Monday Media: Body Image

You can think I’m a big nerd if you want to, but I started watching Drop Dead Diva on Netflix.  It’s not the type of show I usually watch.  I much prefer Psych, Castle, White Collar, and  Warehouse 13 – you know,  clean, funny, mystery shows with a plot; or anything on the Food Network…but I like lots of girly stuff too. 🙂

I’ve only watched the first couple of episodes, and I don’t know if I’ll keep it up, but so far I think it’s kind of an interesting show.  I think it’s interesting to watch someone come to terms with the way they are perceived and how they judge themselves because of their appearance.  I also think it’s interesting how they address how different people feel in their bodies.  I don’t think we all experience the same cravings or temptations.  We each have different challenges.  Something I might think is easy to endure, someone else would think excruciating and vice versa.

It’s something I’ve thought about after losing weight.  I wonder if I still think in terms of being overweight and feeling judged by that appearance.  I read this article “Teen girls: weight loss and self-esteem” and how teenagers who had lost weight still had low self esteem.  I felt like I could relate in a way because I realized after losing weight that I still felt fat, which made me realize how VERY fat I was before!  I thought, gosh, I must have looked really gross before if I still feel gross even now.  

I saw the image below the other day and thought it was interesting.  It is sad that society has convinced women they have to be thin to be beautiful.  While I agree that we should all work to be as healthy as we can be, I don’t believe we should judge people by their appearance.  Can you image a world where we could all see one another how Christ sees us?  He perceives all our strengths and weaknesses, and yet He still loves us with the deepest and truest love imaginable. What if we all realized our true potential and did not limit ourselves to the finite view of ourselves?

I love this quote by C. S. Lewis:

“There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations – these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub and exploit – immortal horrors or everlasting splendors. This does not mean that we are to be perpetually solemn. We must play. But our merriment must be of that kind (and it is, in fact, the merriest kind) which exists between people who have, from the outset, taken each other seriously – no flippancy, no superiority, no presumption.”

 

Alas, I do sin in my wish

More on this:

“The Tongue Can Be A Sharp Sword” by Elder Marvin J. Ashton: http://www.lds.org/ensign/1992/05/the-tongue-can-be-a-sharp-sword?lang=eng
“You Matter to Him” by President Deiter F. Uchtdorf: http://www.lds.org/general-conference/2011/10/you-matter-to-him?lang=eng
“Forget Me Not” by President Deiter F. Uchtdorf: http://www.lds.org/broadcasts/article/general-relief-society-meeting/2011/09/forget-me-not?lang=eng

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Monday Media: Distorted Thinking

I recently saw an image that gave me pause.  A girl is holding a sign that says, “If a size ‘2’ is beautiful, Than my size ’22’ must be glorious.” (Never mind it should be “then” – there are bigger issues here than grammar).  I am so frustrated by the messages the media sends about being “perfect”.  What frustrates me about this image is how distorted the whole message is.  Neither size 2 nor size 22 are good from a health standpoint, and neither should be used as justification for being one size or the other.  Although BMI isn’t a perfect way to track health, it is a good gauge to help people see where they may stand.  I think what people forget is that it is possible to be underweight, as well as overweight (Click here to understand BMI).  The distortion of the image is that she has convinced herself that she has to compare herself to a size 2 and then justifies her overweight by it.  I understand we all can’t fit into a mold, and we can’t all be the same, but what I wish people would understand is that we should all be striving for optimal health, not optimal size – because there is no such thing.

In a talk by President Gordon B. Hinckley entitled “The Body is Sacred,” we learn:

The body is sacred. It was created in the image of God. It is something to be cared for and used for good purposes. It ought to be taken care of, and this thing which we call the Word of Wisdom, which is a code of health, is most helpful in doing that…
I give thanks to our Creator for revealing unto His Prophet what we call the Word of Wisdom. I do not hesitate to say that in this brief but inclusive statement of the Lord is found counsel, given with a promise, which, if more widely observed, would save untold pain and suffering and lead not only to increased physical well-being but also to great and satisfying “treasures of knowledge” of the things of God.

This is also an excellent article addressing the distorted thinking of the media, and our culture: “Ashley Judd Slaps Media in the Face for Speculation Over Her ‘Puffy’ Appearance” I recommend it.

Just remember, you are beautiful because you are a child of God.  All He asks of us is to care for our bodies as the gift they are, and to not judge others.

 

Monday Media: The Temple part II

After writing my post yesterday about going to the temple, I saw this great article written by someone not of my faith who had visited a temple open house in Missouri. (A Female Episcopal Priest Visits a Mormon Temple). The article has a good perspective, and includes pictures of the inside of the temple.
When a new temple is built, or after renovations are done on older temples, they are opened to the public to tour. There are several new temples being built around the world (new temple announcements).
This video explains why The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints build temples. I hope that you will be able to visit a temple during an open house in your area.

After the temple open house, a dedicatory prayer is offered by the President of the Church or his counselors to dedicate the temple to God for service. After a temple is dedicated, all active members of the church are invited to enter often to participate in the services there.
Again, you can learn more about temples at lds.org, or attend a Sunday service (separate from temple service) (meetinghouse locator), or contact a representative of the church (mormon.org).

Monday Media: General Conference

So you missed General Conference?  That’s a bummer, but it’s OK because you can still see it HERE!  You did catch it!  Awesome!  Let’s watch it again!!  A great way to remember what was said in conference is by reviewing the talks often.  I have a personal goal to review one talk from the most recent conference each week during my personal study.  It was wonderful to listen to the words of the Prophet and Apostles and other General Authorities.  If you don’t have time to watch the talks before they are published in print, you can go to the Church News site to review highlights from each talk.

I appreciated Sister Beck’s perspective on Relief Society.  She said, “Relief Society is meant to be a way of life for Latter-day Saint women, following the pattern of female disciples who served with the Lord Jesus Christ and His Apostles in His ancient Church” (The Vision of Prophets Regarding Relief Society: Faith, Family, Relief).  I liked that she said that women of the church would stand out in a good way and be set apart from women of the world.  This is because of there membership in the church and the Relief Society.

President Monson covered many of the basic tenets of the gospel including where we came from, why we are here, and where we are going.  Click here to listen to the Prophet’s message “The Race of Life”.

In the Saturday morning session, President Monson referred to the messages that would be shared and promised that, “Should there be changes which need to be made in your life, may you find the incentive and the courage to do so as you listen to the inspired words which will be spoken. May each of us resolve anew to live so that we are worthy sons and daughters of our Heavenly Father” (As We Gather Once Again).  There is truth in these messages and I know they are true.  They bless my life daily.  I look forward to reviewing the messages that were shared and evaluating my life and finding ways I can improve.

Media Review: Date Night

Ok, so I know I am completely going out on a limb for even having watched this movie.  It was totally inappropriate on so many levels.  I didn’t even want to post the trailer because of the content and language.  However, overlooking those things, I thought this movie was hilarious!  I thought it was a comical and, in some scenes, an authentic portrayal of real family life.  Obviously, no average couple will ever find themselves tangled up in the kind of messes they get into.  But, if you think about the trials that families go through, and the crazy things we endure that make us stronger, it’s just funny to think about something this ridiculous happening!   I do wish they’d chosen some other scandal than the DA being a total perv.  He could have been money laundering, or gambling, or some other scandal that didn’t require them to add the awkward scene in the night club.  The only value I got out of that scene is when Mrs. Foster had to find something to wear that would hide her C-section scar. LOL

My other favorite part is when Mrs. Foster talks about how frustrating bedtime is “like it’s a surprise every night!”  That cracked me up because my daughter always refuses to cooperate at bedtime like it’s something new every time we have to go through the whole routine!

In the end, I just feel like the movie really played on my sympathies as a wife and mother who is imperfect.  I know I don’t have it right all the time, and I know that our family has its flaws, but I wouldn’t trade us for anything!  I choose our trials and our imperfections!  Even if something may look or seem better, I still choose my husband, my flaws and my children.  I might never have to endure a crazy wake-up call to realize how much I appreciate what I have, but I also live each day with gratitude in my heart for what I have.  Life is fleeting and in any moment anything could change.

I also feel like it addressed the sympathies of couples who question their marriage and where it’s going.  When they saw their friends getting a divorce who had appeared to be doing fine in every other way, they started to wonder if that was something they were at risk of.  I understand that.  I have seen couples who seemed to be doing just fine suddenly split up!  What was going on?  Is that something that just happens?  “Good morning, dear.  I think it’s that time when we are supposed to get divorced.”  Like it’s normal.  Well, I understand that divorce these days is more common than successful marriages, but come on!  I read this fantastic post the other day about this very thing.  Still, it’s kind of like seeing people your age have heart attacks, or discovering they have cancer or diabetes, or even dying!  You start to examine your life a little more closely – getting your cholesterol and blood sugar levels checked, examining your skin for funky-looking moles, eating better, exercising more, hoping you don’t lose your health and happiness to some unseen carcinogen in a tragic ruin!  In marriage, you might start to watch for things, like losing that “spark” of romance and excitement, verbal and emotional abuse, and hopefully you’ll start doing things that will work to strengthen your marriage.  Things like serving one another, offering words of kindness, and being extra patient (see “Lasting Marriage” video).  Being married, even in the temple, doesn’t mean you’re finished with trying or you don’t have to worry about getting into trouble anymore.  I recently heard about a Bishop I had when I was first married who would counsel with newlyweds who were considering a divorce.  Before going into the interview, he would say to himself and his councilors that “they haven’t been married long enough to know they want a divorce.”  In fact, getting married is just the beginning of a whole new ball game.  I learned a long time ago that marriage is not about codependency where one person dominates the relationship.  It’s about interdependence, like a three-legged stool where one each leg represents you, your spouse, and God.  One of those goes missing the stool will collapse.  In The Family: A Proclamation to the World, the roles of husband and wife are defined as equal partners in marriage.  I love that!

“Because, that’s the thing about love, really. No one will love you how you want to be loved, they’ll love you in the only ways they know how. Life throws everyone down drastically different paths so how can we expect everyone to love in the same way? The person you’ll spend your lifetime with will love you in their way and you’ll love in yours, and maybe you’ll meet in the middle and it’ll last. None of us know what we’re doing, you see, we’re just fumbling for matches in the dark. If you’re lucky, you might eventually just strike the right one” (None of us know what we are doing).

I’m sorry I seem to turn everything all sappy.  This movie was everything but.  Still, what I got out of it was the ability to laugh at myself and at the seemingly serious things that try to bog  me down.  The scene where she takes out her retainer and drools down her face, the kids pile-driving them in the morning, finding some silly way to spruce up a regular evening by making up stories about people, just crack me up still!  I might never watch it again, but it was great!

 

P.S. I know everyone is watching Harry Potter and that would have been a better movie to review, but I’ll write about it another time when I’m not so worried about spoilers. 😀

Media Review: Culture and Modesty Part II

I thought this was kind of on the same vein as my last post so I thought I’d share.  Obviously this is about a patriarchal society where a dowry is a cultural tradition.  The moral of the story is that our self-esteem comes from believing in ourselves and having confidence in who you are.  I will take it a step further and suggest that even the dowry shouldn’t define the worth of the wife but it is the belief that she has in herself that gives her confidence and beauty.

Media Review: Culture and Modesty

My friend posted this on her blog and I got a kick out of it!  I think it’s hilarious!  It’s so true!

I have been struggling this summer to find a bathing suit that doesn’t make me feel naked!  I finally found a rashguard and swim shorts at a sporting goods store that I felt good about.  It’s great!  I feel totally comfortable going out in them!  It feels a little strange, just because it’s customary in the US to be next to naked when you go swimming, but why?  What’s the point?

Anyway, if you’re like me and would prefer to keep more to the imagination, here are a few sites I have found that offer cute, modest bathing suits:

Lime Ricki

Land’s End

Girls 4 Sports – My personal favorite 😀

Coolibar

Jen Clothing

Swim Suits For All

Columbia