I saw a video of myself online today. I was tagged.
It was a perfect test of my body image progress.
I believe all the words I say about body image. I believe God thinks my body is worth the cross because of his unfathomable love for all of me, which has nothing whatsoever to do with my body or my performance. I BELIEVE that. So, why did I want to cry when I saw the video with my profile, my size 16, and my face? I was surprised by how unattractive I looked to myself considering how much fun I had been having while I was being filmed, and I had to grapple with the thought, “This is what I really, actually look like.”
To me. It’s what I look like to me. It’s my evaluation.
But is that really what everyone else was seeing today?
You want to know what I was doing in the video? I was leading a group of kids and parents in the opening of our orchestra unit for our home school community. Little chubby hands waved their little paper cellos, flutes, trombones, and clarinets. The most lovely and adorable faces, belonging to some of my most beloved people, smiled into my eyes and concentrated on our singing together. Their eyes lit up as each section of the song was added to the round and we were all actually able to sing together. There was cheering, and joke making and me being silly standing on a chair as the ‘conductor’.
I’m guessing no one left our meeting with the distinct and lingering impression of my size and schlumpiness. I’m betting that’s not actually the first thing people notice or think about me, and it shouldn’t matter even if it is, but I still struggle to live with grace and compassion in this area.
Guys, this body image thing is a vicious, thieving liar.
Truth Time: I was embarrassed and I wanted to cry because in the moment I first saw the video I cared more about not being ‘pretty’ than I cared about any of the magic or the blessing of the moments recorded. I was ASHAMED because I am still fighting a BEAUTY IDOL that tags me with the words “unacceptable”, “ugly” and, “fat” as though those words erase everything else about me. I prayed for help and then watched the video again and again until I could let God re-tag the moments with, “fun”, “beautiful”, and “pleasing”. It took till the fifth time. But I did it.
Friends, I hope my struggles profit you. Whose tags are you wearing today?
Mindy Pickens is a wife and mother who loves Jesus, her husband, their two daughters, coffee, books…and coffee. She spends her time homeschooling, tutoring in her homeschool community, and trying to figure out this whole home-maker thing. She’s a regular woman who is captivated by the gospel of Jesus Christ and is learning to surrender to the grace and goodness of God. Read Mindy’s posts here.