Sunday Challenge – How Has Your Self Body Image Changed?

Introducing the NLQ Sunday Challenge!

What it’s all about is you, you writing in and sharing your take on the topic picked for the week, sharing your hard earned wisdom with others. Just write up as little or as much as you feel like saying on that subject, email it to CaluluNLQ@gmail.com and on Thursday we’ll post your responses.

Your posting is just the thing others need to see to help themselves heal from the spiritual and emotional wounds received. One of the big goals here at NLQ is healing others heal along with reaching out to those still struggling with spiritual abuse.

Today’s topic is all about your own body image. NLQ has had a number of posts about this subject, such as Modesty, Body Policing and Rape Culture and How Modesty Made Me Fat by Sierra plus Tapati’s  Body Image Workshop but it’s something that we’ve nervously edged around.

All of us had absorbed messages about our bodies from the church, family and society at large that has impacted how we feel about our bodies. The Quiverfull life is one that teaches us as women to not love our bodies, to divorce caring properly for your body, or giving it a second thought. What have you done to reclaim your body and now that you’ve left spiritually abusive theology has it changed how you view your body?

Some of NLQ’s SASBN members have recounted their struggles with weight, body image and beauty recently, Bruce Gerencser with Why Are Some Evangelicals Obsessed With My Weight, Libby Anne of Love, Joy, Feminism has a long list of posts involving body image,  while Calulu at Seeking The Light wrote about Christians and judging beauty in Beauty – In the Eye of the Beholder, and Melissa from Permission To Live has written extensively of her spouse Haley”s struggle with gender identity and body changes.

Comments open below

The Spiritual Abuse Survivor Blogs Network

NLQ Recommended Reading …

Breaking Their Will: Shedding Light on Religious Child Maltreatment‘ by Janet Heimlich

Quivering Daughters‘ by Hillary McFarland

Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement‘ by Kathryn Joyce

 

About Suzanne Calulu
  • Fledgling Feminist

    Sierra and Libby Anne were the first ones who honestly challenged me about modesty. I always had a sense that “some people just take it too far,” like making women wear burqas or outlawing pants. I had a harder time seeing what was wrong with the more moderate teachings about “not stumbling your brothers,” especially when they were presented as “heart issues” that reflected your love for God and your love for other Christians. Who wants to be deficient in love?

    I’m starting to be more comfortable with dropping “modesty” as a teaching. I can see now the implications behind what I heard in church and youth conferences. “If you are catching the wrong fish, take a look at your bait.” “If someone disrepects you, maybe your appearance invited it.” “Don’t put out false advertising about what you are willing to do.” “Don’t defraud your brother.”

    It took me a while to understand that I felt disrespect for girls who didn’t wear a lot because…I had been taught that they weren’t worthy of respect. I felt responsible for what went on in a guy’s head, but I know now that people who want to treat you like an object are going to do it, no matter how you are dressed, and it’s their problem, not yours. Clothes communicate, but that communication is culturally based. If you teach a boy that a girl’s clothes are telling him what rights he has over her, he’s going to expect her to live up to that. We need to teach boys that they aren’t the center of the universe, and that most girls get dressed in the morning in clothes that make them feel happy. And CONSENT. I was never taught about CONSENT at church. Clothes aren’t consent. Drinking is not consent. “Putting yourself in that situation” is not consent!

    I still feel uncomfortable with clothes that sexualise girls at too young of an age. I mean clothes that try to emphasize (or create) curves on prepubescent girls. I haven’t changed my own dress drastically, although I am open to the idea of wearing a bikini on the beach someday (!!!) Because it fits with the philosophy that makes more sense to me now: “Is it practical? Is it comfortable?” I forget which article made that point, but men in general wear what is practical and comfortable. Just check the difference between the male dress code and female dress code at PCC and BJU.

    Can “Practical and Comfortable” be a working philosophy? Any holes in it?

  • Betty Crux

    Sending you my contribution tonight!

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