International Women's Day: Can we be 'body proud'?
In contrast to the airbrushed perfection in most adverts, seeing women showing off their post-birth bodies is refreshing. One person tweeted:
Refreshing, real and utterly wonderful. Thank you @mothercareuk Another step forward in helping us towards #bodyproudmums
Whether it’s when we go swimming or on a night out, comparing our bodies is something both women and men struggle with.
We know we shouldn’t, but we find ourselves looking for that ‘perfect standard’ – something the Bible both rejects and affirms.
God made people of all shapes and sizes.
In the womb, he knitted together our dumpy legs, our larger frames, our sticky-outy ears (Psalm 139:13). We want to look different, but God says we look ‘very good’ (Genesis 1:31).
So we don’t need to be ashamed about our bodies. God designed them, so we can accept their ‘perfect imperfections’.
This doesn’t mean, however, that we shouldn’t long for a perfect body.
In Genesis there’s painful comparison between two sisters:
‘Leah had weak eyes, but Rachel had a lovely figure and was beautiful.’ Genesis 29:16
Surprisingly, God chose to bring to bring salvation through Leah. And it’s this salvation which provides us hope as we struggle with comparison.
‘We eagerly await a Saviour from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who…will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.’ Philippians 3:20-21
What you see in the mirror isn’t the final word. Jesus promises that those who follow him will enjoy a perfect body (1 Corinthians 15:44). So we look forward until then.
But even better than our transformed body will be our transformed heart. We’ll no longer compare; we’ll rest in God’s perfect love for us - his people, of all shapes and sizes.