Saturday, September 14, 2013

the obsession floating on pinterest

I'm not ashamed to say that I spend quite a bit of time on Pinterest. You know... the sight full of recipes I'll never make, pictures of the dream kitchen I'll never have, DIY crafts that I'll never do, inspiring words I can't get enough of. I honestly can't get enough of Pinterest.

With this obsession with Pinterest I have to watch myself. It's so easy to get caught up in feeling like I have to make everything from scratch, craft away, decorate beautifully, dress perfectly,  exercise constantly, and just in general... be perfect.

But I'm beginning to notice another warning zone on this ever so popular social media site. The quarter dressed women. (I say quarter dressed because they are QUITE less than half dressed.)

As I scroll down the page I continually see pictures of women in their undies and bras and bikinis~ and gals are pinning these pictures linked to weight loss and fitness articles to their "Inspiration" boards. The idea behind it is~ look at how wonderful her body is... I can get there too if I keep trying hard. Or it might be in reference to the weight someone has lost. Either way these girls are dressed in next to nothing and I have to be honest- I don't want to see it.

Something I find interesting is that I can't imagine some of these women I know posting such pictures on their facebook pages. For some reason, because Pinterest has mostly women reading it, that makes it OK. This brings us to another topic. Is it OK to wear  revealing clothing when we are only around girls? I have to say, "no".

"... whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God." ~ 1 Corinthians 10:31

This includes dressing ourselves. When women dress immodestly they are dressing to glorify their body. Even (or I would venture to say especially) around other women. Why does another women need to see your perfectly flat stomach or your plump bosom? So that she might think you have a great bod? So she might think, "Oh wow! That girl is in shape!".  That doesn't glorify God. Being obsessed with our body doesn't glorify God. I'm not talking about the desire to be healthy and feel better- that is important. God wants us to treat our bodies as a temple, nurturing it and taking care of it. But this obsession we can have with our bodies, is, I fear, from the enemy. To God be the glory- not our bodies.

Now, back to the Pinterest pictures. Posting all of these pictures feeds into our obsession with our bodies and our visual appearance. It can have a huge impact on our personal security. I'm reminded of something Beth Moore wrote in her book, "So Long Insecurity".

"My generation is the first in all of history to grow up in a media driven society. What we’re dealing with is unprecedented; we cannot look to the generations before us to see how to handle it. We are drowning in uncharted waters, and it’s time we learned to swim. Most of our great-great-grandmothers had access to compare themselves to a few hundred women in a lifetime. We can now throw ourselves up against tens of thousands if we’re willing… We’d better step it up if we want to compete, and if we don’t, we might as well have the word loser inked on our foreheads.
In a telling article in Psychology Today, studies show that “women who are surrounded by other attractive women, whether in the flesh, in films, or in photographs, rate themselves as less satisfied with their attractiveness – and less desirable as a marriage partner.” Since the mark of real security is the ability to be around anyone, regardless of how attractive or intelligent, and still maintain personal confidence and contentment, that study says a lot about our need for a change. The primary point for now, however, is that we no longer feel inferior to ten other women the way our great-grandmothers might have. We feel inferior to thousands, and as a result, we become less and less satisfied with ourselves until much of our lives are lived on the slippery slope of self-loathing. We honestly talk ourselves into believing that media princesses, whether on the page or the stage, are the norm and that we are the pathetic few in the entire universe who can’t keep up. We hang these near-perfect images like an enormous collage on the walls of our brains, making common experiences like acne, extra pounds, a flat chest, or large nose twice the benefactor of insecurity that they once were."

When we post picture after picture of women with bodies that we personally desire or admire we are adding to the images in our head telling us that we are not good enough. We are also putting this picture on display for our sisters to see- putting the image into their minds too. Also, when we dress to show off our bodies in ways that are not modest we are adding to those images. 

We should definitely feel accomplished when we loose that weight we've been wanting to loose or meet a new fitness goal. But there are ways to share these accomplishments in modesty. We can see many weight loss transformations when we wear our normal clothes. And it's not necessary to see your washboard abs to know you've gotten healthier. It's amazing how modesty goes out the window when we are talking about fitness! 

Now, it's easy for me to say this all.  I've got plenty of pounds to shed and I certainly am in no position to be wearing indecent clothing. But even if I was, I wouldn't want to! God calls me to bring HIM glory- not myself. And my relationship with God is much more important than my pride. And I don't want to fill my mind with images of other women's bodies either.

 It's time we stop obsessing with the "perfect" body and realize that we are made perfect and beautiful only through Christ. It's time we stop feeding our and our sister's insecurities and focus on being secure in our relationship with Christ. 

Yes- focus on making healthy improvements in your life if you need them. Do it for the right reasons though. Don't do it for your own personal pride. Our pride is in Christ- and Christ is perfect. Christ has made us perfect too. 

And please please stop posting at and looking at pictures of quarter dressed women!