I watched a show the other day.
In the show, a stylist was trying to help an insecure bride-to-be choose a wedding dress. In other to achieve this, the stylist decided to give the bride-to-be a lecture on the different body shapes: the pear shape, the apple shape, the petite shape and the hourglass shape. The stylist helped the bride-to-be find her shape, and you know what he said next? “Now the goal is to get you a dress that will make your shape look like the hourglass shape.” The lady was excited, but I wasn’t as excited as the lady, and my reason is simple. The world has a standard body shape, and anyone that is not born that way, will have to do whatsoever it takes, or wear whatsoever it takes to fit into that standard shape. This is 2022, and if this bias is still this pronounced and prominent, then it might not change anytime soon. So, what happens to the teenage girl who doesn’t have the hourglass shape, yet sees this show? Even the celebrities and designers that claim to celebrate “thickness” still elevate the hourglass body shape above other body shapes.
Here is another story.
Recently, I stumbled upon a friend’s WhatsApp story. The story was a picture with a powerful message. It was a picture of four different women with different body sizes. The picture had a caption that reads, “If we all exercise the same and eat the same, we’ll still be different sizes.” For me, the caption was so captivating. So much so, I was compelled to ask the friend to send me the picture. I was that excited to share the message too. However, when I received the picture, I was down from the high excitement and I was able to examine the picture carefully. Yes, the women in the picture were different sizes, but again something was wrong. Even the chubbiest (this is me trying not to say “fat”) had the hourglass shape. Again, I wasn’t happy. I laughed on the inside, and my inside laughter brought a smile to my face. “Why are they all the same shape?” “This isn’t real.” I thought. All women don’t have the same body shape, and never will. Unless, we alter the body via surgery or we make dresses that will help hide or accentuate body parts. Interestingly, it is still impossible to achieve “same body shape for all women” with the later. It has to be the former—surgery.
Now, while I started with women and their bodies. This isn’t just about women’s body, their shapes and sizes.
My reservations are generally towards the many standards in the world that pressurize so many persons, especially Christians. What we do, how we do it, what is expected of us, what is expected from us, career, business, etc. it is just too much. Here is the sad part; most people don’t know how easily they are allowing what other people think affect their precious lives. Most people don’t know who they are. I mean they don’t believe that there’s something unique about them. They don’t know the peculiar sound of their own voices. All they are and do are the things popular culture says to be and do. If they were the three wise men, what is leading them isn’t a star positioned by the Creator of their lives. It is the lightning accompanying the thundering opinions and standards of the world.
Sadly, few persons make up these standards. Continents, nations and tribes weren’t given the choice and opportunity to vote for or against these standards. A small group felt, this is what should be done, and because they have the influence and resources….boom! Every other person falls in line. And again, I don’t think all of these will change anytime soon.
However, there is the God.
The God who created the world. When we go back to Him, we see that these standards aren’t from Him. Little wonder why He allowed Paul declare so boldly, “Do not be conformed to this world —this age, fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs. But be transformed (changed) by the entire renewal of your mind…” Romans 12:2 (AMPC). God knows that there are customs of the world that contradicts His purpose for humanity, and He strongly warns His children not to be conformed to the customs of the world. If you’re going to live the life God will have you live, then you have to focus on God’s Word and allow the Holy Spirit whisper truths to you, e v e r y d a y. If you don’t look unto Jesus, and keep looking unto Jesus, I dare to say, YOU CANNOT ESCAPE THE DECEPTION FROM THE WORLD. YOU CAN’T. The world is crazy and its craziness is super loud. If you don’t spend time with God’s Word and commune with God in prayers, you can’t miss the voice of the world. It is too loud to miss, and when you continue to hear the world. Soon, you’ll begin to echo its sounds. When you do, you’ll lose who you are, and when that happens, whosoever you become won’t be original.
Intelligence isn’t always God.
Yes, some intelligence come from the world. As a believer, it is wrong to think and believe that because man calls it beautiful, God calls it beautiful too. Any day I find the time to read contents on social media platforms, I always come across a supposed intelligent post that totally contradicts God’s word, yet it has so many positive reviews, even from Christians.
You should know, as a believer, God can ask you to do what man considers stupid, and if your attention is always on what the world says and thinks, you’ll definitely miss God. Have you ever wondered how it was for Joshua to communicate God’s instructions about Jericho to the Israelites? Why walk round a fortified wall for seven days, like fools? Like Joshua, there are persons God has given strange instructions, and they have been bullied into disobeying God. Don’t let that be you. Settle it in your heart, if you’re going to live for Jesus, you’ll be criticized and persecuted by the world (SEE Mk 10:29-30, 2Tim 3:12). You cannot be a Christian and yet stand on the same level with the world. But, who cares about what the world thinks or says? We’re here on a mission, not for a show.
Christians are now trying to play the role of the Holy Spirit. We tend to want to act and sound convincing. At the surface level this sounds good. However, when we live like this we’ll be lured into doing what the world likes and approves, in other to win them over…but we aren’t the Holy Spirit. We cannot convince people to accept Jesus. Why? Because that’s the job of the Holy Spirit. When sharing God’s truth and obeying His unique instructions for our lives, we tend to consider what people will say or think. We focus more on people, not God. Well, God cares so much about people, more than we can ever care about them. Nonetheless, God’s Word and instructions for our lives won’t always sit well with people. We need to get this.
If we were flowers
Some of us will be Roses. Others will be Sunflowers. Some others Daises, Lilies, Orchid etc. Now, the world celebrates Roses more than any other flower, but other flowers are still blooming. They are not just blooming; they bloom gloriously. No matter how much the world celebrates and adores Roses, if all flowers were Roses, the world would lose the beauty other flowers add to nature. God never placed Roses above other flowers, man did. For people like me, other flowers have put smiles on our faces more than Roses. Roses weren’t on the paths we strolled and played on while growing up. Roses weren’t there to decorate our childhood homes. Other flowers made our childhood super interesting, yet the world sold Roses to us. So, even when we can’t find natural Roses, we go after its artificial.
If we were flowers, then it is not just Roses that exist, other flowers exist too. Other flowers are beautiful too. I know flowers don’t have willpower like us, and it is a good thing for them. It is also the reason I am pointing us to them. When we look at them, we see the heart of our heavenly Father. We see how His plan is to have creatures that share things in common, yet different in their unique ways. Like flowers, we all can’t be the same. We are all called to bloom in our unique ways. But we should know, the only reason we know for sure that other flowers are as beautiful as the Rose is because other flowers are blooming. If they weren’t blooming because they want to be like the Rose, we will never see their beauty. If you aren’t blooming in the unique way God will have you bloom, you, your world and the world at large will never know how beautiful, unique and sweet you are.
The world cannot define you. If you let the world do, it will tell you lies. Only your Creator can really show you who you are and how to grow and bloom…gloriously.
Prayer for you and me:
May our focus never leave Jesus. Amen.
Get in the Gym,
and do stay Spiritually Fit.