image.
By age 7 or 8, children are told there's something wrong with their bodies. They're criticized for emotions, teased for being chubby, and pressured to behave like critical adults. It's time to reclaim our worth, acknowledging and celebrating our uniqueness.
I fit. I'm fit into an image designed by God, the author and maker of my life, who deems me worth dying for. Yet, why do I still struggle with disconnection from this body that God calls good?
Cultural messages can be deafening. I read articles on fat-shaming and feel incensed by the injustice of hate speech. This policing of our bodies lacks biblical justification.
Observing bodies at the indoor pool, I see a diversity of shapes and sizes—all good bodies.
How can we combat the culture's body image shame? By echoing God's love for His children. He has never asked me to change my body but to give Him my heart and be transformed by His words.
I am fighting against the cultural curse of body image shame not for body peace, but for a return to God's loving truth. Our physical bodies are creations for earthly living, and in heaven, we'll have new bodies. I hope for a variety of gloriously different bodies, free from shame and criticism, where we can spend eternity worshipping God without any worries.
Until then, I will encourage myself and others to reject the cycle of body image messaging, looking to God for identity and worth. His creation is good, and I choose to feel good in the body I currently inhabit.
Coach Shel: DammGirl Coaching LLC
I help Christian women let go of shaming toxic diet culture and embrace a more biblical mind, body, eating approach that dials in on God's unique personal blueprint for more joy filled living.