“We don’t shame flowers for being too BIG or too little, too short or too tall, too pink or too red, we just embrace them for their unique beauty…why don’t we start doing that with ourselves?”
I stumbled across this quote a few weeks ago and had an AHA! moment. How often do I judge my body, its size and shape, comparing it to others and to what I perceive to be the ‘ideal’? My husband and I went for a stroll earlier this week and we stopped periodically to examine various flowers that were beginning to bloom. Not once did I make a moral judgement of the flower based on its size or shape. I didn’t compare one to another, exclaiming that the gorgeous camellia down the road should look more like the hibiscus in my backyard. There was no expectation for the bougainvillea to grow more like the snapdragon. I would never tell the sunflower that it was too large and took up too much space and should in fact be closer to the size of a forget-me-not. No, that’s seemed sooo silly! I appreciated each flower and tree for its unique beauty, colour, size, and features. Yet why is it ok for me to expect homogeneity when it comes to the human body? When did there become an ‘ideal template’ from which all other body shapes and sizes are compared? Why do I attach moral judgement or significance to diversity of the human body?
This quote has actually turned out to be an ongoing AHA! moment, as each time I contemplate it, I appreciate the statements simplicity yet acknowledge its profound applications. I created the image below and saved it to my desktop background and phone as a constant reminder of its message. Whether I am a pear, apple, hourglass, inverted triangle, or one of a thousand other variations of body shape, I am beautiful and unique. There is no template or archetype for which I need to aspire to. My beauty is found in being me…in my fullness, gloriousness, splendour and uniqueness of how and who I was created to be. Psalm 139:13-14 says: “You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvellous—how well I know it”. The quote also reminds me of another passage in the Bible that says: “Has anyone by fussing in front of the mirror ever gotten taller by so much as an inch? All this time and money wasted on fashion… walk out into the fields and look at the wildflowers. They never primp or shop, but have you ever seen colour and design quite like it?…“If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you?” (Matthew 6:27-30).
Today, I’m going to give it a go…every time a critical or judgemental thought about my body comes into my mind, I’m going to think of the flowers, I’m going to tell myself that I am unique, beautiful and not created to be a die-cut …I’m one-of-a-kind and I’m going to appreciate my body for how it looks RIGHT NOW…not waiting until I’m a certain size or shape, til I’ve gained or lost weight, til I’ve toned or just gotten a little bit closer to some ridiculous meaningless goal. I’m going to love me NOW. Come join me and Love your Body …appreciate it as we appreciate the flowers =D.