I read recently that in Canada, a survey of parents found that 1 in 10 would abort a child if they knew it had a genetic tendency to be fat. I also read in the same article that young girls have indicated in surveys that they are more afraid of becoming fat than they are of cancer, nuclear war or losing their parents.
Do you find these statistics as shocking and appalling as I do? Why are we as a society so scared of fat? Who has drilled this into us – and why have we believed that it’s such a bad thing? I’d like to propose an idea – that we aren’t scared of fat as such, we’re scared of the consequences of fat.
We’re scared of:
- ill-health (not that weight is the best indicator of health)
- what others think of us
These things are deeply engrained into us – we highly value our image and our reputation; our pride and self-worth. And for someone to send it all crashing down is unbearable to us.
The statistics I mentioned above are wrong – a distortion of how infinitely valuable we are – regardless of weight, shape, appearance.
Psalm 139:14-15 says:
13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
The fact that Someone has created us as we are to be who we are should have a profound impact on the way in which we speak and act. If we find our self-worth in the One who has created us, then why should anything else hold any relevance? And if we claim to be in Christ, then worldly issues such as a focus on our outward appearance should not affect us. It doesn’t mean it won’t. But it means that we are worth more than that.
I am, and so are you. Stop looking in the mirror and start praising God for creating you as He did – blameless, lovely and holy in His sight.