Legless in Seattle


Bw-hthnIQAAhiTm
I have nothing against legs. Really, I don’t. In fact I have a pair myself.

But here’s the deal. Imagine a culture in which women wear dresses everywhere. So 1950’s. Right?

Except on most TV news stations. Just about all of them. The photography angles emphasize the legs. Yet we like to call ourselves a modern society. The media would love to say they choose female newscasters – dare I say sex symbols – for their superb communication skills. And most seem smart.

 

But you know what? The women are always positioned so the audience can see their legs, front and center. Some have positioned their brilliant women anchors under glass tables. Glass tables! Glass ceilings we have heard of. But really – to purchase glass tables so the audience can see their legs is….

Disturbing.

Sexist.

So yesterday.

And so insulting.

Yes, I get how people are wired, and their thought processes, and of course how this is all about ratings and sales and savvy.

Yet still…do you want your daughter – your wife, girlfriend or even female pet – for that matter – believing their worth is all about their….

Drum roll, please –

Legs?!

It’s enough to make me want to throw a fried chicken leg at you.

But maybe I’ll buy a classy pair of pants and send them to your station. After all, there’s a time and a place to be sexy. But the news?! Really, have some class.

Sincerely,

Legless in Seattle

img_3032

 

 

Body Image and Fat Talk

“I’m tired of the way women talk so much about food, diet and fitness issues,” Cindy said.  She sipped her chai tea Starbucks latte as she played with the wrapper from the straw.

“I know, ” I said. “Sometimes I wonder if women could go a whole week without talking about 

                diets,

                                    workout plans,

calories,

fat grams, and

sizes.”

She glanced out the window at the pink snow from the cherry tree. 

“Why don’t women just get on with their lives instead of obsessing about their bodies? I really don’t get it.” 

We had just hiked one of the St. Edward’s Park trails down to Lake Washington.  The Seattle sun smiled on us and people laughed and told stories as dogs, kids, and trail runners met and then passed us. 

“I think the windfall of media poisons our thinking, causing us to compare ourselves to photoshopped and airbrushed images.  And since we see over 250,000 ads by the age of seventeen, we’re drowning in a tsunami of lies.”  I ignored the beep my phone made to signal I’d received a text message.  “It leads to a lot of comparing and coveting; wishing we had bodies that are not actually real.”

“That’s true,”  Cindy said.  She reached into her backpack to find her phone.  “This whole business of coveting can drive us to despair.  When we compare and covet something someone else has – like an image in a magazine that has been photoshopped- we buy into the lies of the Body Image Bandit. I heard a clip of Cindy Crawford saying, ‘I wish I looked like Cindy Crawford.’ She was talking about how the pictures of her in magazines don’t resemble her because of all the photoshopping.” 

“Wow.  That’s unbelievable,”  I said.  I noticed two kayaks paddling down on the waterfront.  “Hey, want to go kayaking on Saturday?” 

“Sure.  Sounds fun.  Let’s see if we can go on the Hood Canal to check out the seals you’ve been telling me about.”  She got up and put her cup in the recycle bin.  “I’m going to write a challenge to my Facebook friends to go a week in their real lives without talking about diets, sizes, workouts, and foods.  I bet they’ll have better weeks because they won’t get into negative thinking patterns.”

“That sounds interesting,” I said.  “Can’t wait to hear how it goes.  See you Saturday.” 

You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.” Exodus 20:17

Body Image and Fat Talk

“I’m tired of the way women talk so much about food, diet and fitness issues,” Cindy said.  She sipped her chai tea Starbucks latte as she played with the wrapper from the straw.

“I know, ” I said. “Sometimes I wonder if women could go a whole week without talking about 

                diets,

                                    workout plans,

calories,

fat grams, and

sizes.”

She glanced out the window at the pink snow from the cherry tree. 

“Why don’t women just get on with their lives instead of obsessing about their bodies? I really don’t get it.” 

We had just hiked one of the St. Edward’s Park trails down to Lake Washington.  The Seattle sun smiled on us and people laughed and told stories as dogs, kids, and trail runners met and then passed us. 

“I think the windfall of media poisons our thinking, causing us to compare ourselves to photoshopped and airbrushed images.  And since we see over 250,000 ads by the age of seventeen, we’re drowning in a tsunami of lies.”  I ignored the beep my phone made to signal I’d received a text message.  “It leads to a lot of comparing and coveting; wishing we had bodies that are not actually real.”

“That’s true,”  Cindy said.  She reached into her backpack to find her phone.  “This whole business of coveting can drive us to despair.  When we compare and covet something someone else has – like an image in a magazine that has been photoshopped- we buy into the lies of the Body Image Bandit. I heard a clip of Cindy Crawford saying, ‘I wish I looked like Cindy Crawford.’ She was talking about how the pictures of her in magazines don’t resemble her because of all the photoshopping.” 

“Wow.  That’s unbelievable,”  I said.  I noticed two kayaks paddling down on the waterfront.  “Hey, want to go kayaking on Saturday?” 

“Sure.  Sounds fun.  Let’s see if we can go on the Hood Canal to check out the seals you’ve been telling me about.”  She got up and put her cup in the recycle bin.  “I’m going to write a challenge to my Facebook friends to go a week in their real lives without talking about diets, sizes, workouts, and foods.  I bet they’ll have better weeks because they won’t get into negative thinking patterns.”

“That sounds interesting,” I said.  “Can’t wait to hear how it goes.  See you Saturday.” 

“You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.” Exodus 20:17

Beating the Body Image Bandit: Truth vs. Lies

Living in a culture where we drown in a tsunami of images takes a toll.  We forget that phenomenal women have hips.  The lies of the Body Image Bandit tell us if we’re not thin, tall, and flawless, we don’t possess beauty.  Yet that mentality is from the Body Image Bandit, the Father of Lies, whose mission is to kill, steal, and destroy.  The lies include:

1.  Fat phobia:  Research shows that teen girls are more afraid of fat than terrorism.

Due to the images our brains are saturated with, we are brainwashed into thinking thinness is the major criteria of beauty.  One way to combat this is to rid or limit our lives of fashion, beauty, and celebrity magazines.  After looking at such magazines for ten minutes, women become more depressed. 2.  Appearance is almost everything.  God values our hearts much more than the size of our hips.  Actually, our internal qualities carry much more weight in God’s eyes.  “But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, and self-control.  (Gal 5:22) Makeup Quotes 4.  Food is the enemy, as it creates fat.  God created a variety of foods to be enjoyed in moderation.  Read related posts about deprivation, which remind us depriving ourselves leads to binges. Yet if we allow ourselves treats in moderation, we will reduce our desire to binge. 5.  Beauty is completely external. A complete lie.  “What matters most is not your outer appearance – the styling of your hair, the jewelry you wear, the cut of your clothes – but your inner disposition.  (I Peter 3:3, The Message)

6.  Youth is beautiful and old age is ugly.  In many cultures, age is equated with wisdom and is greatly valued.  Yet in most so-called “advanced” countries, older people are devalued (women more so than men).  Wrinkles aren’t respected.

 

“Gray hair is a crown of splendor; it is attained by a righteous life.”  (Proverbs 16:31, NIV)

Body Image and LeAnn Rimes: Worshiping the Art of Skinniness

Featured

Does LeAnn Rimes have an eating disorder?  A few days ago, she posted a picture of herself in a bikini on Twitter.  This started a tsunami of tweets about whether or not LeAnn has an eating disorder, including one saying “@leannrimes “Whoa, you’re scary skinny! Sorry don’t mean to offend but that’s a lot of bones showing through skin…”

LeAnn replied “@AJPaterson1987 those are called abs not bones love.” Later, in an airport, she tweeted this:  “Boston Dog’s sliders and French fries in the Cabo airport are so good! Anyone coming here try them!!!”  LeAnn has tweeted previously on the subject
of her body.

While it is not my place to comment on LeAnn’s situation, I think our culture is deranged in that it worships the art of skinniness.  When a culture believes, “the skinnier the better,” to the point that many models look like concentration camp survivors, we certainly have tragedy on a monumental scale.  By the age of seventeen, Americans have been exposed to 250,000 ads featuring pencil thin models.  It’s no wonder we are ultra-obsessed with body image. Most of the models in the media are anorexically thin, and most are unable to menstruate due to exceptionally low levels of body fat.  That speaks volumes.  Barbie, the most popular doll in America, would have diarrhea 24/7 if she were real because her waistline is so incredibly tiny.  Is this what we want to portray to our girls?  Check out my goodbye letter to Barbie for more information:
https://cherriemac.wordpress.com/2011/02/21/bye-bye-barbie-body-image-and-barbie-dolls/

We live in a culture which screams, “To be thin is to be beautiful, and beauty is almost everything.” Sadly, the message sinks deeply into our souls until it chases people into a sea of despair.  We grab onto what appear to be life rafts, but are sharks in disguise.  This quickly lead us into the Ferocious Foursome:  Dieting, which leads to bingeing due to feeling extremely deprived.  At this point, the dieter wants to eat everything except the TV.  So the second step of the Ferocious Foursome is Bingeing, which leads to more shame and self-contempt.  After the Bingeing comes purging (for some) and then over-exercising (for some).  If the last two aren’t practiced, the lifelong dieter is stuck in the cycle of dieting, bingeing, dieting, bingeing, until they are dizzy.  Research shows that almost all diets lead to weight loss, but later on weight gain. The dieter eventually gains more weight than he or she lost to begin with!  It is exceptionally rare to lose weight and keep it off for decades.

The truth is, body image issues such as compulsive overeating, purging, bingeing, and negative thoughts about our bodies are much more about our stories and relationships than food.  People often try to work on the symptoms only, and don’t address their reasons behind food issues.  Until we address the underlying issues, we won’t fight the Body Image Bandit and win.  When did you first start to binge, purge, or have self-contempt about your body?  While the cultural current is certainly a key factor, addressing the pain in your story will help you fight back the Body Image Bandit – the Father of Lies, who tries to convince you that you are unworthy unless you’re stick thin.

So how can we avoid the Ferocious Foursome, and concentrate on what is truly important?  What if we could learn to embrace the bodies God gave us, and realize with every cell ofour beings that we are each unique masterpieces?  I hope you join me on the passionate voyage of discovering the real you and focusing more on your gifts, talents, and calling than your tooshie.  After all, “Man looks at outward appearance, but God looks at the heart.”