On Not Hating The Skinny Girls

On a Saturday night, years ago, I was in a church singing worship songs with lots of peoples, lots of lights, and lots of Jesus-kinds-of-words on a big screen.  We were meant to be focusing on God but, within minutes, I was focusing on the skinny girl in front of me.

Man, she’s thin.  She’s definitely thinner than I am.  I bet she exercises a lot.  I bet she eats lettuce for breakfast. 

And then, my thoughts took a turn.  “Actually, I wonder if she even believes she’s thin.  Technically, I’m bigger than her but I bet she thinks she’s bigger than I am.  Hmmm…”

How did I move so easily from underdog to overcomer, you ask?  Well, it comes from years of listening to women talk negatively about their bodies and finally understanding that, just because we reach the size we thought we ought to be,  we still aren’t convinced we are walking around in our “ideal weight” or that we are beautiful.  We are looking to something outside of ourselves to tell us we are beautiful and it never works, or at least it never works permanently.

We have to stop asking external things and people to tell us we are beautiful and let our loving Creator define our beauty.  He says we are “fearfully and wonderfully made” and that, even if we are carrying 10, 50, or 150 pounds of extra weight,  we are still “wonderfully made”.   The world tells us we will never be thin enough, beautiful enough or look young enough (just pick up a magazine and read the ads).

But when we agree with God that we are “fearfully and wonderfully made”, no matter how we look on the outside, we take steps to receive His love for us and we start to show love to ourselves in the process.  We begin to do nice things for our wonderfully made body.  We treat our body to a yummy salad (with candied walnut toppings if that’s what it takes to get started) or eat a clementine before bedtime instead of four Oreos.  We might take our body for a short walk when we realize we have 20 minutes to spare.

When we look to God to define our beauty, we renew our thoughts and stop believing the world’s message that we will never be beautiful enough.  God says we always have been.

“For you created my inmost being;  you knit me together in my mother’s womb.  I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;  your works are wonderful,  I know that full well.  My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.  Your eyes saw my unformed body.” (Psalm 139:13-16)

Yeah, but what do I do?

  1. Decide today that you will not say another negative thing about your body again.   You and your body-bashing are never, ever, ever getting back together.  Please, I’m begging here.  If you’ll stop tearing yourself apart with your words, it is likely your mind will follow someday.  Years from now, you’ll be in a group of women who are criticizing their bodies and you’ll think, “Oh, yeah, I used to do that.”
  2. Right this moment, name three things about your body that you do like.  We do this in the Releasity course and it’s one of my favorite times, to see the women begin to lighten up and laugh with a little embarrassment at their audacity to actually agree with God about their beauty.   They start saying things like, “I think I have pretty eyes,” or “I’ve always liked my long fingers.”
  3. Make peace with the skinny girls.  They need love just like we do.  And they might just need this message.
Steven Mast