Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Nose Job

I'm ashamed of it, really. Ashamed of one part of my body, because I've been told all my life it's unacceptable. I have a small, dainty nose. Embarrassing, right? Maybe I should get a nose job. For years I've seen pictures in magazines of women with big, beautiful, bulbous noses. I know some women with small ones get plastic surgery for enlargement. But how could I write this blog if I got a nose job? Not that I'm against all cosmetic procedures. But it's been a personal struggle, and it would be admitting defeat to have surgery.

Meanwhile, my brain is still brainwashed. I walk down the street and look at other women's noses. If a woman's nose is small like mine, I feel better. If her nose is big and bulbous, I feel worse. It's hit or miss.

I confess, I have gone to the Internet for affirmation. I google, "beautiful small noses," and "men who prefer small noses." Tonight I was trying to text some friends for support. They have dainty noses, too, so they know the struggle. But every time I tried to send the message, my phone gave me an error message. I wondered, can God block cell signals to get our attention? Sheesh, if God can heal the sick and raise the dead, a cell signal is small potatoes.

Sometimes God's answer to pleas for help is, "Yes, I thought you'd never ask." Maybe I'm at that point. Well, go right ahead, Lord, but I've struggled with this for a long time, and I don't know what you're going to try that I have not attempted. Yet, it feels right to ask you for help. I guess it's ridiculous that I've gone everywhere else but to you. So unbrainwash my brain. I'm asking because I need help. I'm giving You the nose job. Get it? Okay, sorry. Just tell me what the next step is.


What about you? Have you ever asked God into your personal body image fight? What happened?

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Bikini = Sinful? Really?

Is wearing a bikini sinful? Well, what's sexier -- a breast or an ankle? A rear end or a bare leg? Long flowing hair or a knee?

That depends on where and when you are. During times when women wore only long dresses, the sight of a woman's shapely ankle was enough to give a man fits. Today in parts of some African nations, it's normal for women to be bare-breasted in public.

A few days ago I posted a link to a video in which a woman decried the immodesty in U.S. culture. I think she would say wearing a bikini is sinful. She insisted our overexposure was encouraging men to see women as objects. But perhaps she has it backwards. If men were regularly exposed to women's breasts, for example, maybe those parts would lose their allure. After all, topless beaches in Europe are not orgies, are they? (Never been to a European beach, myself.)

Ironically, topless beaches might be less sexually arousing than American beaches. Could the tease of a bikini be more interesting than two bare breasts?

A week ago I was drawn by the argument of those who said, "Wearing a bikini is a sin." I thought, "Yep, showing that much skin is just too much stimulation for men. By definition it's immodest." But by whose definition? Today I wonder if calling a bikini sinful is a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Modesty codes are complicated and vary widely. For now I'm suspending judgment on midriff-baring suits. But the really skimpy bikinis . . . I don't know. Maybe it depends on which continent you're sunbathing on. In any case, the American Academy of Dermatology and I suggest the amount of fabric in your suit and the amount of sunscreen you apply should be inversely proportional. If you've ever had a sunburn, you know why.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Immodesty and Rape

Does immodesty lead to rape? If a woman wears a low-cut shirt and a mini-skirt, isn't she inviting inappropriate attention? If she's dressed like that, and a man rapes her, it's partly her fault, right? Doesn't she have to take some responsibility?

I have not thoroughly studied the mind-sets of rapists. I suspect their motives are varied and complex. And oftentimes women are raped when they are covered from head to toe, so immodesty has nothing to do with it.  But let's address this notion that women should bear some of the blame for being raped if they dress immodestly.

First, define immodest. The definition changes based on culture, time and situation. What American culture calls modest attire on a beach would be considered immodest at a wedding.

But let's assume we can agree that a certain woman is dressed immodestly. Then, yes, she is guilty of sin, first and foremost against God and herself. She is not treating her own body with respect. She has also sinned against other women and against men who may see her because (1) she is encouraging men to see women as objects, and (2) it's possible men will be tempted. HOWEVER, if a man sins as a result, she is NOT to blame for his sin.  He bears full responsibility for it. After all, which of us can say to God in ANY situation, "It was the tempter's fault that I sinned"?

We spend a lot of time telling women not to put themselves in situations where they could be raped. This is good information to have. But we must not overemphasize it, or it leads to the idea that it's a woman's responsibility not to be raped. How often do we tell men, "Don't rape"? Men need to hear, "No means no. Remember, sir, you control your own body."

Everyone should dress with modesty. But when it comes to crime, don't blame the victim.
Agree? Disagree? Let me hear from you. Leave comments here or on Facebook.