Seeing ourselves as God sees us can improve our “body image resilience” in an objectifying world.
We’ve all been there. We’ve all looked in the mirror and found things we disliked about our bodies, be it our height, weight, hair, glasses, braces, or acne. We’ve wondered why our appearance isn’t as polished as the images of those we follow online or see in magazines and movies. Even if we know about the professional trainers, stylists, and photo editors who create the illusion of perfection, mainstream media can still damage our views of ourselves and prevent us from finding joy in life.
For Lexie Kite, PhD, and Lindsay Kite, PhD, twin sisters who grew up swimming competitively, their displeasure with how they looked in their swimsuits eventually caused them to quit the sport they loved. In their article “More Than a Body: Seeing as God Sees,” the sisters explain how their distorted body image improved after years of struggling. They write, “It wasn’t dieting or makeovers that did the trick—it was learning how our skewed views of our bodies had held us back in every way.”
The Kite sisters identify the root of negative body image as the idea “that our bodies are the most important things about us and that we need to ‘fix our flaws’ in order to be happy.” This skewed mindset often leads to unhealthy behaviors such as eating disorders and self-harm, as well as missed opportunities in school, sports, and relationships.
There are numerous strategies we can follow to uproot our negative body image, but they all come down to “seeing ourselves as God sees us: as children of our Heavenly Parents with inherent, unchangeable value.” It is through God’s “loving lens”—not the world’s—that we can look beyond our physical appearances to see who we really are and develop “body image resilience.”
Read “More Than a Body: Seeing as God Sees” for more about Lexie and Lindsay Kite’s experience with body image and their “4 Tips to Clean Your Lens.”
Source: New Era
—Sarah Riley, Latter-day Saint Insights
FEATURE IMAGE BY LAURENZ KLEINHEIDER
Find more insights
Read three young adults’ experiences with eating disorders and how they learned to see their bodies as gifts from God in the article “I Thank Thee for This Body” by Starla Awerkamp Butler.