Body Image – The effect it has on all of us
Who hasn’t had concerns about the way they look? Impacted by the way we’re raised, the constant onslaught of media images and celebrity endorsements. Trying to emulate the perfect images found in media can place undue pressure on us, both men and women. Join the Let’s Get Real panel this week as they discuss ‘Body Image’.
No matter where you go in the world there are adverts, billboards, magazines and social media telling us what we ought to look like. All of the panel has dealt with body image issues.
Alison is very aware that “We’re bombarded by body image, it’s all over the TV”.
Marj recognizes that “it starts as children, the pressure to look a certain way.
However Chris and Sue recognize that image expectation is different around the world. Chris laughingly says “In Africa, I’d be a perfect size, I’d be the pin-up girl” and Sue goes on to explain why… “Being large, in Africa, signifies wealth and prosperity”.
I know what it’s like to suffer from body image insecurities. Being 6’1″ from a young age people always have something to say, it usually came with a lot of teasing. The cultural norm is for a woman to be 5’6, slim and not too curvy. Like Sue who dealt with body image insecurities, it took me ages to settle into being so tall. I couldn’t hide and no matter where I went people stared. But thankfully I’m ok with it now and accept this is exactly how the Lord made me.
The thing is if we stop to think about how “Fearfully and wonderfully made” we are (Psalm 139:14) and that the Lord knows every hair on our heads (Luke 12:7), why worry? The world would be a very boring place if we were all the same. But sometimes peer pressure can mean we feel like we’ve got to change our look. Alison wonders “How far do we need to go?” in terms of plastic surgery and should Christians in leadership consider their actions when deciding to alter their looks with plastic surgery?
Fitting in and looking a certain way isn’t something guest Rachel Cole Lead Pastor at Openwell Church, Liverpool is concerned about when she’s giving of herself for the sake of the homeless folk in her city.
Rachel’s heart was touched by a prophetic word in South Africa and she came back determined to do something to help the poor in the UK. After a series of events Rachel and her husband started VIP Events for the homeless. Their aim was to show extravagant love to those less fortunate, they put on a wonderful banquet, including pampering, to help the people attending feel better about themselves.
A beautiful gesture to those who have hit hard times, helping to restore their self-esteem and body image! Check out the Openwell Website and find out about their initiative to get churches together and love their city at www.jesuslovesmycity.com
Don’t miss Let’s Get Real on GOD TV on Mondays at 9.30pm with replays on air on Tuesday at 2 pm, Wednesday at 10 am and Fridays at 3 pm. Or watch the the episode above.
This article was written by UK author and speaker, Deborah Armin who is a graduate of the London School of Theology. Her book On My Way Home: One Woman’s Journey in Search of the Unknown God, is published by Authentic Media. Deborah is also a staff writer for GODTV.com.