When I was pondering the direction I should take my article this week, my mind was flooded with a million different thoughts. What should I say about body image? How can I make it different? Will my words even be effective? Then, as if by fate, I stumbled across a mural in downtown Austin, Texas. It was a small and rather simple masterpiece compared to the intricately extravagant works of art that be can found across the city, but the truth it speaks exceeds any level of beauty or complexity.
On a green weather-beaten backdrop, the phrase “i love you so much” bursts forth in scarlet red letters. It’s interesting to think about how five simple words that mean very little on their own can come together to form one of the most beautiful sentences in human existence. We affectionately use this phrase to describe the things in life that we hold dear. Some use it to describe their significant others. Others use it to describe their family members. If you’re like me, you often find yourself using this phrase to describe books, movies, and food. No matter what we use this phrase to describe, we always have one thing in common: We never use “i love you so much” when we describe ourselves.
Body image is not a new struggle for the female population. It always has and always will be one of the number one concerns of any female, regardless of age. However, it cannot go unnoticed that there has recently been an increase in the concern of body image, particularly in teenage girls. This increase takes root in many different aspects of the millennial generation.
Social media is probably one of the biggest antagonists in the war against body image. While social media is a fantastic thing to possess in an attempt to keep up with friends, it is inevitable that comparisons will occur. Someone’s Twitter account will always seem more original than yours. The fun you have on Instagram will pale in comparison to someone else’s. Facebook might even try to convince you that someone else’s problems are more important than your own. These are all horrifically absurd comparisons, but at some point we have all believed them. We have all had these toxic thoughts soak into our minds and wreak havoc on our confidence and self-worth.
As if experiencing social inferiority on the Internet isn’t enough, we are forced to personally face our insecurities when it comes to social acceptance. Physical appearance has become a very important factor in society, particularly for females. This is a saddening fact but a reality nonetheless. A woman was once judged by what was inside her heart. Now, she is judged by her physical features, her style, and how good she looks in a bathing suit. If these are the terms that we are now judged by, I don’t blame any girl on this planet for being self-conscious and insecure. Judgement can be very persuading, but changing yourself in an attempt to fit someone else’s perceived vision should never be a solution. Body image may always be a concern, but we have a choice to decide whether we want to conform to society or to stand up for who we are.
If you hear nothing else in this article, please hear this: You are loved. Every single one of us — in our own shapes, sizes, and colors — are loved more than anyone could ever imagine. We were created in the perfect image of Christ, and He was willing to die to know us. That, ladies, is true love. I know that may not mean a lot to some people, but I always find great comfort in knowing that there is someone eternally on my side. With this abounding love, I find it easier to go out into the world with the utmost confidence and faith in myself. I know that I am beautiful and perfect because He says so, and that’s good enough for me.
Whatever it may be that gives you this kind of comfort, I sincerely hope that you find it and never let it go. Relish in a powerful love and know that you too are loved. We only get one life, and we shouldn’t spend our time hating ourselves.
I’ve heard that you can never truly love anyone until you truly love yourself. I am believing more and more every day that this statement is true. So, choose love, Germies. Choose love and find that life is not measured by weight, appearance, or social status. Love yourself, and never forget that “i love you so much” also.