Guest Post by Nicole Johnson
As a 17-year old senior girl, I constantly find myself being my own worst critic, and I know I’m not the only one. From what shoes I wear, to how I look in a picture, to what I do on a Saturday night; we constantly criticize ourselves to better match up with the high expectations of today’s society.
Concerned About Others Opinions
Not only do we worry about our own lives, but we often worry about what others think of our lives – what we wear, what we post, who we hang out with, etc. All of these are small aspects that have a large impact on the way we perceive ourselves as individuals.
As I’ve grown, I’ve realized that we are especially hard on our bodies and physical appearances. Even as an athletic teen, I constantly am trying to eat healthy and go to the gym to get my body into better shape than it is already.
Am I ever going to be that Instagram model or girl on the cover of Vogue? Well, no, of course not. But I often find myself striving to look better than the day before.
An average of about 94% of girls have been body shamed at one time in their life, which is an unacceptable amount. Body shaming is a massive issue that is tearing down people of all ages throughout our nation.
While this has never been the case for me, it is for so many young adults out there and can lead to depression, anxiety, and even suicide.
To those that have been body shamed, or haven’t, I want to tell you this… reflect on yourself and let every negative idea of what you think or people have told you slip away.
Imago Dei – Made in God’s Image
In Genesis chapter 1, God tells us that He created us in his image, perfect and holy.
- Look at your hands – they have pet so many cute animals and dried so many of your tears.
- Look at your feet – they have walked you to some of your favorite places, and gotten you out of the worst situations.
- Look at your belly – think of the days it’s been full and warm with all your favorite foods.
- Look at your legs – they have held you up when you thought you weren’t strong enough to stand.
- Look at your eyes – they have seen so many beautiful people and brought so much rest when you were weary.
- Look at your mouth – it has told so many people that you love them, prayed so many prayers, preached encouragement, and smiled so many smiles.
Our bodies have been there for us, even when we didn’t want to thank God for the way He made us. When we learn to root our identity in Christ and truly believe he made us perfect in his image, we then can find the light in the darkness, the joy in the suffering, the calm in the storm.
Nothing anyone says to you can overpower the love Jesus has for you. He cares for you, He thinks you’re perfect, He wouldn’t change a thing about you, and that, that right there should be enough.
How amazing is it to think that the Lord God who created the mountains, the oceans, and the skies, created you too?! Created you, loves you, and died for you, knowing you may never love him back.
Change the World
When we find this peace in Christ and start living proudly inside and out truly who He made us to be, physically and emotionally, we can change the world.
Tell someone how great they look in that new shirt, or if they are rocking those new pants. But better yet, tell them what you like about them as a person, why you appreciate them, and what makes them special.
No matter what you look like, it’s what’s on the inside that matters and when we start having a positive outlook on not only the way we appear, but life itself, things change, people change, and lives are changed.
So my friends, I encourage you to love Jesus, love yourself, and love your body because throughout my 17 years of this crazy thing called life, I’ve learned that those are three things that will love you right back.