03 December 2013

"I am as my creator made me, and since He is satisfied, so am I." - Minnie Smith

At the beginning of this year I was sitting in my dermatologist's office, talking with him about the prescription I had been using for my skin. My doctor went on to tell me that most people think their skin is far worse than it actually is. Then, he asked me if I knew what body dysmorphia was. I told him I did and he told me that he was confident every girl ages 13-40 have been sufferers of body dysmorphic disorder at one point or another in their lives. Unfortunately, that came as no surprise to me, and sadly, I have fit into that category.

In 2007, Forbes magazine came out with an article stating that Salt Lake City was the vainest city in America.  I remember the first time I heard that I immediately felt ashamed of where I lived, but not necessarily surprised. I don't pretend to know why that would be, but I can't help but wonder if it is the perfectionism thing we have going on - Latter-day Saints in particular. We want to become more Christ-like so we are constantly trying to become better, aiming toward perfection. The problem (or at least one problem) comes when we apply that standard physically, taking it a little way too far.

If we are truly made in God's image (Genesis 1:27), which I believe we are, why are we so adamant to change our image? As women, we are blessed with bodies that can bring life into this world, which is insane and amazing, but we are trying to perfect that insanely incredible body to the point of hurting ourselves, and we, being in the world, unfortunately become very much of the world. 

Are we really suggesting that the Lord didn't do His work well enough for us to remain satisfied? Are we really telling our Father in heaven that, "hey! You've got the concept right, but there's still a lot of work to be done." Are we really so far gone that we are more worried about what our appearance looks like to the world, than what our spirits look like to our Heavenly Father? How sad would it be to return home only to come to the realization that we spent more time and energy in perfecting our outward appearance than we did in perfecting our spirits, which, by the way, is the only thing that will prove our worthiness. Guess what!? Looking our best and dressing our best doesn't include changing every last thing we've been given. Looking our best and dressing our best doesn't involve anesthesia, boatloads of money, or unnecessary feelings of inadequacy. The Lord would not - would not - ever subject us to that.

  • 90% of all women want to change at least one aspect of their physical appearance.
  • 81% of 10 year old girls are afraid of being fat.
  • One out of four college-age women have an eating disorder.
  • Three-fourths of girls with low self-esteem engage in negative activities, such as disordered eating, bullying, smoking or drinking.
  • Only 2% of women think they are beautiful.

All I know is that just because we are in the world, we aren't given a free card to become like it. Just as there is a constant war with sin, there is a constant war with people telling us we just aren't good enough. It is a constant fight, and an on-going war, but it is a fight that needs to be fought.

Remember who you are - who you really are. Stop looking in the mirror so much. Eat a freaking cupcake and put the scale away. Feel beautiful and confident in the fact your Father created you, and remember that He is pleased with your creation! And every time someone makes you feel less beautiful than you actually are (which by the way, is really, really beautiful), get on your knees and ask your Father to remind you. And with God reminding you I promise you'll win. Every single time.