I am proud to introduce a new column to Madame Deals! I think we all need a touch point a place we can go to be inspired. Karla is my children’s teacher, a good friend, and a person with a heart of gold. I hope that her words will inspire you to do more. We are only as good as the people we surround ourselves with. It is important to listen with your heart and proceed with your eyes open. Enjoy!
The Real You?
Two weeks ago I had the opportunity to deliver a sermon (or message) at my church. After pondering for quite some time I decided to speak on image; the image that society thinks we should have versus the image that God wishes us to have. And while I am not going to re-write my sermon, it seems that I have been inundated with the idea of image and its importance ever since I wrote about it.
While I am not a morning television person I caught a commercial the other day while getting ready for work that sparked my interest a bit. The product was a body slimming “shrug”; you know one of those things that looks like a really short cardigan sweater. It had sleeves that you could adjust to go all the way down the arm or all the way above the elbow. It fit securely around the wearers back and secured underneath the front of the bra. The idea behind this product was to secure and hold the extra “stuff” in place, giving the affect of a slim upper body and arms. As the narrator of this commercial continued the presentation she proclaimed that this slimming shrug would take away and fix unwanted bulges. I found myself talking back to the television trying to explain that it is not a fix, it does not take away the bulges it merely covers them up temporarily. Of course my husband walked in on this one sided conversation and thought that I had completely lost my mind once and for all.
After watching that commercial I have found myself in weight loss, diet pill, flab buster overload. Everywhere I turn I see images of what society tells me I should look like. I even saw a commercial for what was no more than double sided tape used to open up your eye lids to give you an instant eye life. Just for kicks I went online to a website that calculates ones ideal weight. My result? Well let’s just say that I do not meet the standard, I will never meet the standard and for once in my life I am absolutely positively one hundred percent okay with that. Of course I want to look good and feel good and be healthy, but there is no way whatsoever I will ever come close to what the online weight gurus say I should weigh. My question is who decides what the standards are? I would like to meet them, shake their hand and invite them to dinner; because if they are meeting the standards then I’m sure they are hungry.
I remember going on a job interview at a private Christian college when I was just 19 years old. I worked all morning making myself look the part of an executive secretary. My hair was good, my clothes were neatly pressed and appropriate for the office and I had even polished my brand new Lee Press on Nails. About half way there it hit me; I was going to have to take a typing test and there was no way I was going to be able to type with those super long fake nails glued to the ends of my fingers. Frantically I began to pop the fake nails off while driving up the interstate. I am sure if anyone saw me they thought that I had completely lost my mind. Why was it so important to cover up the nails I had? They were nice enough, but for some reason I thought it was necessary to make them longer, to improve what I already had.
Society tells us that we need to have perfect bodies, perfect clothes, perfect everything. If we do not meet up to certain societal standards then we fail. But what happens when we use these products? Do they really take away our problems? Do they really improve our physical image? Do they really fix anything? No. These products and so many more like them are on the market to give us a false sense of perfection. Let’s face it, nobody is perfect. We all have areas that we would like to improve or get rid of. It’s just the way it is. What is most important is who we are as a person. What’s inside our heart and soul is what truly makes us beautiful.
If we really want to improve our physical selves then we must work on doing so. I realize that sometimes poor health can contribute to our imperfections, but more often than not we can transform ourselves by getting healthy and staying that way. I have been walking on my treadmill just over five months and while it is still not my favorite activity, I know that it is a must. The results are rewarding. Take a minute or two every day and acknowledge to yourself something that you like about yourself. For instance, if you are having a particularly good hair day, then acknowledge it. If you lose a pound or two, take ownership and acknowledge it. Positive actions will create reactions and before you know it, you can throw all those quick fix products away because you will no longer need fixing. Let the real you shine through and by doing so you will find peace within yourself to accept yourself and by accepting yourself you will accept others the way they are. It’s a win win situation.