MARIA MAGDELEINA

writer, podcaster, child of God

Lately, I’ve been comparing my Instagram feed to popular influencers’ accounts. These people all have the perfect pictures and thousands, even millions, of followers and likes. I wondered why, or how come? I therefore started analyzing these feeds and noticed that the majority had one thing in common: in every picture, you see a sexy person, showing a bit/too much skin. You always see a body and a pretty face. They might want to show the Eiffel tower, a nice beach, or a nice city view, but in the end, you only see them in the foreground. Don’t get me wrong: I love their pictures so much, but it’s come to the point where I hate my art, and try to change myself, just so I can attract people to my writing. In consequence, it makes me a depressive and irritating person. Even my mom’s fed up of hearing me talk about this ridiculous “issue” of mine.

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Hating my art also led to me to disliking my looks and my body and all.

You see, body image has never been an issue for me to be honest, even when it has become a big thing online. I never thought of myself as too fat, or too skinny. I did think for a couple of years, when I was in primary school, that I had an ugly face, which I hated for a long while. I didn’t like my curly hair as well, neither the colour of my skin. I wanted to be white and have straight hair, probably like Avril Lavigne in 2002.

As for body image, I feel like I started doubting in myself when I started university. This is when I was more and more active on social media and met more and more people, and all I’d hear and read were conversations about body image: either people talking about being healthy, working out, or people shaming others’ weight, and pointing at mine. The moment people started telling me things like: “You’re too skinny,” or “I wish I can be thin like you,” or “Please be a little fatter, you’d look hotter” is the moment fear struck into my life. I was indeed scared of gaining weight. I had just accepted my face and my hair and my skin, and loved them all so much. I didn’t want to go through a fourth insecurity. I unfortunately kind of did.

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Last year, someone told me I should probably put sexy pics of myself on Instagram. This way, people would more likely buy my books. That shocked me. I don’t sell my body. I never did. If I post pictures of me, it’s either because I promote the brands of the clothes I wear – because I genuinely love them – or just because I love myself. Not because I want more followers or likes. I would have had that long ago if I had chosen that path.

Now, what do I think of girls/women showing skin? Nothing, it’s none of my business. I don’t know them, neither their purpose, nor what’s really behind their thoughts when they post sexy pictures of themselves. But I do know there’s a heart and soul inside that body and I’m not entitled to judge. I’m training myself and doing the best I can to see God in every single girl/woman. I also believe that a woman’s clothes don’t define her personality, values, or actions. However, we can’t hide the fact that the industries of art and entertainment use sex to make money, and that society plays a big role in this (blame it on superficiality, materialism, and ignorance). Note that the fashion industry is an exception, although still debatable, but not in this current article.

By the way, men post so many sexy pictures, and we act like it’s ok. Maybe they do it less than before, but that’s because we have decided that the woman’s body brings more money and is more attractive than a man’s. The media prove this fact daily. I think the boldest thing my dad ever told me was that society is pretty messed up to think that guys can walk around topless during summer. It’s not because they don’t have the same type of breasts as women that they can flaunt their sexiness like that. If women can’t, men shouldn’t as well.

Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 New King James Version (NKJV)

Why do I cover myself, you ask? It’s a personally spiritual choice. I want to be and am different. I see myself in all the women I admire, follow, encounter, meet, etc. We all have so many things in common. Nonetheless, I don’t want to be remembered for having nice breasts and a cute face. I know I have a great body and I know I’m beautiful and if I stop comparing myself, I do I love myself. I don’t need to prove that self-love to anyone, but I like to show it once in a while to inspire others to love themselves as well. I want to be remembered for my words, my writings, and my books. I have so much to say, so much that my body can’t speak for me. Only a good vocabulary, some lyrics and emojis can, but not my body.

Moreover, I don’t want to fall for the idea that my body belongs to me, and that I can do whatever to it. My body is only the temple of my soul. That is the reason why I have a body in the first place. The body and the soul are inter-connected. Showing skin to me hurts my soul in a way. I don’t want to lose my inner child, and I don’t want my thoughts to deviate from Christ’s. But that’s me.

Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are. 1 Corinthians 3:16-17 New King James Version (NKJV)

Reflection Time

If you’re reading this and are feeling pressured to post your best, most beautiful, sexy picture because others do, or for whatever reason, remember that NO ONE has a perfect life, or a perfect body. Some Instagram influencers, who have the nicest pictures, have repeatedly explained to their followers that the pictures they post do not reflect their lives. They are content creators. They consequently work hard and take time to create the pictures they take, yet their lives aren’t as neat, cute, and perfect as they show it. They make art and share their perspective. Perfect lives and perfect bodies don’t exist since every single human being is different. We weren’t created to follow a certain type of “communist” beauty, if I can put it this way. God would have fashioned us otherwise if that were the case.

Before posting a picture of, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Why are you posting it?
  • Will it make a difference?
  • Is it inspiring?
  • Are you posting it for the likes?
  • And if Jesus Christ was (physically) standing next to you, what would you tell Him or what do you think He’d tell you?

Verses on Body Image

1 Timothy 2:9-10

1 Peter 3:3-4

Philippians 4:8

Romans 12:2

Proverbs 20:29

1 Samuel 16:7

Ezekiel 28:17

Psalm 139:14

Ephesians 2:10

Proverbs 31:30

1 Corinthians 10:31

Romans 12:1

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