Sunday, June 9, 2013

The Beauty of Justice

"First-world problems," someone wrote on my friend's
 Facebook wall. My friend had a bad day at work, and the writer of
 the post reminded him that his problem was not life and death. Most
 of us don't worry about going hungry or surviving a civil war. I have
 the luxury of thinking about beauty and body image, and not where
 my next meal -- or the next airstrike - is coming from. To be clear:
 many people in the world do worry about those dangers. But I am not
 among them, so I have time to ponder something self-centered like
 body image.

Is this blog full of narcissistic fluff? A detractor could say, "Wendy,
get a real problem and write about something that matters -- a justice issue or something." But could this be a justice issue?

The culture tells me my worth lies in meeting its standard of physical beauty. The purpose of this blog is to help women believe in their worth as people made in the image of God and to fight our culture's lies about beauty. Those lies are a form of oppression. To oppress is to dominate or persecute by unjust use of force or authority. American media claims to be an authority and says you are worthless if you do not meet its standards. That is emotional abuse, and it's a form of injustice.

Are there bigger problems in the world? Yes. But the psalmist says, blessed are those "who execute justice for the oppressed," and that means, fight oppression wherever it festers. Kill it before it morphs into something worse. On this blog, I discuss ideas we get from our culture. Bad ideas grow into bigger problems like hunger and war. Call this a pre-emptive strike.