Does This Make Me Look Fat?
I'm awkward, imperfect, messy. I mean I wear weird socks and struggle move gracefully. And it often concerns me. Until I voice it and embrace it. There's some sort of freedom in that. So, here we go.
Last week, I asked "the" question while trying to pick an outfit for Thanksgiving dinner. You know what I'm talking about. We've all worried about it, we've all asked it: "Does this make me look fat?"
When I finally settled on an outfit liked, I opened the door to show Matt.
"I like it." He said, casually.
Hmm. My wheels started spinning. Does he REALLY like it? Maybe it makes me look fat...
"Thanks," I responded, "But...does it make me look fat?"
He rolled his eyes. Which in the moment I couldn't understand. How dare he! It was a very legitimate question!
There I was, staring in the mirror. But suddenly I didn't see the outfit or even my own face. I saw into my own soul. And I was wrecked. My deep concern over the answer to that question revealed so much about my heart.
I am insanely self-conscience and deeply fear feeling inadequate. I have a need to look perfectly put together, to feel flawlessly thin, all the time.
If I had to guess, I'm probably not alone in this need.
Our world measures worth in likes, pounds, and dollar signs. I worry when I don't meet the standard. For me, last week, it was in terms of pounds. I'm sure you've been there before.
But perhaps there's a different measurement that's caused you to question your adequacy recently. Maybe it's approval from peers, career or financial success, relationship status, or other aspects of your appearance or reputation.
In that infamous question, "does this make me look fat?", our fear of missing the standard is so blatantly revealed.
The reality is that we will always come up short. In some way or another. Kind of glum, huh?
The story doesn't end there.
I'm realizing that despite my shortcomings, the story still ends the same. The story still ends the same because of the cross, the sacrifice of Christ. Regardless of the approval, gold stars, and pats on the back (or lack thereof) I receive for any perceived reality of flawlessness that I attempt to create, these stamps of approval are pale in comparison to the stamp of approval that Christ cross gave us.
And they're likely not genuine. Think about it. When you see a woman who seems to have it all together, do you celebrate her or secretly despise her? If you're like me, you grit your teeth and ask "what does she have that I don't have?"
Y'all. The answer is this: nothing. She doesn't have anything I don't have. Because we all have gaps in our heart. We all fall short. We all have weaknesses and imperfections. They may look incredibly different from a sister's, but that doesn't mean they're not there.
That moment in the mirror taught me that perhaps we can look deeper. The more that we saturate our lives in God's Truth, the more we are able to resist the trap of comparison and our obsession with having it all together. When we let His grace speak through the noise of the world, it can change our life if we let it. We can own our thigh bumps, rock the outfits that make us look fat, blemishes across our face, praise Him in singleness, and every other thing that the world tells is is "unworthy".
Because the truth is, these are gentle reminders of our need for a Healer and Perfector. Simple marks that reflect our soul. Pieces that make us real in a world hungry for authenticity.
Perhaps, it's a blessing that we look fat, struggle to have it all together.
If you've been discouraged in feeling accepted, adored, or adequate, you are not alone.
Because the reality is that my bumps and flaws are as real as yours.
But they are no mistake.
Because you know what fat, bumps, blemishes, and other flaws are?
They are beautiful reminders of my need for His unconditional acceptance over the world's conditional acceptance.