This is the last and final installment in the series of ‘Katrina’s Story.’ Heidi ends with a powerful assessment of the twisted ideas we have about body image today and encourages us all to a Christ like and Christ centered view! 🙂
The Beauty of the Heart – ‘Glitter isn’t Worth It’
How far we are from that healthy perspective of weight today. Currently touted as the world’s thinnest woman, a 39-year-old Russian weighing 55 lb. is disturbed by the fan mail she receives from anorectic-wannabes. She says, “I am not going to teach them how to die. Anorexia has made me lonely, unattractive, and repulsive to people around me.” This skeletal woman started down the anorexic path trying to avoid obesity. Now she is walking death and doesn’t know how she can get better.
Most of us are found wanting, according to our Western culture, which promotes an unhealthy, almost impossible-to-sustain figure. Studies show that eating disorders skyrocket in other countries after Western cable television is introduced.
If you want to be popular today, you can’t afford to be a normal, healthy weight. That’s how we’d have to rewrite the 50’s ad to fit our times.
It isn’t worth it, putting your life on the line to achieve fleeting worldly sex appeal. You’ll blow away with the glitter you’re chasing, and what mark will you have left on the world when you’re gone? Do the coveted curvy dimensions 36″-24″-36″ fit all that you have been created to be? Oh wait, no, that’s not even good enough. Models have their hipbones surgically shaved down to meet the 30″ expected by the industry.
Sex appeal as designed by God is not a bad thing. But the world’s twisted version is. At its very core, it dehumanizes and enslaves women, demanding that they be appealing to all men for as long as possible, and if necessary, to take extreme and unnatural measures to maintain this appeal.
Blow off the glitter, Katrina! It’s not worth becoming less than who you are in the process of chasing the world’s pleasures. You couldn’t shape-shift into Amber. And if you stop and think about it, would you really want to be a cheap imitation of lovely Amber rather than the unique masterpiece God designed you to be?
Feel helpless to change yourself? Apart from spending thousands on surgery or injections, your features are mostly out of your control.
But a whole new world of possibilities for change beyond that open up when we are Father God’s daughters. We were made in His image, but have fallen so far from His likeness through our sinfulness. He offers us a makeover. We give Him the essence of who we are, and His power can beautify us. We can allow God to mold our character into someone far more attractive than the person we currently are. It is oh-so-not-simple, but is the most fulfilling transformation we can experience.
This is the gold standard. Plunk a chunk of gold on your table, and although it may not sparkle like the glitter we talked about, it will always be first choice to those who are truly wise and know its value.
If you are pursuing the gold standard of beauty, you are surrounding yourself with people who value you for something lasting. If you are developing kindness, a servant heart, a listening ear, compassion – these things will draw quality people to you. Among them may be a husband who will cherish you and find you sexy and appealing even when you are long past the world’s window of approval because he is not looking elsewhere for satisfaction: you are his only standard of beauty. Don’t laugh – such men exist! My husband is one.
But if you are into looks and dressing the way the world does, chances are that many of the guys you know are into looks and lusting, and would make sub-par husbands.
Corrie ten Boom was a Dutch woman who rated extremely high on the gold standard. For no personal gain, brave Corrie sheltered Jews from Nazis during World War II and ended up suffering greatly in a concentration camp because of her efforts to protect life. From her pictures, it looks like she would have rated low on the glitter beauty standard. But her selfless example and wisdom have outlasted whatever fleeting sex appeal she had to deeply impact my life. Her warm and insightful love drew people around her everywhere she spoke and ministered. Even at the end of her life, crippled and muted by a series of strokes, Corrie’s joy and love continued to spill over, transforming her caregivers and visitors. Unconcerned with what people thought about her looks, Corrie lived free to focus on ministering to the needs of those around her.
She was given a lifelong servant to meet her daily needs, which enabled her to do all that traveling and speaking. Before that, her servant shrank to bones on the concentration camp’s meager diet, but unlike so many women today who would have been full of delight and praise and called that an accomplishment, Corrie felt sorry for her servant and wished she could feed her better. When Corrie was finally released, she made good on her wish, and helped her servant regain healthy weight.
You know where I’m going with this, don’t you? Corrie’s servant was her body. You are given a body to silently, selflessly serve us till we die. This state of the art frame was formed to house the real you: your soul. And you slap God in the face every time you criticize your bodies, these lifelong servants. Every time you wish your particular servant could be traded for another, you are like clay saying to the potter, “Why did you make me like this?”
Don’t waste your life stumbling around under a heavy load of comparing and self-hatred. Thank God for your package deal: the intricately designed servant-body He gave you and the soul that it houses. He sees your body as a place fit for His Holy Spirit to live in; take good care of it! He sees your soul as worth redeeming from the muck of self-destruction, so His Son came offering His life, a fresh and lasting chance to be set free.
The more you gaze on God and His beautiful love, the more you will take on His beauty, like Corrie ten Boom did. Let His love define you and shape you! Pray He will open your eyes to see past the blinding glitter so that you can develop a heart of gold.