S K I N N Y

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She wraps her arms tight about herself. Her friends would tell her that since she could do that then she must be anorexic. She must have a food disorder of  some kind.

And don’t you know that men like curves?

She wraps her arms around herself and the voices she thought she was ignoring come crashing in faster, harder, sharper.

There are no excuses for a skinny girl.

If you are skinny, you are anorexic.

If you are skinny, you should gain weight.

If you are skinny, you immediately offend.

If you are skinny, you should know that men like curves and whatever you’ve got going on there is not enough.

She wraps her arms around herself, and her tears fall unbidden. She knows this shame isn’t real. How could it be? She knows that she was fashioned, made, designed by her Creator.

But sometimes,

sometimes….the words still hurt. She still gave them power.

She wraps her arms around herself and the voices drain. Swirling, spiraling, emptying from her….yet filling the void. She walks through the streets and her head is down.

She’s in the war of words. The war of body image. Because it’s there for her, just like it’s there for the overweight girl. And as she walks down that long, lonely street where all the girls walk, she finds them all staring down at their feet.

A slow kind of shuffle, the defeated kind of hope–barely there, yet holding on. The long, lonely street that all the girls walk on.

She hears the chorus of voices. She hears the deafening sound. She drained the voices dry, but they filled up the void. This void…the long, lonely street that all the girls walk on.

TOO FAT. TOO SKINNY. I’M CURVY, YOU’RE NOT. TOO TALL. TOO SHORT. I’M SLENDER, YOU’RE NOT. The long, lonely street that all the girls walk on. Loud, deafening cries crash through the air of who we are, might be, should be, could be, or would be. This long, lonely street that all the girls walk on.

She wraps her arms tighter to contain the shudders. How can this shame be felt so real when she knows…she knows...that she was fashioned, made, and designed by her Creator?

The confusion inside cannot settle down. She’s in the war of words. The war of body image. She’s skinny. And skinny girls have no excuses. It’s a privilege, they say, or a curse with no curves. Can they make up their minds?

Can she?

That long, lonely street that all the girls walk on. If that small kind of hope could show its face now. If that small kind of peace could usher in. She yells and she screams. Her arms wrap tighter. And out of frustration and out of despair, the torment breaks through. And she screams at the sky.

Or what she thought was the sky. A prison ceiling, instead, pushes down on her. That long, lonely street that all the girls walk on becomes darker and darker as the ceiling comes lower, to crush those below.

But that’s when she sees it. She unwraps her arms from around herself and raises them above her head. She pushes on the ceiling, lifting it above that long, lonely street. It’s not as hard as she thought it would be. And encrypted so clearly are words.

~~~~

TOO FAT. TOO SKINNY. I’M CURVY, YOU’RE NOT. TOO TALL. TOO SHORT. I’M SLENDER, YOU’RE NOT.

But God—

 perfect One, holy King, loving Father, patient Shepherd,

the GREAT I AM

Made You

SKINNY IS WHO YOU ARE.

you are created by God

and when did you decide that wasn’t enough?

~~~~

She keeps her hands braced on the ceiling. Tears are falling—new ones, not those born of hurtful words. These are fresh ones. These tears are born of newness. They remind her of truth, of hope, of real liberation.

She had felt so imperfectly skinny and ashamed, because she believed in body image. She believed in the words of humankind to define her. She believed what was easy, not the truth that is often hard to see, but so liberating in the way it consumes.

She had settled for the worst….a human’s perception of how she was created by a perfect God. She had given weight to body image, to being skinny, to being curvy, to all the things that didn’t matter when the world got hold of them.

She trusted the words of man to wrap around her, to fold her in their enticing ways, to shame her. It wasn’t the issue of fat shaming, or skinny shaming, or body shaming, really. It’s Who she decided to believe in—man or God

It is not enough to only know the truth, she must live it. In her mind, her thoughts, her heart, her actions, her life.

And the words would always hurt, she supposed. Words are sharp, they come with blood. But they can have no lasting power when her whole…entire…breathing being finds worth in her Creator, not the perception of the created.

And so she tells the girl next to her on that long, lonely street that they’ve walked on for so long. And that girl tells the next. And the next one tells the next one. And so on.

Somewhere, among the thousands, the word stops. Not everyone will embrace the truth, will welcome in this confidence, this freedom.

And still, the girl who used to wrap her arms around herself pushes against the prison ceiling. And all the other girls, forsaking the bloodied words of man,  put their hands to the ceiling.

And they push. The power of truth gives strength and the ceiling flies away in crumbled shards of lies. And the girls are free. The skinny, the overweight, the young, the old, the healthy, the sick…..

But even these labels slowly fall from them as discarded, unnecessary skin. These girls are free. These girls have put their value in the Creator, not the created.

******

Genesis 1:27 | Psalms 119:73-74 | Psalm 139:13-14

Previous Posts:

Ways to Overcome Image Insecurity

I Worship My Pain

An Open Letter to Good Kids

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