When I was in high school, and the age of Pinterest had just emerged, I discovered a quote that would forever change my life. To my dismay, I still to this day have been unsuccessful with finding out who said this quote but none the less, it has remained one of my favorite quotes.
"When you look at a person, any person, remember that everyone has a story. Everyone has gone through something that has changed them."
According to the NEDA website , "20 million women and 10 million men suffer from a clinically significant eating disorder at some time in their life, including anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder, or EDNOS ". The site continues on to state that "By age 6, girls especially start to express concerns about their own weight or shape. 40-60% of elementary school girls (ages 6-12) are concerned about their weight or about becoming too fat".
I asked a few of my co-workers, fellow class mates and a few other friends at Missouri Baptist University what they thought of when they heard the word "fat" and then what they thought of the word "skinny". Below are there responses. For confidentiality, I did not write down names, only their responses.
-Lazy or Nonathletic
- Not confident (and therefore easy)
-"My thighs or my arms"
-Comes from a troubled background
-Likes to eat and/or is always eating
-Does not care about the way he/she looks
-Attitudes towards clothing
-Low self image or self worth
-Over eats/ eats fast food or junk food
-Out of shape
-Large/ squishy/ cuddly/ fluffy/ bloated
-"Suck it in"
-"Well, in the old days, fat people were rich right?"
-Skin and bones
-Anorexic/ other eating disorders
-"Just eat a hamburger already"
-Popular/ Lovable/ Societies desired body figure
-"lift some weights"
-Sick/ heart issues
-Superior mentality/ better than everyone else
-"What I want to be"
-"Jealous. I want to be them"
I have to admit...before I wrote this article, I was just going to focus on the ideas society had about "fat" people. Then I realized, that there is a negative connotation toward both sides. It should not matter if you are fat, skinny, tall, short, purple, white, green, black or Ruldolph the red nosed reindeer--we are called to love one another and respect one another.
The shape of your body should not define your worth and how YOU feel about yourself or how you feel others think about you. I will be vulnerable with all of you. My whole life I have been a phat girl (pretty hot and "thick"). I was never the type to fit into the cute clothing like all my friends, and for awhile (or most of my life), I hated myself for it. I could not stand to even look in a mirror because I thought I was so repulsive. Who would even want to be seen with me? No one, and that is exactly what society had been telling me through social media and adds. I was fat and was always the odd ball out, heck, even as I sit here and write this, I am the odd ball out!
However, I am here to tell all of you wonderful ladies that your size does not define your worth! These words I have listed above do not define who you are as a friend, son/daughter, sister, cousin, grandson/granddaughter, future spouse or parent. These words might say how you look physically , but they say nothing about the size and quality of your heart. They do not mention how you stayed up until four am with a friend who broke up with her high school beau and cried with her through the tears. They do not mention how you went on missions to help those in need. They do not see how you helped a family pay to send a child to camp because they could not afford the camp any other way. They do not see who you are. Kelsey Mundel, a fellow friend and co-worker of mine stated 'it should not be about the shape of your body, but about your physical health...", and I could not agree with her more. If you are healthy and happy, than you own every curve you own! You own every size 4 pants that you own (or whatever, I don't know. I just said I was bigger! I am trying)! The point is, as a society, we have to stop tearing each other down and start to build each other up again. If we continue down this path, darkness will only continue.
Ladies. Gentleman. Lets learn to start to love who we are again. Own that pear or apple or twig shape body that the good Lord gave you! Would we want our younger sisters or brothers to come home and say to us "I hate myself! I am so fat/skinny, and everyone hates me! I am ugly and no one will ever love me"! I know I would not deal well with this if my cousin said this, and you all wouldn't either.
Songs of Solomon 4:7: "You are altogether beautiful my darling, there is no flaw in you."
Own every flaw that you have my darlings, and let's start accepting what we have and each other. We never know the battle another is walking and what medical issues that person has been called to walk. You would not know by looking at me that I have Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, the same disease that hit TLC TV show star Whittney Way Thore has. You would never know when you look at me that I have a pre-thyroid issue, and my metabolism is slower than a turtle, and you wouldn't know that I hardly eat because I am never really hungry. The only thing you would see is my extra layers of fluff.
1 Peter 3:3-4 states this: "Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight."
Whether you are a Christ follower or not (which I encourage you all to follow the Lord), this is important. Do not place your self worth in places that will fall short. You know who you are...and you are beautiful, we all are.