Why The Self-Confidence Movement Won’t Work

Filed under Self Worth Your Heart on Jul 12 12 by

Magazines
Growing up, all of the magazines that I read told me that “thin was in”. I remember watching celebrities become unhealthily skinny, and staring at myself in the mirror wondering if my curves meant that I was fat. I also remember the “ANA” websites, which told women that fat was evil and showed them how to consume just enough to stay alive. Then, in an effort to push against the anorexic trend, we started to hear the “REAL women have curves” mantra. Celebrities with the perfect hourglass figure were glorified and insults were hurled at thin women. “Guy don’t like skinny girls! They want curves,” was a phrase often heard, and I remember a beautiful friend of mine (who happens to be naturally thin) crying because she was fed up with people asking if she had an eating disorder. During my later teen years, many celebrities were getting boob jobs and butt lifts to obtain a “perfect figure”. Whenever a young celebrity developed, there was always a big deal made about whether or not her chest was real. Another phrase I started to hear was, “Men don’t like large chests! Big boobs are disgusting. Who would want that?”

I am aware that I’ve just made some serious generalizations, but the point I’m trying to make is this: I’ve noticed in the media that there is this cycle of glorifying a body type, criticizing it out of jealousy, and then moving on to the next. Much of the “body confidence” movement is nothing more than a vicious cycle of lifting up and pushing down women.

When we started The You Are Project, I spent a lot of time in prayer over this. I didn’t want us to be a part of the media’s version of female empowerment. I wanted to be different; I wanted to really go deeper and help women to see that they are so much more than just a pretty face or a well-functioning brain. Even though women are doing so many great things and are achieving greater successes, there’s something missing in the mainstream media’s portrayal of confidence.

While I was praying, God led me to think about this scenario: What if we were living in a world where every woman was confident, successful, and knew she was beautiful? What if we managed to achieve this goal, but didn’t have God at the center? What would happen?

After I pondered this thought, I suddenly was overwhelmed with this awful, deep-cutting feeling of emptiness. What would it even mean? If we achieved these things on our own and finally reached the elusive prize of confidence and success, what purpose would it have? It wouldn’t mean anything. Achieving our dreams outside of Christ will only perpetuate a feeling of hopelessness and loss, because we will realize that no matter what we have, there is still something lacking. We will not be fulfilled.

There is no meaning outside of a relationship with God. There is nothing so fulfilling, nothing so exciting, nothing so worth fighting for as a passionate and intimate relationship with our Creator. In our search for confidence, it isn’t the media that needs to change. It isn’t the magazines that need to change. It isn’t the people around us that need to change. Our confidence comes from Christ. Rather than making changes to our surroundings to temporarily feel better about the way we look, let’s find our beauty in following our Savior with our whole heart.

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Lauren D'Alessandro
As the founder of The You Are Project’s print magazine and blog, Lauren is passionate about developing publications that inspire creativity and action. Lauren is the Editor-in-Chief of You Are REAL and the creator and manager of our website. Her dream is to continue using writing and publications as tools for communicating God’s love to the world. Keep up with her latest endeavors at laurendalessandro.com.
  • http://hipmamamedia.com Hip Mama Media

    Hi Lauren,
    Found your website a couple of weeks ago and I am so glad I did. I absolutely love everything the You Are Project stands for and the reasons you founded it. This is a great post: society’s idea of beauty is all over the place! Curves, no curves, bosom, no bosom. The love and acceptance of God are steadfast.

  • http://laurendalessandro.com Lauren

    Thanks for your feedback–I’m glad that you are enjoying the site! I’m currently browsing your blog, and I love it so far!

  • Darlene Anderson

    Lauren and Catherine,
    I appreciate the prayer, hard work and heart that you put into TheYouAreProject. Thank you!