Thursday, March 19, 2015


In honor of breast cancer awareness month (which is October) and because I had a mammogram today, let's talk about boobs. That's a silly, disrespectful thing to call them, these amazing nourishment-producing parts of a woman's body. But, oh, how often breasts are treated with levity. Not that breasts must always be serious, but when talk arises of Hooters restaurant and wet t-shirt contests, many women -- be they large or small busted -- are uncomfortable.

Advertisers tell us that only large breasts are attractive to a man. It makes sense. Females who are not sexually mature have no breasts, and women who are sexually mature have breasts. So it follows that the bigger they are, the more mature and attractive the woman is to a sexually mature male who wishes to procreate. This, of course, is a lie, but it sells more push-up bras than the truth.

But what about Hooters and wet t-shirt contests? Don't they prove that men prefer big ones? No. If your breasts are large and you're wearing a tank top or wet t-shirt, then they're hard to miss. But get a man one-on-one and small breasts are just as arousing as large. Or so I'm told by friends who are male.

The media is also limited by obscenity laws. In most advertising, nipples and frontal nudity below the waist are verboten. So what choice do they have? Advertisers have a fraction of a second to get your attention, and bigger things catch the eye faster.

Ah, if only the media were like the mammogram machine. It's looking for small things, namely tumors, to identify a big thing, namely cancer. So look to the media for lies and to your mammogram machine for facts. It'll squeeze the truth right out of you.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

God's help

I struggle with the magazine ads and Internet photos of "perfect" bodies. I tell myself to believe God's truth, not the culture's lies, about a woman's worth. I proclaim that we are made in God's image. But in my struggle, it never occurs to me to ask for God's help.

Do I think God is unconcerned when God's daughters (and sons) believe their worth is tied up in appearance? Is it possible that God cringes when commercials tell us we will not be beautiful until we buy their product? Well, if you overheard an adult tell a child, "You are worthless because your body doesn't measure up," would you be angry? Our anger is a reflection of God's anger. God cares about this. Ask for God's help.

So how should I pray?

God, help me stop comparing myself to other women. I don't know how to stop believing the lie that a beautiful woman must look like this or that. Show me how. Remind me not to click on the sites that extol or criticize a celebrity's body. Tell me if I'm demanding too much of myself when I think, "I must change my thinking on this NOW." I've been thoroughly brainwashed on this by our culture. It may take time to learn new thought habits. Help me to be patient with my brain.

How should YOU pray? I don't know because I don't know your struggle. Honesty is a good place to start. God's chosen people are called Israel. The name means "wrestles with God."  Wrestling with God is not always a bad thing. Better to wrestle with God than ignore God. We need God's help if we're going to wrestle with the culture. So climb into the ring, ask hard questions, and ask for healing and help.

There's the bell.