Is She Skinny: The arbitrary idolatry of body
I was dawdling around Facebook and saw that someone had posted one of those Quiz Poll questions on the wall of a friend of mine. The question about this young lady was “Do you think — is skinny?” Now, for the record, this young lady is a cross country runner and in excellent shape, so nothing I’m about to say is an outrage because the question would be offensive to her in any way. I’m outraged by the cultural idolatry it represents, and by the terrible, burdensome price it has exacted from the women of our day.
So, first of all, what an incredibly arbitrary question this is to ask of someone! Let’s think about this, who defines what skinny is? Well society, of course. You probably have an idea in your head that corresponds somewhat closely to what the rest of Americans think, because the prevailing mindset of the culture decides the definition for that sort of thing. But it CHANGES! Do you see how meaningless it is? 100 years ago, heck even 20 or 30 years ago, the image of what was “skinny” (or whatever other trait) was exceedingly different, and yet this question (and others like it) are force-fed to people through every visual media outlet as if they were enduring standards of what is and is not right, good, desirable, and acceptable. We are a society absolutely obsessed with the questions of body image. The adoration of the “perfect body” (note again how arbitrary that is) is one of the most deeply rooted and flourishing idolatries of western culture. Ever.
“Whoa, take a chill pill dude. It was just a silly Facebook question.” Oh it was, was it? Just a harmless Facebook question that quietly, but persistently (along with constant pressure from the rest of the media) teaches girls and women to measure themselves by these questions. Harmless? Is this question and others like it not at the root of self-image issues and eating disorders which millions of women struggle with? How many girls’ lives and bodies have been mutilated and ruined because they were taught to be obsessed with questions like this?
There is only one remedy, and it is this: that girls be taught from birth that they should strive to be the image of CHRIST rather than the image on the cover of People or 17 or Cosmo magazine; that they learn and deeply believe and rejoice in the fact that their worth is found in the eternal adoration of the Holy King of Heaven, and NOT in the lustful eyes of mere dying men.
Woman in our society are taught that their bodies are worth more attention than their souls, and that the arousal of men because of their figure is more important than the affection for Christ which is rooted in faith.
God help us!
“Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.” Proverbs 31:30