Tuesday, July 9, 2013

With or Without Men

I remember once, when I was a young teenager, in a magazine I found a cartoon drawing of a morbidly obese woman with the caption,

Without men there would be no reason to stop eating. Ever.

I laughed and showed it to my mother, expecting a giggle of agreement out of her as well. Instead, she frowned, shook her head, and said that she disagreed, that even if men didn't exist, she would still want to take care of herself and look her best.

My mother will probably say she doesn't remember saying that, but I remember. At the time, I thought she didn't get the joke, but now I value her wisdom.

The worship of thinness and physical beauty (or any other trait) for the sole purpose of earning a man's attention is a path to discontent and emptiness. At the very least, let us honor our bodies and take care of them for our own health and wellbeing. Instead, scores of women go to unhealthy lengths in hopes of being desirable to men. And if men didn't exist? According to the cartoon, we would continue to go to unhealthy lengths, but this time in the opposite extreme.

I know the cartoon was meant to be funny, but even in our humor, we can impart values. And even though it was printed decades ago in a pointless women's magazine, the memory of it makes me sad, because I am afraid it is the truth for way too many women in our culture.

My prayer is to see women who are truly happy in who God created them to be and in what God created them to look like. Girls and women who are seeking health and wholeness, not in pursuit of a man, but in pursuit of life to the fullest. A man worth winning will be drawn to that!

No comments: