Body image is one of the biggest epidemics in America’s youth today. As a 20-year-old in this culture, I grew up striving to be the tiniest and prettiest in a society fueled by unspoken competition. If it’s been said once, it’s been said a million times, social media is destructive! And we all know that, but does that stop us from making ourselves look more perfect than our followers on it? Of course not.
There is one specific time of the year that everyone’s body image alert is on high… spring break. Being in college is hard enough as it is to get an education, enough sleep, healthy food, workout, and find time to be social through it all. Let alone trying to “diet” the weeks leading up to spring break. These “diets” we constantly talk about consume our every waking thought. What am I going to eat that only has a few calories but will keep me full, so I only have to eat one full meal today? Breakfast can’t really be that important. Maybe if I stop eating sugar for the next three weeks, I’ll look better.
We are taught that if we lose those last few pounds or tone up our stomachs just a little bit more, we will be content with ourselves. But, deep down we know that we will never be happy with how we look when we are only doing it to impress others. The thing is that we weren’t put on this earth to impress each other. We are here to please God, and when we try to please each other, we put humans above God.
Every single day, I hear at least one comment about how someone is working out more or not eating carbs solely to get their “spring break body” ready. Our generation has normalized the idea that overworking and starving ourselves is okay. We have normalized editing ourselves to look how society tells us to. These things we are brushing off as normal are not healthy. We shouldn’t be allowing likes on bikini pictures determine how we feel about ourselves. We shouldn’t be “sucking in” to attract some random guy on the beach. We should feel good about ourselves without the approving comments or stares of others.
We have become a culture obsessed with the way we present ourselves. We must always be the most put together, with the best Instagram, and the flattest stomachs in order to be happy with ourselves. This is no wonder why we are constantly stressed out about how we look. We are obsessed with making sure everyone likes how we look, but never take the time to think, does it really matter? Is the guy who you have been flirting with on the beach really that important to you? Do the likes that you are going to get on that post matter enough for you to starve yourself for weeks on end?
I hate that we have been brainwashed into thinking the body God gave us isn’t good enough. This world has convinced us we will never be good enough, yet we keep trying. But the good thing is that in the long run, the thoughts and beliefs of this world really don’t matter. God created us in his image, therefore when we insult ourselves and point out flaws we have, we are really insulting God and his creation. The thing is though, everything that God created was good, therefore how can any part of us really be bad? How can we look at ourselves and hate something so beautiful?
I admit, there are parts of myself that I wished were a little more toned or smaller, but I always have to go back to the words that God spoke about us. We are fearfully and wonderfully made according to Psalm 139:14. We have been created perfect in the eyes of the Lord, and that is honestly all that truly matters. Not the boy on the beach or your Instagram followers, those are things which are so trivial.
So, to the girl who is spring break body obsessed as hard as it is, let the image of the perfect you go. Stop sitting around and comparing yourself to the girl who is two dress sizes smaller than you. You are exactly how you were made to be. You are perfect just as you are. Please let that sink in, because I need to hear it too. Starving yourself for a few days for a beach trip isn’t worth it, and you know that. Let’s put an end to normalizing these ideas. Let’s instead begin to normalize exactly how we look and show the world that we love ourselves just as we are. Spring break 2020, you have nothing on us.