Spiritual Body Envy…

I am writing over at The Glorious Table today! It’s not often I get to write about the design of our bodies and our design in the Body. Enjoy! Anne

Body Image

Several years ago, I put together one of the most involved outreach projects I’ve ever done. The exceptional people over at Greatist had written an amazing article documenting the changes to the ideal body image of women over the past hundred years. They graciously gave me permission to use the images from their article to put together a life-sized display of the ideal body image from each decade. One overhead projector and more than a few pieces of refrigerator-sized cardboard later, I had a staggering visual image of how we’ve valued certain aspects of a woman’s physique more than others over time.

It was impressive to see how the curves and corsets of the 1910s gave way to the petite flappers of the 1920s. The hourglass women of the 1950s stood in stark contrast to the thin and delicate ideal of Twiggy in the 1960s. And the exceptionally tall and slender supermodels of the 1980s slowly morphed back toward a curvier and/or more muscular frame in later years. No matter when you lived, the ideal kept shifting, and inevitably, discontentment came with it.

It’s hard to be okay with who you are when who you think you’re supposed to be keeps changing. It’s also easy to envy women who have the body currently in vogue: If only I had her hips.

It can also be easy to slip into spiritual “body envy.” Long before mainstream media began its commentary on the physical body, God addressed this tendency head-on. In 1 Corinthians 12­­, he reveals the variety of gifts and purposes he created in the body of Christ. An entire chapter on this one subject? It seems he knew we might need some guidance.

To read the entire post go to The Glorious Table here.

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