Warning: Some toes may be stepped on in this post, but I hope not. Unless you’ve been hiding from social media for the past week, you probably know that the Victoria’s Secret Fashion show was last night. I didn’t watch, for many reasons, but from the looks of my Facebook and Twitter feeds, lots of people did. I’m a girl, and I’ve shopped at VS on occasion, but I had no desire to watch the program last night. Why?
To begin with, the phrase “Comparison is the thief of joy.” I saw many, many girls comment that watching this fashion show was inspiration to work out, because they wanted to look like the ‘angels.’ Many didn’t actually say that last part, but I can venture to guess that it’s what they were thinking. Watching these perfectly toned women parade down a runway in next to nothing robbed them of their joy. The girls that posted this are beautiful women, created uniquely by God. Were they able to focus on that last night? Probably not. They were envying the bodies of the models, who probably work with personal trainers for hours a week. While there is nothing wrong with getting inspiration to workout, there’s a good chance that those girls are inspired to workout mainly based on the fact that they want to fit into the world’s vision of beauty – 6 feet tall, perfectly toned and tan. What on earth would make them think this?
It was probably the amount of guys that commented on how great the fashion show was. I saw tweet after tweet of guys who were “pumped” that the fashion show was on. For one, their excitement over watching this gives the impression that that is what their idea of beauty is, even though a very small percent of women actually look like that. Women want to know that other people find them beautiful, men especially. I’m not say that’s the right way to think, because I don’t think that we should find our affirmation in other people, but man does it feel good to be thought of as beautiful in the eyes of people around you. But when guys constantly comment on how attractive they find the physique of the women in the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, it does nothing to the women around them who will never look like that. If God wanted us all to look the same, He would have made us that way, but He created us to be unique, each and every one beautiful in our own way.
I also don’t think it’s appropriate for girls and guys alike to watch this show for their own sake. The models basically have no clothing on, and nothing is left to the imagination as far as what their bodies look like. We are called to guard our hearts, and this means guarding our eyes and ears. Just because it’s on public access television, that does not mean it is acceptable for the Christian heart.
I’m not saying this to make it sound like I’ve never dealt with body issues, or wishing I was thinner or was in better shape. It’s an almost-daily struggle. But my journey to loving the body God gave me includes not polluting my mind with underwear models. I don’t work out and eat healthy to look like a VS model, I do these things to glorify God with the body He gave me, because it is a temple. I can’t go into the medical field and talk to people about health if I’m not healthy myself. So guys: look for the beauty in the women around you, whether they are your mother, sister, friend, or girlfriend. They pay attention to the comments that you make about things like the VS fashion show, I promise. And girls: remember that comparison will rarely make you feel better about yourself. We constantly “pin” pictures and look at the body that we want, but what about loving the body you have, and just deciding to take better care of it? None of those women are you. YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL BECAUSE GOD MADE YOU. End of story.
Updated note: The models are also beautiful creations! In no way do I want to belittle them or make it sound like I think they are bad people.