Growing up, I was a stick. No, literally, everyone could count my ribs. In order for clothes to stay on my body, I had to safety-pin them. I was always a head above everyone my age, and my legs? Every seen a picture of a stork’s legs? Yep, you got it. Those were my legs, too.
I was so skinny, that my doctor ordered all different kinds of bad for you foods for me to eat in order to gain weight. Did they work? I don’t think so. (And as a side note, my mom wasn’t going to make me French toast every morning.)
Then a disturbing thing happened. I grew up.
I grew, and I began to think I was fat. My thighs and hips were too big, and I was too tall. My shape was wrong. I wasn’t as pretty as the models, or as other girls I saw. They were beautiful, and I wasn’t.
And as I continued to grow, I watched in horror as my waist grew. Bigger. And as I couldn’t wear the sizes I thought I should, I grew concerned. My mom would tell me that it was normal. I was tall, and I couldn’t expect to wear a size 2.
But I was still upset. I thought I should wear a size 2. Skinny people should. I should.
I went shopping with my mom the other day, and I pulled size 4 off the rack and tried it on. My mom was shocked that I wore that size, and she told me that she was surprised I was so skinny.
And it made me think. Am I too thin? Would I wear a size 2 if I weren’t so tall? Am I the right size?
Are you ready for what I realized? It’s just a size. And it’s just a shape. Body shapes have been a problem for women all throughout history, and guess what? Every shape at one time has been the “right” shape. But do you know what? It’s just a shape.
You aren’t constrained to that shape. It doesn’t define who you are. It doesn’t matter.
Maybe if you believe that we’re a mistake. An accident that randomly happened, then perhaps different shapes are more important than others. But I don’t believe that. I believe each one of us were crafted by a God who loves us. Who chose our shapes, our eye color, and our personality.
So it’s just a shape.
Each shape is beautiful. You’re beautiful, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. God and people who really matter don’t look at your shape. God looks at your heart, and people who really matter look at your heart as well.
We need to take care of our bodies, and that means feeding ourselves the right food, and exercising. That doesn’t mean working out 24/7, or never eating sweets. When we constantly think about our outward appearance, we’ve made that our idol.
And what a sad idol it is! Because not only do we have to grow okay with our shape once, we’ll have to do it every time our lives change. My shape now won’t be the shape I am in ten years from now.
Part of change is acceptance, and we need to accept the shape God has given us, because our body shape is perfect. God made us, not we ourselves (Psalm 100), so why should we complain about the shape of our bodies, or the color of our hair?
Instead, we should join together and praise Him for His wonderful works.