Last week, a video of a young girl’s poetry performance in her school classroom went viral. It makes for powerful and somewhat painful viewing. She is a 7th grade student, only twelve or thirteen years old. In watching it, my heart went out to her, because I understood her struggles. It can feel so unfair to live in a society that is saturated with body obsession, both to have unobtainable, digitally-modified bodies, or to be the pinnacle of health, or even to be so “body positive” that you don’t, apparently, have any hang-ups about your body at all. The latter is a wonderful place to be, but it’s often a hard and difficult place to strive for, and involves a lot more God-given grace than our own hard work.
In her poem, the student identifies the enormous pressures to look thin, be pretty, and wear the right things. She asks, “Why am I not good enough?” and states that “beauty is pain.” It is “not popular to be smart” and “A’s [get] you nothing but torment.” These kinds of comments are sadly all too familiar in every stage of life. At the same time as her poem going viral, the hashtag #TheySaid was trending on Twitter. Women shared degrading comments about their body that had been directed at them by both friends, family and total strangers.
Everyone has experienced some kind of peer pressure in someway, but this current generation has to contend with pressures exacerbated by social media, the proliferation of Photoshopped models and the comparisons between normal daily life and celebrity culture that demands that everyone looks perfect all of the time.
Middle school may not be the real world, but it is certainly real enough for those who have to struggle through it and navigate enormous pressures to look right, to fit in a certain way. I could have written that poem myself when I was her age. It was exactly my own experience at school. I loved how she offered hope and a correct viewpoint of her own image and body at the end of the poem. She can see, with such poignant insight, what’s wrong with the world’s view, and how healing could occur.
When a 7th grade writing class at an Arizona middle school presented poems for their end of year assignment, one student stood out with a powerful message >> kng5.tv/PowerfulPoem
由 KING 5 发布于 2017年5月30日
As young adults, the pressures of middle school are still there, but they become subtler, less obvious. No less painful to navigate. Still, I do not struggle with my self-image as much as I used to when I was younger. In response to these issues, as the women of the Catholic-Link team, we wanted to share our reflections on what has helped us with healing our relationship with our body. The truth is, if we only have our own views, or the world’s views, on our body, we will always struggle. Here are our thoughts below.
We also love this video from Catholic vlogger Emily Wilson which you can check out below. She shares four practical things that you can do to be more appreciative of your body.
And finally, if you’re in need a pick-me-up, check out this beautiful “Message to All Women” by poet Jon Jorgensen.
Whatever your struggles are in relationship to your body, please know that we understand the suffering of being at war with your body, and we are always praying for you!
“I sought the Lord, and he answered me,
and delivered me from all my fears. Look to him, and be radiant; so your faces shall never be ashamed.”
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