I used to hate my body. I hated my curves. I hated my short waist. I hated how I had little eye-wrinkles from smiling too much and folds in my belly when I sat down. I hated my kinky curls, my too-big feet, my bitten-down cuticles that I couldn’t stop picking.
Every morning was a ritual—time spent in front of the mirror noticing, searching for imperfections so I could count them in a laundry list in my head—all the ways I didn’t measure up. I would watch movies and flip through magazines, admiring smooth skin and perfect hair. I knew those images were Photoshopped, but I couldn’t help but feel inadequate. I had it stuck in my head that those people, those pictures, that perfection was real somehow, and I was just not measuring up.
And for a long time I based my self-worth, my self-confidence, my self-love on what I didn’t have instead of what I did, on what was flawed rather than real.
For the longest time I saw myself in comparison to an unrealistic, unobtainable ideal instead of how God saw me.
But then I read what He said about His creation. I started looking for attributes I liked in myself, rather than hated. I focused on what I could change rather than what I was ‘stuck’ with. And I began to shape my body, learn my body, and love my body, bit by bit.
God made us in His image, in His likeness, from His hand. This means that we are designed exactly the way we are—imperfections and all.
We were never created to be God, to embody perfection in human form. We were never supposed have spotless skin, to have ‘model-esque’ bodies with long legs and proportionate limbs. We were never meant to have wrinkle-free, scar-free, blemish-free bodies.
We were meant to be human and imperfect and messy.
We were meant to be His creation—His flawed, beautiful creation.
“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”
— Psalm 139:14
See, we were created by God to be as we are. To be imperfect. To be short, or chubby, or curvy, or slim, or strong, or tall, or brown-eyed, or blonde-haired, or however we were born. We spend so much time looking around us at other people, at images, at the media, at people with bodies that seem ‘better’ or ‘more perfect’ than ours. But no two people are alike.
And we were not meant to compare ourselves to others; we were meant to shine in the ways our Lord created us to shine.
So maybe you’re like me, who used to spend hours in front of the mirror nit-picking every imperfection. Maybe you’re haunted by scars of your past and have let them shape the way you see yourself. Maybe you’ve gone through something that’s affected your body image. Maybe you can’t even look in the mirror because you hate what you see.
I want you to know that’s not the way God sees you.
When God looks at you, he doesn’t see the scar above your eyebrow, the thickness of your legs, the roll of skin along your belly, the wrinkles in your forehead. He doesn’t see the pimples on your chin, the birthmark on your arm, the too-short nails or the hairy legs.
He doesn’t see the ways you are imperfect, because in His eyes, you are everything He loves and everything He created you to be.
You were made in His image. Every hair on your head was placed there with purpose. Every line and blemish and mark and curve a part of your uniqueness, something that makes you you.
So please, when you look at your reflection don’t be so quick to notice your hairline, your skin, your crooked smile. Instead, see yourself the way God sees you—His beautiful creation, His child.
And day by day, piece by piece, learn to love your body, yourself.
Because you are fearfully and wonderfully made.