[Guest Post by Rebekah Snyder – We tend to judge our bodies most during the holidays. It’s supposed to be a time to celebrate with family and friends, so why are we so quick to judge ourselves and weigh ourselves? Maybe it’s because we eat too much. Maybe it’s because we can’t help but enjoy those Christmas cookies or Thanksgiving turkey. No matter what happens this holiday season, I hope you are able to stay focused on how to love your body. No matter your body type. Because your body is good! Right, Rebekah?]
Please don’t judge me for my skinny body.
“Oh my gosh, Rebekah, you are sooo skinny!”She said it like it was a compliment. As if she had called me cute or gorgeous or some other word that could lift a wounded spirit or brighten a woman’s day. But no, she called me “skinny,” which isn’t a compliment at all. On the contrary, my dictionary describes skinny as,
“lacking sufficient flesh; very thin; emaciated; lacking usual or desirable bulk, quantity, qualities or significance.”
And you wonder why I felt insulted.Even though I knew it was meant to be a compliment—even though there were girls who would love to have my figure—when I heard the word “skinny,” I considered the definition. Undesirable. Lacking significance.
So I taught myself not to care about my appearance.I didn’t wear make-up and, somehow, I managed to convince myself that the reason I didn’t spend time in front of the mirror was because I was secure. But looking back, I have to wonder if it didn’t have at least something to do with all the comments about my figure. Maybe I was avoiding looking at myself because I would have to be reminded…
I was small—too small—and, curse my metabolism, there was nothing I could do about it.I was helpless to stop the (teasing) rumors that I was probably anorexic. I had no way of disproving the comment that,
“there are sticks with more shape than me.”
And if I had a dollar for every time someone told me I could blow away in a windstorm…I could probably stock up on comfort food for a year. It still wouldn’t add an inch to my waistline. I’m not sure how it happened that I related the familiar creation story of Genesis to the girl in the mirror, but the words hit me one day as I caught a glimpse of my reflection.
“And God saw that it was good.”Me. My face. My body. My skinny, little self.
Good. My skinny body was good. Not just good enough. Not merely passable, but good.I considered this impossibility for a moment before I heard a Voice in my spirit ask,
“Who are you to judge My artwork? Who are you to define what beautiful is? Who are you to say that any one flower is less perfect than the next? That any one human is prettier than another?”And I realized that every time I looked in the mirror and decided that what I saw wasn’t good enough, it wasn’t a reflection on me; it was a reflection on Him—the Master Artist.
He formed my every feature.From the excess skin under my eyes that would identify me as my dad’s daughter to the slight webbing of my toes that proves I’m related to my mom. He’s the one who shaped my figure, making it smaller than most.
I’m the handiwork of an extremely talented Artist who shapes the world in a variety of ways because He knows that life would be so boring if every single person was the same.With that in mind, I can finally look in the mirror and say that I like—genuinely like—what I see. Because God didn’t make me “skinny.” I’m exactly what He planned and desired for me to be. The simple fact that God spoke me into being proves that I have great significance. And no matter what else may be said about me, that’s what I choose to believe.
Rebekah Snyder finally hit a hundred pounds at the age of sixteen. It was perhaps one of her finest moments. Well, that and the day her fist book, Beyond Waiting, actually got published. She spends her days herding preschoolers and pouring her heart into various writing venues. You can read more of her words at www.beyondwaiting.com.[Photo: Black Glenn, Creative Commons]