Recent blog posts from Sterling Plastic Surgery out of Bedford, NH mention the increase in teens and young adults going under the knife and how social media sharing could be influencing women to consider plastic surgery. As a mother, I’ve seen the power of social media and the entertainment industry on my own children and their friends. My jaw dropped when my nine-year-old daughter who weighs all of 56 pounds dripping wet told me she was “fat” because her legs jiggle when she runs. The eleven-year-old asked me to purchase an eyelash curler and makeup for her birthday because one of her best friends uses them. And while I applaud my children for wanting to stay healthy and look nice, my fear is that unrealistic ideas about body weight and focusing on appearance too much will ultimately be detrimental.
This week in Sunday school, I began a series on the Truth found in the Bible. The final portion of this series deals with “The Truth About Me.” One of the goals is to “reconstruct the idea of self-esteem.” Paul says in 1 Corinthians 6: 19 -20, “Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.” (NKJV) In addition to the idea of our bodies being like a sacred temple, young people need to know their value to God. We are so special, God bought us at a price–His Son, Jesus Christ. And our bodies aren’t our own. They are God’s creation. Our bodies belong to Him.
In Psalm 139, David says he praises God for he has been, “fearfully and wonderfully made.” What different image does that create for our children–and us–from what we see splashed across magazine covers and on our television and movie screens? We need to help our children strive to be the unique people God created them to be, not who the world tells them they should be.