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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

I'm NOT a Hanger!

Recently, I saw a picture depicting the different types of body. The first one was labeled "normal" and had non-touching legs, flat tummy, and small chest. The next one was "chubby" and depicted a not-so-flat middle, touching legs, and a larger chest. It went on and on until the person was unhumanly large. The entire post made me quite upset, naturally.

To label something normal means there has to be a norm to begin with. We would say that it is normal for someone to have all the appropriate body parts. We would consider it abnormal if someone was born without arms or legs (but we love them nonetheless). We consider it abnormal for a parent to hate their child, because parents love their children. To say that a certain body type is normal shows a narrow-minded view of the diversity of the world. It is no less insulting to say that a certain skin color is normal and all others are abnormal and should be changed. Why should we give a pass to someone who thinks everyone should be skinny?

I have come to the conclusion that the reason they use skinny models is because they are not powerful enough to take on the clothing they wear. I saw a plus size swimsuit model recently who was so beautiful that I didn't notice her swimsuit at all. I could only focus on how radiant she was. She oozed confidence! The swimsuit didn't own her, she owned the swimsuit! It was no longer about the clothing, it was about the person. On the show "Ugly Betty" one of the main characters said "Designers only want to put their clothes on skinny hangers" and it is true. Nobody noticed the hanger, they notice the clothing. I don't want to be a hanger!

Today, I was talking to my students about the importance of being happy with who you are. I told them that there is no such thing as a normal body because God made us all different. I also shared a truth that was told to me by one of the wisest men I have known: the late Preacher Burdette, the pastor who started the church I attend. When I was coming into my teen years, I tried so hard to fit in. He noticed this and said to me "When you try to change yourself or cover up who you really are, it's like you're telling God 'Thanks but I don't like what you'e created'. So be happy with yourself." Even though it was forever ago, that advice remains with me, and I was happy to pass wisdom on to my students.

Now, I make a vow. I will be happy with myself and who God created me to be. Thick, thin, tall, or short, I am just who God wants me to be and I will be thankful that He created me that way.

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