Recently, I met with young women, ranging in ages from 11-18. More insightful than anything I shared with them about the steady growth of negative body image in today’s culture were the responses they shared with me. Specifically, their response to one question keeps coming to mind.
In two different breakout sessions, I asked, “What words have you heard that negatively describe a girl’s body?” and these were the first two responses. In both groups.
In that order.
Now, those answers didn’t come immediately after I asked the question. In fact, I waited a long quiet minute before anyone spoke up. In both sessions, the group of chatty girls were initially silent after hearing the question. No one wanted to speak the words that they had either said about someone else or had heard about themselves.
And these two words, spoken aloud, fat and ugly, opened the floodgates of discussion concerning negative body image talk. How hurtful it is. How deceiving it is. How destructive it can be, if believed.
If our young people wake up in the morning thinking they are fat or ugly, if they go to the restroom and see fat or ugly as they glance at the mirror before walking out the door, if they believe they are fat or ugly as they brace themselves to stand in the ever-changing opinions of their peers, if they believe they are fat or ugly as they return home and sink into their beds for some much needed reprieve, then they live overwhelmed by lies.
From the moment they wake up until they close the day with some shut eye, our precious young people need to hear the truth from us. The twinkle in their eyes and the smiles on their faces are beautiful. The growing statures of their bodies are strong and can serve in life-changing ways. These growing people need to hear that their bodies are good. [Read more…] about Two Words that Tear Down Our Kids (That Aren’t Even True)