Emotional abuse shouldn't be tolerated. Everybody knows this. But how often do we say abusive things to ourselves? Hopefully all of you are better at this than me, but I tend to say negative things about myself to myself or my husband. Among other things, I will criticize the way I look. Even if you don't say those type of things out loud, I'm sure that many of you have thought of them as you look in the mirror. Why do we do this? I put a lot of blame on the media. The way they portray women is not realistic. According to many movies or TV shows, a woman is only of value if she is "attractive." Their definition of attractiveness is, well, too specific and shallow. A women can only look a certain way and be a certain size. She must have beautiful skin, silky hair, the right size of breasts and butt. And if she doesn't, she isn't important.
I've also noticed quite the double standard when it comes to appearance in movies and TV. Why is it that there are successful male actors who are old or unattractive yet it is difficult to find their female counterparts. I've noticed that female news broadcasters are beautiful and thin, but that is not always the case with men. Just another way the media defines value in womanhood.
In reality, beauty comes in all shapes, sizes, and variety. We can look very differently and still all be beautiful. That is what God intended when He created us with such variety. Our worth is not defined by the way we measure up to movie stars.
I have decided not to say anything negative about the way I look anymore. I'm doing this for many reasons:
1) Harassing myself is a form of emotional abuse and is not healthy
2) By giving my appearance so much attention, I'm undermining the important things in life (appearance is not important when it comes to things like my eternal salvation)
3) I'm being a bad example to others around me like my little sister
4) Just because I don't look like them, I am still beautiful the way God created me
5) I would never wish others to think poorly of themselves, so why would I do it to myself
This is a small film made by Dove that represents the media's obsession with women as objects. It makes me sad to see that beautiful little girl and the horrible things she will think about herself if she doesn't grow up to look like the girls on TV. We were all that little girl and I hope we have the strength and wisdom to know what real beauty is.
If you were like me and criticize your appearance, I hope you will commit to end that emotional abuse to yourself.