What lies about ourselves and our identity do we believe, and what truths does God want us to know? God does not believe in shame for us, but love. Maybe you are reading this and thinking the opposite, or experiencing some very strong emotions one way or the other. Either way, however you are feeling is completely fine. Not that I have to tell you that! In case I haven’t said this before, this is a safe space to have your own thoughts and opinions, and I respect you and would love to hear from you offline if you like.
I used to beg God to be taller and skinnier so I could book high level modeling jobs in print and runway. The more I tried to change myself the less it worked. I told myself many lies about my self worth about what my body should be to be desirable and valued. Maybe I could trick my body into cooperating, I thought. I started doing crazy things. More on that in a separate post. I began believing lies about who I was, much to Satan’s delight, and veered into a dangerous direction of destruction. I was miserable, and lonely. If I’m being honest with myself, I wonder if I kept myself hostage in torment because being brave meant breaking those chains that held me back. But it’s impossible to break your own chains. Unless you’re maybe Batman or Lois Lane, and alas, I am not.
One of the most memorable healing experiences for me was eating lunch with new friends my first week of high school. I know, right! High school. Let me tell you, I was so worried about not having any friends or anyone to sit at lunch because we just moved to a new state days before it began. I was such a mess, my eye started twitching and I was convinced I would be an outcast forever. I couldn’t understand the obsession with grits or sweet tea, and how would I figure out what style adidas shoes were acceptable here? Welcome to my 14 year old brain. Not to mention, the humidity was on a new level my hair could have become it’s own leading role in a scary movie. Some things don’t change. But back to high school. On the first day, fortunately, some of my neighbors and I all missed the bus. Even more fortunately, of their moms gave us a ride, a friendship was born, and now we all had people to sit with at lunch. I always felt anxious eating around new people. I still have trouble multitasking eating and talking, but now that’s because I am so into both. I used to have this weird habit of ripping my food apart before eating it. However at lunch that day, no one commented on my weird eating habits. No one pointed out the contents of my lunch or that my bagel was ripped to shreds. Instead we probably talked about cute boys and how annoying third period was and why does the cafeteria smell like death. We literally just ate and talked together. Eating in community was one of the most healing things I have ever experienced. The second happened years later, eating in a community where we prayed and I learned God created food to nourish us and that it was designed to be a good thing, not bad. What a way to live.
This is not a post to shame models or sizes…or tea preferences… of any kind. If you’re a 5′ 10″ model for Oscar de la Renta, work it! Own it. Love it. This is a post on how dangerous shame is, an insight of my own experiences in that, and how powerful and beautiful we are in our own identity, and exploring who God and more on his character.
One of my lifelong goals is to inspire change in the fashion world and modeling industry to become more body positive of the hot bod you’re in, not an unique look only intended for a minority. I read that only one in every ten thousand people are naturally the height and weight of runway models.
I know I got a little lengthy on that middle paragraph about the perils of hs, so thank you for bearing with me. This post was inspired by Humans of New York’s post today starting with “I call them clobber verses”. Thank you for sharing, and go follow them if you don’t already!
*Psalm 139:14 “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made”
Photo cred from Jason Bone Photography.