The other day I was having some issues with my body image and Googled “Catholic women body image.” I couldn’t find anything relevant, so I figured I’d write a little something about it myself.
Catholics know we were made in the image and likeness of God, but we also know that, according to the Baltimore Catechism, this likeness is primarily in the soul. The body feels a little left out sometimes, like an ugly stepsister. Even St. Francis of Assisi called his body, “Brother Donkey,” (or “Brother Ass,” depending on the translation). Poor body. It’s sort of a second-class citizen, isn’t it?
Well, it shouldn’t be. It really isn’t, and people need to stop thinking of the body in that way. Is the body of Jesus somehow less important than the rest of Him? Of course not. Same for the rest of us.
So when we look in the mirror, no matter what we see, we should acknowledge our bodies as being beautiful, warts and all.
Easy to say, not so easy to do. This goes way beyond “Does this dress make me look fat?” This is more like, “No matter what I look like, I am a beautiful person.” No qualifications.
Our Father thinks we are beautiful. That should be good enough for us. It’s sad that it’s frequently not enough. I think this calls for a little help from our friends . . .
. . . I’ll start. You, reader, are beautiful. You are the Pearl of Great Price and your loveliness radiates from both body and soul. You are our Father’s precious child, and what Father doesn’t think His child is beautiful? You are so beautiful, inside and out, that before you even existed He fell crazy in love with you! His opinion matters more than anyone else’s, so I’ll rest there.
Now pass it on. Tell your little girl how beautiful she is. Tell your mom, your aunt, and your oldest friend. Tell the checker at Target! Tell our Blessed Mother.
And make it your intention, every day when you glance in the mirror first thing in the morning, to ask our Father that you grow to see yourself exactly as He sees you. Because only then will you finally see just how beautiful you really are.