God made me beautiful.

This is a truth I worked very hard to accept in my younger and fatter days. As one preacher put it, “Yes, God loves you. But did you stop to consider for a moment that He also likes you??” It’s a silly sentence, but if you scoffed for even a moment, then you need to reread it and meditate on its implications. God made me beautiful. My overweight, sarcastic, rude, goofy, clumsy self was loved by the One Who created me that way.

Now, I’m not as young (I joke with the teens that I’m old, but even they don’t believe me…the random, impromptu Disney singing might have something to do with it) and have lost a considerable amount of weight.  I’m now considered by people as Beautiful, specifically because of that last fact. I say this not to come off as arrogant, but there is a change in the behavior of people I meet. I didn’t realize I was Beautiful until people’s responses to me changed.

There are days where I miss being over 200 pounds.  No sarcasm in that previous statement. Pure sincerity. I didn’t know when I became Beautiful that I was sacrificing some of my privacy and had become a public display for any pair of eyes I may encounter daily.

People are different with you when you’re spherical, rather than hourglass-shaped. Well, let’s be a little more specific.  Men are more honest and sincere when they aren’t attracted to you. Some are fighting that attraction because they are taken. Others want to follow through, whether their intentions be honorable or not. Then, of course, every female is familiar with being catcalled as though she were up for bids at an auction.

It was much easier to be sure of myself when I knew who I was as a fat girl. No one called it into question. No one cared to. There’s a fat girl in my class, at the restaurant, in the next car, in front of me in line. Were I noticed at all from someone glancing up from their smartphone, it was merely that: a glance. Now paranoia is a regular companion, as stares seem to haunt my steps on a day where I want to wear my hair down or dress nicely. Did I dress too provocatively? Is my fly undone? Is he going to approach me?

I had conquered my insecurity from when I considered myself fat and ugly.  Now I’m “curvy, thick, and Beautiful” and I’m suddenly fearful, paranoid, and insecure all over again?! Where is the balance? Where is the happy place??

Sisters, this is my plea. Let us not judge ourselves nor each other based on our physical appearance. Anyone can put on some makeup and paint up a happy face to show the world.  The truth is that women hand down from generation to generation a self-loathing and peer-comparison that is expected to be normal.  (Need a reminder? Check out the Mean Girls scene where the Plastics stand in front of a mirror and nitpick themselves). This should not also be the case among the daughters of our Sovereign King.

“May God, who gives this patience and encouragement, help you live in complete harmony with each other, as is fitting for followers of Christ Jesus.” Romans‬ ‭15:5‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Young, old, single, married, divorced, widowed, red and yellow, black and white (yes, I was singing in my head), whoever you are, precious sister, let’s encourage each other.  This world is frightful enough. Let us be united in our Savior, per His prayer in John, and stand strong together.

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