I’m here, climbing these steps in the gym. Kind of wishing I hadn’t set myself up at such a high speed. I’m already tired. I’m trying to act like I’m not actually dying, huffing and puffing up another flight toward that 200 calorie mark.
I come here to feel good. To release stress. But I find myself even more stressed. I look to the person to my right. She’s going faster, she’s been here for 20 minutes, I’ve been here for four and I’m exhausted. I scroll through Instagram while I stretch and I see one fitness model or “in shape” woman after another, working out harder, longer, and better.
She’s got a bigger butt, leaner legs, probably a thigh gap too. Probably because she’s more determined. She’s better at this kind of thing. I’m not as good.
I go straight to the leg machines. If I have a nicer butt, toner legs people will notice. And sometimes they do. But then I wonder if that’s the attention I should be looking for.
Media today has a cruel way of setting an example for young women. How many times a day do women come upon Victoria Secret ads, dieting and exercise apps or simply commercials that advocate a certain body type or appearance? The answer is: a number larger than we realize.
These are not random; companies have access to information on what you are searching regularly. Once they have this, the company strategically places women, displaying their products to pop up on the screen. Women that are just under six feet tall, have slim long legs, flawless skin and a body women wish they could have. Flat stomachs, thigh gaps, zero fat. Without a second thought, people are attracted to this and strive to be this.
Many don’t understand this image is usually tampered with; Photoshop is an effective tool when used for the right reasons. When anyone can rearrange and transform faces and bodies, how do you ever know what is real? Too many women don’t even question this, assuming this figure is something they should acquire as well. Little do they know, it is physically impossible to achieve…naturally.
The number of apps out there that allow anybody to touchup and filter photos is astonishing. There are tools to get rid of blemishes of any kind, to change the color of your eyes, make your nose look smaller or your teeth whiter among hundreds of other options. What is this teaching women today? Suddenly it’s okay and expected to change your body? The only way to have this perfect figure is to starve yourself or over exercise, and then get online and shift and shape the rest?
“So God created mankind in his own image; in his own image God created them; he created them male and female.” Genesis 1:27. There is proof in the very first chapter of the Bible who we were made after. By going along with this “trend”, especially being involved ourselves, are we not mocking God? Saying, “My body isn’t good enough,” then, turning to unnatural ways to attempt to fix it.
Later in 1 Corinthians 3:16 we are asked an important question, “Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst?” If our bodies are considered a temple, we should desire to take care of it in a healthy and appropriate way.
What happened that made society believe it’s okay to have standards and expectations for women that are unreachable? More importantly, what do we do to end these unrealistic ideals?
First, we break the mold ourselves. Easier said than done, however, starting with our own bodies and understanding that each piece was masterly put together by God Himself is a place to begin. Only then, can we reach out to those women around us who are not aware of the truth that God created them in His likeness for a reason. Harming and changing our bodies just because we idolize women who look “better” is not only hurting ourselves, but our Creator as well.
Aubree DeVisser is a professional writing major and public relations minor at Taylor University. Home sweet home is Holland, Michigan where she plans to live out her life blogging, writing nonfiction, and handling social media accounts for small, local businesses. She has a blog you should check out called searching 4 something more. You can follow Aubree on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.
Want to read more great blogs by The Spilled Milk Club? Like us on Facebook.