Hi friends and welcome to the Arise, Beloved blog. We have an amazing team of writers behind this blog and our desire is to speak truth into the lies that cripple us and shine light into the darkness that isolates us because we believe that now, more than ever, the Church desperately needs women to be restored so that the world can be set ablaze. Our hope is that you find comfort, solace, and peace in knowing that you are not alone, you are not too far gone and there is ALWAYS hope to be found.
|| Megan Byers ||
There is a product that shows up on my social media platforms as sponsored advertising way too often. I’m not endorsing this product, so I won’t give out the name, but it’s a clothing company that appeals to curvy women. They claim to have the perfect fix for mothers who haven’t lost baby weight and women that are self-conscious about their belly fat.
I’m curvy. I would like to lose some weight, but I still have a belly. I don’t know how this company knows that, it’s weird and unsettling that these ads find me when I fit the description of their target customer.
The ads show women putting on tight dresses and skinny jeans and getting frustrated when their jeans didn’t zip or when their “imperfections” were accentuated in their reflections. With the help of this transformative article of clothing, all of their troubles were gone.
While watching an ad, I thought that if I purchased the product, I would finally have the confidence to wear tighter clothes. So I clicked on the link and browsed the website. I almost bought one of their products – high waisted underwear for any outfit that holds everything in, so people don’t know about your excess weight – but I didn’t. Honestly, I decided against it because I didn’t want to spend money, not because I didn’t want what they were selling.
Freedom from my insecurities. Or at least an ability to conceal my insecurities. That’s what they were selling me.
I don’t fit into my clothes perfectly. I have rolls, but I don’t wear tight, body-conforming clothing. I like flowy, loose-fitting shirts and dresses. My confidence does not dictate my choice to wear loose clothes. I choose to dress modestly, not because I lack confidence, but out of respect for myself and others.
The ad was feeding on an insecurity of mine, but I had to scroll past their videos on numerous occasions before it hit me. The next time I saw one of their ads, I noticed my irritation with the hidden message in their marketing.
“You aren’t beautiful.”
I am devastated that this company profits from women’s insecurities.
I am furious that after years of working on shifting my mindset from wanting to look thin to being healthy, an advertisement only needs 15 seconds to squash any progress I have made. The part of me that still thinks I need to lose weight to be beautiful instantly bought into their marketing tactic.
I don’t need to lose weight or be thin to be beautiful, but it sure does feel like that sometimes.
Twice within one week I had two people ask me if I had lost weight. Not going to lie, that question made me feel good. Instant confidence boost. I wanted to strut down a runway while “Vogue” played in the background. My response both times was, “I’m trying!!!!!!”
I’m not actively trying to lose weight, though. I’m not on a diet, I’m not a member of a gym or cycle studio. I have just altered a few things about my lifestyle that have brought about positive consequences.
Can I let you in on a secret? Every time I step on a scale, the number is the same. I haven’t seen a significant drop in weight in a while, but I feel healthier. I am more active, there isn’t as much skin hanging from my arms, and on a really good day you can’t see my double chin.
But I love chocolate. The amount of sweets I have consumed since the beginning of quarantine is a little embarrassing. I finally gave up soda, but now I resort to drinking sweet tea and iced coffee. Don’t worry, I drink water. I exercise. I limit how many treats I eat now, but I’m human and I fail sometimes.
With it being summertime, the pressure to be thin is more present now than at any other time of the year. Of course, with a second wave of the Coronavirus and reinforced social distancing, maybe a beach-bod isn’t everyone’s top priority… Thank goodness.
I want to feel good in my skin, not by buying products that will hide it from the untrained eye. Not by becoming obsessed with a goal weight. Not by showing off any transformation in tighter clothes. I want to feel good because I am making decisions that are good for my health.
Ladies, I am here to remind you that your worth is not determined by a number on a scale. Your worth is not determined by how many rolls appear when you sit down. Your worth is not found in a product that “eliminates” body fat. Your worth comes from God who at your creation, looked at you, and proclaimed you “very good.”
It feels silly to write these things out. It feels silly to admit that I struggle with conforming to the societal norm for beauty. It feels silly to remind you that you are worthy and good and beautiful, but every once in a while, a reminder is helpful.
You are beautiful. You are worthy. You are good.
I hope you find comfort and reassurance and maybe even encouragement in these words.