how to help girls survive in a barbie world
If I walked around my apartment without my glasses in the morning, I would inevitably stumble and stub my toe. When I put on my glasses it gives my apartment a whole new perspective. I believe the same is true spiritually when it comes to body image. Some girls have picked up their spiritual glasses off the bedside table at one time or another, and caught a quick glimpse from God's perspective, but most girls have never seen themselves through God's eyes. They see themselves through the eyes of the world. They see themselves as falling short of the standard of beauty. How do you help girls survive in a Barbie world?
Girls face an amazing abundance of pressure when it comes to their bodies. Everywhere they go they are bombarded with misinformation, half-truths and flat out lies about their appearance. It's no wonder there is a problem with body image in our culture.
The problem began back when Eve was deceived by Satan. He was tricky and knew that he had to deceive her in order for her to not believe what God had said to be true. Times have not changed. Satan still uses lies to deceive girls about the way they look and who they are. As leaders, our job is to help them begin to see themselves through God's eyes. We need to help them learn how to be content with who God made them to be.
If you have girls who are hurting because of a poor body image, I want to recommend a few things that you could do. First of all, if you are a male, connect them with a female leader. It is crucial for them to have someone older to talk to who is a female. They are fighting a sensitive and intimate battle which could be awkward to talk about with a male. The job of a female leader is threefold. They are to be there to listen, to speak truth and to offer accountability. Girls simply need to know that someone is there to listen to their story. Female leaders do not have to be experts on body image related disorders. Most do not feel adequately equipped to handle these issues. They just need to be available. God has chosen leaders to be His mouthpiece to a hurting generation. These girls desperately need to hear the truth that God created them unique and wonderful (Psalm 139). They need to be reminded that their self-worth is not based on who they are or what they do, but on who God is and what He has done. Finally, leaders need to ask them the tough questions when they meet with them. Girls need to know that someone cares enough to help fight the battle with them by holding them accountable to see themselves through God's eyes.
How do you help girls survive in a Barbie world? Help them pick up God's glasses and see themselves the way He made them.