The Truth About Mean Girls by Heather H.

84eded1c892eb4864d669211da47b0aaThe Truth about Mean Girls

The popular 2004 movie, “Mean Girls” gave everyone an inside scoop on what it’s like to be a high school girl. Although a lot of the movie was exaggerated for laughs, a lot of it can be true. Girls can be vicious, admit it. We’ve all had our heart broken by a boy probably at least once in our life, or been picked on by a guy (that’s their way of “flirting”) but let’s face it no many how tears you’ve shed of a silly boy the wounds from our fellow females can hurt worse. Why do we do that, huh ladies? Is there a reason, logic or science behind our motives? First things first, bullying is not cool. We know that girls and guys are definitely wired differently in the way we think and interact with others. We know that guys loves a healthy dose of competition to stroke their ego a little bit, but guys don’t hold on to grudges like girls do. Sometimes I’d actually rather hang out with my brothers and guy friends than some girls because the fellas are less dramatic! I love my girlfriends though! Guys will throw a few punches maybe and have a few words, then be friends again five minutes later and be all like “hey bro, I’m sorry man”. Girls on the other hand, we can be very competitive as well, but usually do not show it until that green-eyed monster comes lurking up and sneaks out of us, not quite as loudly and angrily as The Hulk, but more manipulative and cunning…you guessed it, the green-eyed monster called JEALOUSLY.

In last week’s article, I talked about body image, self-esteem and the media trend of “body shaming”. Since when did it become okay to slam someone or shame someone because of their size? We, as ladies are constantly comparing ourselves to each other! I’m just as guilty, I’m only human too my sister! Sometimes it can be comparing our weight or clothing size as we already mentioned. Sometimes, (for any of my elementary and middle school girls) it could be that little girl that sits next to us in class who has the cutest new Disney Princess or Lilly Pulitzer notebook and book bag to match and we just have plain ole wide-ruled spiral bound notebooks and a hand me down book bag and last year’s outfit while she’s sporting a new wardrobe. Or it could be that head cheerleader who’s so popular that every guy wants to date, and your crush just asked her to prom instead of even glancing in your direction. Even grown-ups deal with the same thing, the woman in the cubicle next to you-your “work bestie” got the promotion and you didn’t. Or someone is getting more hours than you while your shifts get cut back. What about the new girl who is “stealing” your friends? (Let’s be honest, she’s not “stealing your friends” she’s just trying to make friends, including YOU!) Or let’s get real, you see some girl supposedly flirting with your man! Oh no she didn’t! Ladies we all face real life situations of petty jealously! But what about the words some girls same that cut us to the core, or when your best friend lets you down, or worse…stabs you in the back? Girls don’t throw punches and fight it out like boys do, girls use words and gossip and manipulation…also the worst tactic making someone feel left out.

The question is WHY?! Girls this is not all fun and games. Words hurt, the Bible even speaks of it in James 3 saying that the tongue is hard to tame. Instead of getting jealous, or feeling better than or less than one of your sisters in Christ, celebrate each other! Instead of trying always “one up” each other, why not help each other up? Each of us face a lot of the same things, sometimes you just need another woman whether older and wiser or a girlfriend your age to share and talk with. We are all in this together ladies! We are royal daughters, not jealous nasty monsters who thrive on manipulation! Whatever things are honest and noble, full of virtue-think on these and do these things! (Philippians 4:8, Proverbs 31). One of the most important things I can leave you with is, if you have been hurt by mean girls or bullied in the past…or maybe you were or are that “mean girl”…the bottom line is grace and forgiveness. Forgive those who have hurt you, and reach out to those you have hurt…show grace to yourself and others. Love each other by lifting each other up.
-Your sister in Christ, Heather

“The ‘Big’ Truth about Body Image & The ‘Skinny’ on Body Shaming”by Heather H.

“The ‘Big’ Truth about Body Image & The ‘Skinny’ on Body Shaming”

Let’s be honest here, we see it all over the media and in society’s portrayals on so-called beauty and what a “perfect body” looks like. For many years, celebrities and everyday people have been called ugly, cruel names such as “fat”, or “obese” for not being the “ideal size”. For many years as well, modeling agencies have had a standard of what they look for in a model, the taller the better and the skinnier the better. We’ve heard horror stories about anorexia and bulimia. The truth is those are not just statistics and stories, but they are real people…real women (and even men!) who struggle with body image. The truth is that we all know that not everyone is created and built the same. Some of us are a 5’8 slender build (like myself) with long legs, long arms, big hands with long graceful fingers, but huge feet that are nearly impossible to find shoes that fit that are actually cute! Or the struggles of finding jeans that don’t make you look like you’re expecting a flood!

Some of us are a 5’2 rounder build with a little more “junk in the trunk” or a bit more curves, shorter legs, and dainty small feet, a nice voluptuous figure. But there’s some who are in the middle…maybe a little taller or shorter, some maybe a little more “blessed in the chest” than others, or you feel like you’re still waiting to hit puberty when all your friends are buying their first real bra. Let’s face the real honest truth ladies, no matter what age you are 13, 22, or 45 we compare our bodies to others whether the bodies of our peers and girlfriends or the airbrushed bodies in magazines and ads. However, calling yourself “fat” or someone else “big-boned” or “obese” is not the answer. Neither is calling someone “scrawny”, or “too skinny”, and “bony”, both are just as hurtful. All name-calling is hurtful.

The “body shaming” trend in media and the rise against body shaming is everywhere! The truth is you should NEVER been ashamed of the body God handcrafted that is home to your soul. I had always gotten picked on for being so skinny, I can’t count how many times I’ve been told “Girl you should eat a cheeseburger or somethin!”, “Girl, you’re gonna blow away with the wind!”, or the most annoying “When are you gonna gain some weight?” I dealt with it, there were days it made me mad, and there were days I thought I may have some kind of problem, some people thought I had an eating disorder. (which I never did). They say “stick and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me”, that’s one of the biggest lies on the face of the earth. According to anad.org (National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders) “Bulimia nervosa is characterized by recurrent and frequent episodes of eating unusually large amounts of food (e.g., binge-eating), and feeling a lack of control over the eating. This binge-eating is followed by a type of behavior that compensates for the binge, such as purging (e.g., vomiting, excessive use of laxatives or diuretics), fasting and/or excessive exercise.” and anorexia is a little bit different, “Anorexia nervosa is characterized by emaciation, a relentless pursuit of thinness and unwillingness to maintain a normal or healthy weight, a distortion of body image and intense fear of gaining weight, a lack of menstruation among girls and women, and extremely disturbed eating behavior. Some people with anorexia lose weight by dieting and exercising excessively; others lose weight by self-induced vomiting, or misusing laxatives, diuretics or enemas.” Both of these disorders give a human being a distorted false view of their own body, thinking that their “fat” when in reality everyone else can see that they are wasting away. If you or someone you know maybe struggling with an eating disorder there are listed symptoms, warning signs and resources to find help on anad.org.

Obesity, on the other hand is defined as “Obesity is a complex disorder involving an excessive amount of body fat. Obesity isn’t just a cosmetic concern. It increases your risk of diseases and health problems, such as heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure. Being extremely obese means you are especially likely to have health problems related to your weight.” according to the MayoClinic.org. On the flip side of things, for many years ladies on the “heavier” side have been ridiculed mercilessy for their size as well! This is NOT okay people! The classic lines of “Oh she’s got a pretty face, but she’s a bit on the heavy side”, or being told they need to lose weight. Weight gain has been struggle for many women, whether they used to be slim and fit in figure, and may have gained weight after giving birth to beautiful children! Never be ashamed of stretchmarks or any type of scar, they tell a story and make you who you are!

However, the bottom line everything comes down is…YOUR HEALTH! Whether you are a size 2 or a size 14, it doesn’t matter about shape and size; it matters how your body feels inside! As I mentioned your body is a home for your soul. C.S. Lewis once said, “You don’t have a soul. You are a soul. You have bodies.” Your body is a temple where Jesus Christ lives in YOU! Do you want a junky, messy living room for the Lord and Savior of your life to dwell in? I sure don’t! Now, don’t get me wrong…I love my sweets and have a lil bit of habit BUT I actually love fruits and veggies, juice and plenty of water! It’s okay to balance out your little junk foods every once in a while with a healthy dose of clean eating! I’ve taken small steps such as cutting back on sodas, drinking lots of water and juice as well! There are many healthy recipes on Pinterest and many other websites! It’s really a proactive effort. In all reality though, nothing beats good ole fashion exercise (of any kind, just be active!) and well balanced eating habits.I want to leave you with these simple truths: 1) Body Shaming is NOT okay, don’t be jealous of someone smaller or bigger than you. 2) A healthy lifestyle is important, we glorify and honor God with our bodies (plus don’t you wanna feel better?!) 3) YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL!! It’s time to let your outside match your inside! Your beautiful soul shines through to your outer appearance! You are made in His image! Your are a princess daughter, who walks in confidence! Psalm 139:14 says “I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.” He crafted every cell and fiber of your body together! Here’s to all you beautiful ladies out there, don’t let a number on a scale or size on a tag define you, let your Maker and your hard work at a healthy life define you!

With love your sister in Christ,
Heather

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