If you are anything like one of the teens that I see in my office, or any teen for that matter, then chances are you have looked in the mirror and just thought ….”uggghhh”. I know I have and I am 35 years old! Somedays I look in the mirror and just don’t like what I see. There are some of us that have off days, and then there are those of us who are constantly critical of what we see in the mirror. If you are one of the ones who experiences this on a daily basis then this is for you.

If there is one consistent theme that comes up in my office, especially with my teenaged girls, it is the issue of body image. When they look in the mirror there is almost nothing reflecting back at them that they like. Often times I ask them if they can name one thing they like about their body and they have a hard time coming up with something, but they can come up with a hundred things they DON’T like.  It doesn’t matter if someone tells them they are pretty or good looking, when they look in the mirror they only see their flaws.

There are many reasons for this, by the way. We live in a culture that put a LARGE over emphasis on the way someone looks as the definition of beautiful. Women are especially bombarded with images of extremely attractive women, often in sliming outfit, skimpy swimsuits, and YouTube videos on how to make themselves thinner or make their butt look bigger.  Men are bombarded by fitness magazines, and media that always tell them they aren’t strong enough, tough enough, or muscular enough.

There is so much about our culture that causes emotional harm.  It leaves us feeling not attractive enough, too fat, and riddled with guilt, and shame about who we are, and what we look like. What if we started by asking ourselves one simple question: What is the truth? The truth is that we are made in God’s image, this includes different body types, intellectual abilities, skills and personalities, skin colors.  When God created human beings he called them “good.” He believed that his creation was good; not adequate, not sub-par, not “meh.” He said we were good! That means you!

So let’s start out with this initial truth when we look in the mirror; we are loved and accepted no matter how we look or feel. The second truth we should address is the fact that the images we consume are part of an effort to make us feel as if we not good enough or attractive enough. Advertising manipulates pictures through Photoshop, editors, and makeup artists making everything look “perfect” on the screen. It’s all an effort to coerce you into buying things to make you “look better” This is truth. I wonder how God feels when we take what he says is beautiful and say “no it’s not,” and manipulate it to make something in our cultures image.

I always challenge my teens, that no matter how they are feeling, when they look in the mirror in the morning, to tell themselves the truth. “I am good enough and I am beautiful” even if they don’t feel it. Sometimes proclaiming truth is more important than believing that truth. [bctt tweet=”Sometimes proclaiming truth is more important than believing that truth.” username=”HisHeartFdn”] Eventually I find (and so do they), that they begin to believe what they are saying and accept themselves just as God accepts them.

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