Monday, 23 November 2015

Should I be short, fat and ugly?

Since I founded Belle, I have had many questions thrown my way, casting doubt over my ability to lead this organisation, these doubts are based purely on my appearance

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For example - on the tube a few months ago I commenced a conversation with a fellow tube passenger - I know doesn't happen often right!!! - (it was after her intriguement at my theology book). We shared life stories and of course I shared about Belle. 
One thing she said struck me massively - she put her hands under her chin in a v-shape and proceeded to say "but when you look like" followed by sweeping her hands in a 'thin body shape kind of way' and saying "and when you're that shape, how is it fair to do what you do".

That was the first comment I had concerning what I look like but there's been many more since.

SO. What do I have to say back?

1. Don't judge a book by its cover (the old classic ey!) 

We look - we judge - we assume. I've struggled so much with the way I look over the years and I've put so much of my value in it. I've looked in the mirror and only seen "ugly" and "not good enough". Why do you assume I haven't? The model, Cameron Russell, in her TED talk speaks of how her and a group of models are the most insecure people you will ever meet, though we would look at them and see perfection. Why do we look at people and assume they have it all sussed?

2. Comparison is the thief of joy

We live in an image-saturated culture. Therefore, I too am on that journey. I used to struggle even more so with subconsciously comparing myself to other girls whether in magazines, on TV or at school. No matter what we look like - comparison floods our lives. Why do we do that when an original is worth more than a copy? And we're ALL originals created by the Master himself.

3. Socially constructed ideas of beauty 

What is considered "beautiful" varies massively between cultures and time. It's fluid, constantly changing. It's never attaining, constantly pursuing. If we "attain" one thing - there's always more to attain. We never reach the perfect, socially constructed idea of 'beauty'. E.g if I strive for thinner thighs - I may attain them but then there'll be something more to attain, e.g shinier hair. Where is contentment in this societal view of beauty? 

I just praise God that I can now look in the mirror and see beauty more often than flaws. 

I'm not a finished product.
I'm still on a journey.

Belle is about equipping, empowering and encouraging girls to discover their true value, beauty and purpose and proceed to walk alongside them in their journey.

Belle is passionate about seeing a generation released from the socially distorted perceptions of value, beauty and purpose. We’re passionate about freeing them to know and love who they are.

My role in leading Belle is about journeying with girls in their story, being real with my own story and embracing all that Belle is in God’s master-story.