Thursday, March 26, 2009

Self Image

My entire life, I have struggled with self image. I remember my first boyfriend my senior year of high school telling me I was beautiful--that is never something that had crossed my mind before (and I seriously mean never) . Me? No. Apparently, I'm not reports that 80% of women are unhappy with what they see in the mirror. EIGHTY percent? And what's really scary is that "how children view themselves is strongly influenced by parental body image, and often this is set by the age of six" (

That terrifies me more than anything--I don't want Wyatt, Amelia, or Emerson to have this hang-up. I want them to really believe that beauty is not determined by a number on a scale or on a clothing label. But, I worry that no matter what I say, my words will get lost in the hurricane of mean children calling them "fat" or the media's vision of beauty that swirls around us constantly, even if we don't watch TV.

This picture is an article from Us Weekly from December of 2008--they thought I'd subscribe if they sent me magazines--nope, just made me more convinced I didn't want that in my house! The woman on the left is beautiful! But, after they photoshop her, that version of beauty is unattainable! In fact, states, "The current media ideal for women is achievable by less than 5% of the female population – and that's just in terms of weight and size. If you want the ideal shape, face etc., it's probably more like 1%."

So, what, then, is my problem!?!?! What do women have to do to be happy with the way they look? Hypnosis, maybe? I mean, I don't want to be a vain "I look good and I know it" type person, but I would like to be able to look at a picture of myself and not want to tear it to shreds. I believe I am "fearfully and wonderfully" made--but "beautifully" (to someone besides God and my husband) just doesn't fit most days.

I just wish I knew how to look at myself with God's standard of beauty versus the world's standard of beauty that has been imprinted on my brain for 32 years. My husband told me just this week, "I wish you could see my wife." I'm working on it--if not for my sake, than for my children's.


  1. Two things -

    I read a book in college by Angela Thomas called "Do You Think I'm Beautiful?" It is WONDERFUL - a very good picture of how God really sees us, why he created women to care about our looks, and how our relationship with God can be a model for our marriages and self-image. It was a great read...made me want to teach Junior High girl and get this message through all women's heads! I'll bring it tomorrow if you like...unless I loaned it to Stephanie?

    Also, have you ever seen the Dove campaign commercials? It's an excellent example of a mainstream brand using media to show "true" (unphotoshopped) beauty. The pastor at Kingsville did a sermon on femininity and the attack of media on our daughters' self image a couple of years ago and used the first of these ads. Very cool...

    (beware, the second one is a little more graphic than the first).

    Love ya,

    See you tomorrow at the tea!

  2. Yes--bring the book: I'd love to read it. Thanks for the youtube. Sounds like a good link to add to my class' paper on advertising.