Let’s Talk Self-Image

I look in the mirror. Where did that girl from my college years go? Or better yet where did this past-middle-age woman come from?

The image looking back at me from the mirror has a few wrinkles, a couple of age spots (OK, more than a couple), and darkening circles under the eyes.

A band of gray encircles my face because I no longer highlight my dishwater blonde hair now that I’m retired. The gray contrasts with the darker hair creating a ready-made frame.

Where did she go? I know I couldn’t have possibly changed so much. But it’s not just the face.

There are those pounds gained in the baby years, the ones I lost right after, and now I see the joy of having a baby (now 43 years old) represented in shifting shapes– all over my body. Clothes to fit are harder to find and afford, and I’m not ready to look like a little old lady just yet.

How about you? Do you ever look in the mirror and wonder who is looking back at you?

Or do you fret over your changing body, especially if it’s not changing for the better?

Today I come to you with GOOD NEWS!

Go ahead. Get that cup of coffee and pull up a chair for this. I think you’re really going to love it.

So God created humans to be like himself; he made men and women. ~ Genesis 1:27 (CEV)

 

Yes, God created us in His own image. Men and women. Created us to be like Him.

Because He created us, God loves us. And you know what? He loves us just the way we are because we are His creation.

Young woman too thin

Via Flickr

I cringe when I ponder the impact advertising and social media has on our young women today.

Messages that unless their bodies are certain sizes, dimensions, or shapes the bodies they have are wrong.

Messages that encourage behaviors to lose extreme amounts of weight.

Eventually these young women become unhappy souls.

But God does not want us to abuse our bodies. He does not want us to abuse His creation. We are to love ourselves as He loves us–just the way He made us. We are to be pleased with the image He has created for us. Uniquely for us.

Think of it: Nine months we lay in the wombs of our mothers. Waiting for breath to be breathed into our tiny bodies. Waiting for those muscles to contract urging us forward into the world. In fact, the Bible shares with us that very act of waiting in the womb:

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. ~ Psalms 139:13 (NIV)

 

You see it took God’s crafting hand and heart to make us who we are. Months of nurturing and crafting, working as though we were a magnificent garment being knitted by hard-working hands. We are specially made.

The following quote is from a letter written by Amy Bloom to Women Everywhere. Her topic is body image, self-esteem, and how to feel beautiful. This is not to say that the Scriptures shared from God’s Word above are not enough to quell our fears and “less than good feelings” about ourselves. However, some may read this who need a word or two from another woman who has “been there, done that.” (You can read the entire article by Amy Bloom here.)

You are imperfect, permanently and inevitably flawed. And you are beautiful.  ~ Amy Bloom

 

What about you? Do you struggle with self-image, self-esteem, or your body image? Do you know how much you are loved in spite of who you see in the mirror? 

It’s not an easy battle we wage against TV, movies and advertisers. I’d love it if you’d share your opinions and perhaps even a tip for coping with these issues in the comment section below.


 

Linking up on Monday with:

Kelli Woodford at Unforced Rhythms

and on Wednesday with:

Holley Gerth at Coffee for Your Heart
Jennifer Dukes Lee at #TellHisStory

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16 thoughts on “Let’s Talk Self-Image

  1. My Mother never, ever worried about what she looked like though she did lose some weight before my wedding. Just a year before her recent death she commented, “I’m happy with the face God gave me,” So accepting, so Mom.

    And I’ll leave it at that before the tears come again.

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    • Neither did my mother worry about her appearance as long as she knew she and her clothing were clean. During mom’s last months, she never worried about her hair or makeup. Her only worry was where the birth month jewelry pieces dad had given her were being kept. I never thought my mom would be so accepting of her last days.

      Thinking of you as you continue to walk this new pathway.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hello, I just read your blog for the very first time. It’s funny, because I blogged about the topic of body acceptance just last night. Thank you for sharing! My blog is at faithfullychronic.blogspot.com

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    • Robyn, isn’t it interesting how often God touches more than one of us to write on the same topic? I love that He does that. Let’s me know it was as important as I thought. I’m heading over to visit your blog now! Glad to meet you.

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  3. I never really struggled with getting older until I turned 50. I know in my head it’s just another number, but I feel like it pushed me over the edge of “youth” into the world of “old age.” Silly me. Words like yours remind me that I’m STILL created in God’s image, no matter what number the world wants to put on me. And that is a beautiful thought! Thanks, Sherrey.

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    • Lisa, “getting older” hit me about the same time, 50s or so. But I was still working full-time then and didn’t obsess over it because I was still keeping pace with everything. These days, however, I can feel myself growing a bit slower (after all another almost 20 years have gone by). Yet I’m not stopping — God has more for me to do and experience. Thanks, Lisa!

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  4. There is such a balance for me between giving myself good care and becoming consumed with the image in the mirror. I know just as it is not healthy for me to worry about my greys or pounds, it also is not good for me to neglect caring for myself well. How grateful I am for a God who is patient and all-loving as I continue to journey. Thank you for linking at Unforced Rhythms.

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    • Self care has been a tough one since I retired. I am tempted to just let it all go sometimes, and then I remember I am His child and I want to care for what He has so graciously given me. God is definitely a patient God and yes, all-loving too. He’s been beside me now for 68 years guiding my steps. Couldn’t get by without Him! Thanks for stopping by.

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    • I believe we women tend to worry about this so much more than most, note I say most, men. I hope that at 32 you don’t see that many changes, but depending on your role in life …. 🙂

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  5. I struggle with this so much! I try to balance being healthy with looking good. Thank you for these truth to remember when the condemning voices get louder and louder. Blessings! Visiting from Holley’s link-up.

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    • Thanks for stopping by! It’s a tough balance in today’s world. I don’t remember my mom or her sisters worrying so much. They worked hard at home and when it was time to spruce up, they morphed beautifully into someone else. However, they didn’t have all the advertising and media hype hitting them every day and evening!

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  6. It is definitely an ongoing battle. Some days I will be surprised that I like what I see in the mirror. Most days the flaws jump out and it is hard to see past them.
    I hope I can teach my girls the truth and help them see their beauty!

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    • Ongoing is the operative word, isn’t it? Like you, some days the image in the mirror pleases me more than other days. I will pray that you can teach your girls the truth so that their God-given beauty pops out each time they look in the mirror. Blessings!

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