Competing with Porn Stars: Part 2 (Enough)

My life has been saturated with the message that I wasn’t enough. Not thin enough, smart enough, pretty enough… But what is “enough”?

When I look to God, I know He loves my body and the way it looks. Heck, He made it that way! And, to top it off, I really do feel so secure and confident in my identity in Christ. But it is when I let a man get close to me and become vulnerable to his opinions that I start to feel inferior and wished I looked more like the women on the grocery store magazines.

As I spoke with God, I realized this was no longer just about getting man advice for my friend who was struggling. This was now personal. I didn’t know if I wanted to finish the conversation with my guy friend who would be back soon, and I almost texted him some lame excuse to get out of it, but I couldn’t just run away. When he came back, he asked me why women struggled with understanding their beauty and worth. I gave him the synopsis of “A Special Hatred”, a chapter in Captivating by Stasi Eldredge that explains Satan’s unique assault on women throughout history. Women are made in God’s beauty and are life givers. Satan hates that. Just look at the brutal assaults on femininity throughout history. Don’t even try to tell me women haven’t been universally targeted by something malicious. Media and other mass messages have shaped what we believe beauty is, and now we believe we will not be enough and our beauty will never be what the man wants unless we become a standard of beauty that was created on a computer, not in reality! And certainly not by God. Once I told my friend this, he nodded in understanding and then asked, “So why do you struggle with understanding?”

And then it just popped out before I could stop it: “Because someone already told that I’ll never be enough!”

Oops.

Being the respectful man that he is, he withdrew from my emotional oil spill and then compassionately and sincerely replied, “Amanda, I don’t know what this will mean to you, but on behalf of myself and every other man, I’m sorry. I’m sorry if we have sent you these messages and made you feel like your godliness was not enough. It was wrong.” I realized I was holding my breath and something inside me wanted nothing more than to completely dismiss that apology. “It’s a lie!” I thought. “He might mean it but the rest of them don’t! They meant what they said to me.” “Thank you,” I answered, “But I’m not sure how to accept your apology. I’ll work on it.” I knew God and His healing power were the only thing that would make that apology real to me. Could I really believe that they were all wrong? Yes, their words and actions (or lack thereof) hurt and cut, but ultimately, they were indeed wrong about my beauty. I’m still letting that sink in. Here is the thing, as long as we are plagued by these images in supermarket tabloids and pornography on the internet and TV, we will never have a correct image of feminine beauty and the unique measure of creativity the Lord put into creating us all a little different. It was beautiful to Him, that’s why He made it. We can no longer compete with the messages sent to us by culture. Sorry, but my butt will never fit into that size of jeans. Ever. Even if I let myself die of starvation, the corpse you’d be left with wouldn’t squeeze into a tabloid-approved size pants. I wasn’t built that way. And wow, the sooner we can accept this, the sooner we can start experiencing a love for ourselves and how we are unique and quit hating ourselves for not all looking the same!

…Okay, quick question: how many of you ladies just read that and with fits pumping were like, “Huzzah!” but inwardly you were like, “Nope. I still think I don’t cut it.”

What is up with us? Because honestly, I just wrote that pep rally and many times I still feel the same way too. Where does the answer come from? Good question. How about this: I’m going to go ask Jesus and I’ll share what I hear when Part 3 magically appears in your mini-feed. Deal?

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~ by confessionsofadeadauthor on August 17, 2011.

3 Responses to “Competing with Porn Stars: Part 2 (Enough)”

  1. Amanda, I love this! 🙂 How cruel to leave me hanging! Miss you so much! Feels like we’re just talkin’ when I read this. Thank you!!–Kristin S.

  2. hahah, don’t ever stop writing. ;D I just picked Captivating back up to read it (it had been trying to get my attention from my bookshelf for half a week) and I’m on that chapter. Yeah, lemme know when you figure that answer out 🙂

  3. I soo appreciate your transparency and vulnerablity. The Holy Spirit speaks right through you to the peircing of our hearts! thank you for obeying! This is raw and its something each woman deals with and needs to hear. -Laura H 🙂

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