The video below is hilarious! Almost any woman in this culture could appreciate it! How many times have we found ourselves in the grocery store checkout in sweatpants when we run across about a thousand images of Hollywood women with perfect bodies? Regardless of how immune you think you are, after a while, you may begin to see your own body as inferior if you spend any time at all looking at the cover to almost any magazine. These pictures set us up for failure. Some people spend hours a day and thousands of dollars to look as perfect as those models; but, those models don’t look like they do in their pictures. Sex sells in this country and the bar has been set impossibly high for how women’s bodies should look. There is a far cry between sexy and healthy. You can’t get the body you want in minutes.
Let’s face it: the only two perfect bodies to ever grace the world were Adam and Eve’s bodies – and we have no idea what they looked like! There is no need to try and achieve something we will never see this side of Heaven. I am in no way discouraging people from exercising, eating well, and trying to maintain a healthy weight. I’m all for that! What troubles me about the perfection women (and in some cases men) are pressured to achieve is that it’s impossible.
Women, and men, who obsess over getting their bodies perfect are usually never satisfied. Even if they are the envy of the neighborhood as they run their beautiful body around town, they still find imperfections. Obsessions not only rob us of time doing other valuable things and spending time with our loved ones, but they become idols in our lives that distract us from the call of God on our lives.
Body image can be an issue when we look toward marriage. Some women are so insecure about their bodies that they fear meeting new people and gaining new relationships. Some men are insecure about their bodies too, or they expect to find someone who looks like the cover of a magazine. This doesn’t make them pigs. This is what our culture has taught us is normal and good.
It is important to be attracted to your future spouse; however, standards need to be achievable for both people. Instead of having a perfect body, what is more important to look for in a spouse is what his or her thoughts are on health and wellness. If they are striving (within reason) to stay in good health through diet and regular exercise, that is more important than what their bodies look like now. Bodies do change – trust me. If you are dating someone who thinks health is a joke and refuses to take any measures to stay in good health, you can know that one day he or she will have to pay for that lifestyle in one way or another (and often, the spouse pays in some manner as well).
If you are unhappy with your body, you can make changes that are attainable. Most of us can stand to do a little more exercise and to eat a few more vegetables; but, if you are dating someone who demands your body to be perfect, dump him or her. Seriously, get that person out of your life. Your personality, gifts, and talents are so much more important than any imperfection in your body. It is good to have someone encourage you to stay fit, but when that person belittles your efforts, makes fun of you, or is never satisfied with your progress, it’s time to move on with your life. It is simply worth too much to put up with that. They are the problem, not you.
Have you dealt with body image problems in the past? Have you found a healthy balance? How did you achieve it?