When it comes to the media, I don’t believe in guilty pleasures. I like what I like, and to hell with anyone who tries to shame me for that. Life is short, and, sometimes, it’s hard to find things to smile about, so I will sing along to Aqua at the top of my lungs whether you approve or not.
My brazen disregard for other people’s opinions extends to many parts of my life, but my body isn’t one of them. I’ll put on a brave front, sure, but my insecurity regarding my own appearance can be debilitating on the best of days.
There’s a quote I try to remind myself of when I start getting a little too far down into the spiral of self-loathing, and it’s something I picked up from Elizabeth Gilbert’s privileged and yet profound Eat, Pray, Love: “God dwells within you, as you.” I try to remember that God made me, that he knew exactly what he was doing when he did, and that I am his hands and his feet. He designed me, top to bottom, for a specific purpose, and he knows exactly what that is and how to help me fulfill it. I am who I am, and, if God hadn’t needed me, he wouldn’t have made me in the first place.
That’s a lot to remember sometimes, though, and, in American society, where different is bad, and where the standards for beauty are finite and nigh impossible to meet, it can be very, very easy to forget it. Which is another reason I am particularly excited about the Post-College Retreat this year.
The theme is Embodying the Divine, and the keynote speaker will be Rev. Sarah Renfro, who spent more than three years as a professional model. She’s fought the battle of body image, and she’s going to be joining us in November to talk about our flesh, our scars, and our tattoos, and how our physical bodies intersect with our spiritual bodies. If you’re not acquainted with her, check out this article on Kentucky.com, or visit her website, and then register to attend the Post-College Retreat.
I’ll see you there.