Isaiah 43: 18-19

"Do not call to mind the former things, or ponder things of the past. Behold, I will do something new. Now it will spring forth; Will you not be aware of it? I will even make a roadway in the wilderness, Rivers in the desert. "

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Body Image

Ok just a warning, this post may not be for everyone. If you are female, I know that you struggle with body image and self-esteem, its just part of our nature. If you never have issues with it, well, tell me your secret!! Why do we struggle so much with body image? Especially women. I know men have a hard time with it too, just not in the same way.

 We are constantly bombarded with images of what we should like, how our hair, skin tone, makeup, butt, thighs, etc should look. Every time we go to the grocery store, magazine covers show us what beauty should look like. Well, what if we don't fit the mold? What if our eyelashes aren't long enough,our stomaches aren't toned enough, our legs arent bronzee enough? We end up feeling poorly about ourselves and wonder what we can do to improve ourselves.
KIM KARDASHIAN   photo | Kim Kardashian
RIHANNA photo | Rihanna

Trust me I am not surfing for comliments when I say this, but I have terrible self-esteem. Not everyone knows that about me; and in fact, when I told my friend Patty at work that i really had a hard time with it, she was surprised. I spent 10 years of my life in leotards and pink tights in an environment where every ounce of fat was scrutinized. During that time, I also auditioned for modeling agencies. I got a couple of shoots, but when I tried out for a big agency in Cleveland called Ford Models (at age 12) I was told that I wasn't quite tall enough for runway, and I wasn't quite thin enough for printwork, and size 6 was the absolute maximum ever accepted. Thus began the poor self-esteem. Then I tried cheerleading, which was probably not the best move for a girl who was already self-consious.  Most of my friends at the time happened to be very tiny with very small hips, and I was small with more pronounced hips, so I always felt inadequate next to my peers. Anyhow, we all have stories of how we developed a negative body image, so I won't elaborate too much further.
 (neither of these are me in case you are wondering lol) So, its very easy to see how girls can develop poor self-esteem and a negative body image. I know many of us think, well if I just lost those extra pounds, if I had better hair, if I have nicer teeth, then I would feel pretty. I recently read an article, I think it was in People, about "hot bodies over 40," and at first glance, I thought wow! I would love to look that good at 40, heck, I would love to look that good now!

Then I thought, what if JESUS came back when I turned 40. Would He say, "Great job, you have really kept your stomach toned." Or, "I am so proud of you, you've worked so hard to keep wrinkles away, your skin looks flawless!" Once I thought about that, I was so ashamed. If Christ returned in 15 years, I think he would probably say something more along the lines of "What have you done to love others? How have you shown them my love? What have you done with all I have given you?"

This really shifted my mindset. Sure, its nice to feel good about how you look, but I really needed this reminder:

"Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart." 1 Sam 16:7

Beauty comes from within!!! Have you ever met someone who may not be very attractive on the outside, but once you get to know them, you realize what a beautiful person they are? Lord, help me to become less like me and more like You!

"All people are like grass,
and all their glory is like the flowers of the field;
the grass withers and the flowers fall,
25 but the word of the Lord endures forever.” 1 Peter:25

Our time on earth is so short, and instead of being obsessed with our PHYSICAL image, we should be concerned with our hearts. My person icon, Audrey Hepburn was a beautiful woman, but it was not her physical beauty that made a lasting impression. She did many humanitation works after her time in the movies, and although I don't know what her relationship with God was like, she made her life mean something beyond movies and fame.

So what should we do with our body image issues? I think if we shift our paradigms to focus on what the Lord sees as beautiful, our confidence in HIM and ourselves will change. I am by no means an expert in this, I am sorting through these body image issues just as you are! I also don't want you to think physdical health isn't important. Taking care of our bodies is a command from scripture. My husband would love me no matter what I looked like, but I don't think it would be right to wear baggy sweatpants everywhere, stop excerising and eat crappy food all the time. There just needs to be a balance!!! We are beautiful because God created us in HIS image, and He loves us just as we are.

I want my daughter to grow up with a healthy self-image as a girl and eventually as a woman, and know that her true beauty comes from within.

And now to end with an Audrey Hepburn quote ;)

“For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone.”


  1. Love this - thank you Olivia!

  2. You ARE beautiful, Olivia. Inside AND out. You always were, you
    always will be. I love you! A.S.

  3. This is a great post Olivia, and it's so true that what is on the inside is what makes a lasting impression. I've known so many beautiful (physically) girls that were pretty mean to others, and it took so much away, and vice versa, when I can see someone's beautiful heart they instantly seem more beautiful physically too!