My beautiful, spunky, incredibly smart and hilarious 2 and a half year old niece has taught me a lot about a healthy body image and also how a negative one can develop.
Charlotte's innocence and lack of societal pressure reminds me of how God intended us to view ourselves. Charlotte has never once looked in the mirror and said "I'm fat" or complained about how unflattering her clothes fit. She knows she is beautiful and will tell you so. She doesn't obsess over her appearance, she just enjoys and loves her life. She knows she is loved and knows she possesses great qualities. What if we all lived like this?
Our society has turned beauty into an unrealistic image that most women will never meet. Again, this is not how God intended us to live.
There will come a day when Charlotte starts to notice what our society portrays as "beautiful" and there is a chance that like many of us, the lies might start pouring into her brain that if she doesn't meet this standard of beauty, she isn't as worthy, successful, beautiful or even loved as other women are.
I don't know about you, but the thought of that little girl thinking anything besides how cherished she is breaks my heart.
It also makes me think about adolescent girls, young women, older women and even elderly women who believe those same lies everyday. They were once innocent little girls who at one time, most likely, easily accepted the idea that they were beautiful- they didn't try to qualify it, challenge or question it, they just believed it.
Just because society shows us one definition of beauty does not mean we need to agree with it or form our opinions of ourselves around it.
The next time you are unhappy with how you look, I encourage you to try to talk to yourself as you would that little girl. After all, she is still apart of you!