A friend just asked me what I thought of girls who posted lots of selfies.
She showed me a picture of a young friend of hers, saying the gal had lost some weight and now, happier with the way she looked, she wanted to show the world her accomplishment… yet she was doing so on an increasingly frequent basis.
I told her, in that case I could understand it, because she was improving herself and it was improving her self-esteem.
I also told her there were other cases where I felt girls went way overboard, but I’ve learned to look at it from a different perspective after the night Miley Cyrus made “twerking” a household name.
The week after Miley’s infamous song and dance routine, a well-known feminist was asked what she thought of it. I don’t normally follow feminists, but I tuned in, expecting her to blast Miley’s actions.
But she didn’t.
Instead she said, “That’s the way the culture is. I think that we need to change the culture, not blame the people that are playing the only game that exists,”
only game that exists.
Instantly I was saddened by her words, not because they hurt me personally, but because they were so true.
I related this story to the woman asking me this question. Immediately she nodded in understanding.
I said, because of that, the girl she was asking about—the one who was beginning to post more and more selfies—was climbing into a dangerous arena where she’s setting herself up to forget the 998 “likes” she receives to focus on the two critiques that come her way. They may be given by a complete stranger. They may be given by a complete jerk.
But if she’s posting selfies for the approval of others, she can easily become enslaved to that approval… enslaved to the “likes.”
It reminded me of what I went through when facing my husband’s porn addiction.
One of the reactions after being betrayed is to begin focusing on our appearance. I did (with harmful results and healing results—but that’s a story for another time.)
Some of us focus obsessively on our appearance. I did for many months early in our healing.
The problem is this: when we do this we’re potentially climbing into that same arena I referred to earlier—where we allow others to dictate how we’ll feel about ourselves.
So this is what I tell women who struggle in this area:
-Our Christian marriage counselor told me, “Jay’s porn use took a gash out of your self-esteem. You, my sister, need to get comfortable with your looks again.” And that’s what you are allowed to do too!
-If you really struggle with this, do what you can (within reason) to do the same thing… get comfortable with your looks again.
But do it for yourself! Don’t do it for him.
You won’t be able to believe your husband likes the way you look until you like the way you look, so don’t enter the arena he’s in where he can knock you down this way. What I mean is: don’t judge your looks based on his definition of ‘acceptable.’
Become acceptable in your own eyes, on your own terms. Just don’t go overboard like I’d done.
Because then you won’t need to be approval of others. You’ll have approved of yourself already…
and you’ll feel God “Liking” you all over the place.