I’ve been busy settling into life here on the West coast, processing and growing from and understanding all the new around me. Hence, I haven’t had much to post here since I prefer to process things, then share them. Clearly, I’m still processing! Here’s one small thought I’ve been chewing on:
The half-naked image advertising liposuction on the billboard, unfortunately, did not escape my seven year old son’s gaze.
“Sheesh!” he exclaimed dramatically. Rather than commenting on the nakedness (as seven year old – well, actually, any boys – are prone to do), his next comment surprised me, “Why do women think they have to be so skinny all the time?!? They look fine the way they are.”
Damn you, Los Angeles.
Don’t you dare go ruining my little boy’s fine views of women.
I really like your beaches and mountains and weather and all, but this whole obsession with flat tummies is a bit much. Apparently, Hollywood knows it’s a problem, it’s just not willing to change its image. When Hunger Games lead Jennifer Lawrence says, “In Hollywood, I’m obese” and concludes that she’ll “be the only actress who doesn’t have anorexia rumors”, I think we can safely assume there are some misaligned priorities being paraded in mainstream culture. It’s not just about being a size two, looking sexy in a bikini, and having an enviable body. It’s about the souls of women, about us exchanging, as my cousin so powerfully explains, our lives for our bodies.
Ironically, the story wasn’t too different in the Midwest. It was just told from the other extreme – obesity – people attempting to fill their souls by obsessing over food. Instead of not eating enough, they ate too much. In DC, it was all about power. Worldwide, lust for both human bodies and material goods consumes a huge amount of our energy. Clearly, our problem is not about food, it’s about longing for more, whether it’s food or perfection or iphones, and living on the surface rather than digging deep. Instead of promoting the depth that wholeness brings, society parades the shallowness of its brokenness on billboards.
Living at the surface is tempting on so many levels…For one, it’s a whole lot easier to dress up our outsides than to clean up our insides. A close friend battling with anorexia recently sent me an email about her process of doing just this, “How do I sink this love that [God] has for me straight into the empty parts of my heart?” she asked. “All my life I’ve gone from god to god to try to fill that deep deep emptiness to no avail. And I don’t know what the rest of this journey looks like but this I know… His truth will set me free.”
Wholeness begins with the willingness to boldly proclaim, “The emperor has no clothes!” because it’s true, instead of keeping our mouths shut because no one else is saying anything. Or, putting it in today’s terms, “Damn you, Los Angeles and your impossibly flat stomachs. You don’t fool me with your lies,” and then letting that truth sink straight to the empty parts of our hearts.