Souless Perfection: Girls Who Hate Their Bodies
This is a very interesting article from the Christian Science Monitor. I think it is well worth the read because it has to hit home to us, whether we are a woman or a man in youth ministry.
For us women, we know all to well the struggle it is to love ourselves. In fact, I think we never get out of it because within youth ministry we get to stay young and try to look "cool". What is cool? Thin is in. God love Queen Latifah and Mo'nique and yes, even Camryn Manheim who want to make it cool to be big. But in reality?
Thin. Is. In.
...In essence, they are crying out to our godless culture, showing us just how damaged a child can be who is thrown to the wolves of advertising and amoral media without any spiritual armor.
I'm not calling for a return to conservative religion or restricting dogma. I'm envisioning an inspired movement toward community where girls are nourished with dinner-table conversations about the values of kindness and charity; where girls undergoing puberty are encouraged to embrace the miraculous, complex, and perfectly imperfect bodies they possess; and where girls can find inspiration – not condemnation – in religious texts.
Men, this affects you to. You are the model to other young men of how you treat women. It is not just the pretty ones who should get attention. I'm not saying that it is your role to be a part of a young women's healing, but you can take notice of their hurt and find good, solid women to be role models.
I cannot say that I am above the lies quite yet. I can't say I think I'm "attractive enough" which then makes me think I'm not Good Enough. But I do recognize the lie, which is more than most teenage girls can do. I struggle with the lie and I've been honest with some of the girls I've been closer to about it.
I'm with this writer: There is more damage than we know when we decided taking God out of society was a good idea.