The Teeter-Totter

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

This is Day 28 of a 31 Day writing challenge. To read more about my 31 Days series and to catch up on any posts you've missed, be sure to check out my post 31 Days of INSPIRE!

While I was doing my school work yesterday, I came across a quote that really got me thinking. 
"Society never advances. It recedes as fast on one side as it gains on the other. [...] For every thing that is given something is taken." -Ralph Waldo Emerson
 I have seen this to be true on more than one occasion. Society attempts to fix a problem, and in doing so, only creates a new one.

An area I've noticed it in the most is when we're talking about beauty.

You see, society has this warped idea of what it means to be beautiful. When we see beauty portrayed in movies and magazines, it's always skinny and flawless. On every TV screen and billboard, there are products aimed at turning you into that perfect person.

Recently, a lot of us have started to realize how messed up this idea of perfection is. So we decided to fight back

But the way we've tried to do it isn't right.

There are so many blog posts and Facebook statuses dedicated to attempting to correct the beauty myth, but almost all are at the expense of someone else. 

"Skinny isn't beautiful!" "Real women have curves!" "It doesn't matter if you're pretty." "Skinny girls are for wimps!" "Skinny isn't sexy- healthy is!"

This sounds all well and good- we're trying to tell people that they don't have to starve themselves to be beautiful. But do you see what we're doing here? The problem still remains, we're simply coming at it from a different angle. 

It's like a seesaw or a teeter-totter: bouncing up and down but never going anywhere.

In spite of our "good intentions", we're still perpetrating the myth that you are defined by what people see on the outside. That your beauty and worth are somehow found in what you look like...

But you are not your face. If you were to wake up one day and somehow not have your face, you would still be you. You are not your body. If you someday lost the ability to walk or talk, you would still be you.

Because you are more than what people see on the outside. There is so much more to you than any perceived beauty, regardless of what society sees you as.

If you're not considered skinny or beautiful, you are more than that.

If you wear a size 0 and are seen as just another pretty face, you are more than that.

Because this isn't about what you look like. This isn't about society's definition of beautiful. This is about the fact that everyone deserves to be treated with respect regardless of what they look like.

Just because they're not "good looking" doesn't mean they aren't beautiful. Just because they've got "the perfect body" doesn't give you the right to treat them like property.

As one of those girls who was given a naturally skinny body, I can tell you that it stings to hear people say "Skinny isn't beautiful." It's demeaning to see that "real women have curves." After all, what does that make me?

But I am not my body. I am not an object created solely for the purpose of satisfying some guy's desires.

I am a person. And there is so much more to me...

Today, I challenge you to look past appearances and really try to see who people really are. You might just find yourself surprised...


My question today is have you ever found yourself judged because of your appearance? Have you ever made assumptions about someone else only to find that you were wrong? Share your story in the comment section below or over at my Facebook page!

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  1. I constantly feel judged by my appearance because I do not heavily invest into physical beauty. I choose to take my beauty tips from humorist Sam Levenson: For attractive lips, speak words of kindness.

    For lovely eyes, seek out the good in people.

    For a slim figure, share your food with the hungry.

    For beautiful hair, let a child run his or her fingers through it once a day.

    For poise, walk with the knowledge that you never walk alone.

    People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed; never throw out anyone.

    Remember, if you ever need a helping hand, you'll find one at the end of each of your arms. As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.

    The beauty of a woman is not in the clothes she wears, the figure she carries, or the way she combs her hair. The beauty of a woman must be seen from in her eyes, because that is the doorway to her heart, the place where love resides.

    The beauty of a woman is not in a facial mode, but the true beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul. It is the caring that she lovingly gives and the passion that she shows.

    The beauty of a woman grows with the passing years.
    Thank you so much for posting today!

    1. That's such a beautiful passage! Thank you ever so much for sharing it today!

  2. Anastasia, you touch on a this topic with a wisdom that belies your years. It never ceases to amaze me how readily we will throw others under the bus in an effort to feel better about ourselves. And, sometimes, unknowingly. I pray God keeps this knowledge ever-present in your life - you will do amazing Kingdom work just living out the truth of what you write about who YOU are. Such great words!

    1. Thank you so much! That meant a lot to me. I always worry a little bit about posting something like this because I'm so young, and many of the people who read it are much older than I am and have so much more experience. But I feel like this is something we all need to be reminded of!

  3. I love your insight. Most of it all are lies from the devil, but we get so brainwashed.

    1. Thank you! I really appreciate your comment!

  4. Thank you for this insightful look at adopting a perspective on beauty that embraces everyone. If we define beauty as this, not that, we are drawing a hurtful line. And, as I heard someone say today, when we draw a line that separates people, Jesus is always going to be on the other side of the line from us.

    1. That's a beautiful quote. Thank you so much for sharing that today!

  5. I am also naturally thin, and I get tired of comments about it. I wish people would see beyond their own shape and mine. I do think being healthy is important, but healthy looks different for everyone.

    And beauty? That comes from action, far more than from appearance.