The Naked Truth about Your Body

[This is Part 1 of our 6-part series: The Naked Truth about Your Body.]

naked-truthThere was a time when I was quite the cutie pie. Or course, this was back when I was in elementary school.

But that’s only half the story. It was better than just having good looks. I actually looked a lot like the hottest young television actor of the day: Ricky Schroder.

You likely don’t know who that is, but back in the 80s he was the star of a show called Silver Spoons, and the chicks loved him! You couldn’t really compare him to any one star today, because back then there were only three TV channels and Ricky made his appearance on one of them every week. So we’re talking huge!

And I looked like him.

Now I would never have said this about myself, but I didn’t have to. Everyone else said it. My friends laughed about the resemblance. And strangers would sometimes stop me and point it out.

However, little did I know, my reign of vanity had an expiration date. And it was fast approaching.

It happened in a wave pool in Houston, TX, while I was visiting my cousin, Scott.

I was floating in an inner tube, minding my own business, when another boy drifted my way. Staring at me.

Of course, I knew why he was staring, so I politely smiled at him and then pretended not to notice.

He finally spoke: “Do you know who you look like?”

And even though I knew quite well I could have been the stunt-double for the heart-throb of every elementary school girl in the world, I was also insanely modest.

“No,” I replied nonchalantly, “Who?”

“Ricky Schroder,” he said, ( p r e d i c t a b l y ).

I thanked him for the compliment.

Then he added the words I had not heard before, and I can still hear them echo in my mind, as if it was yesterday.

“O n l y   R i c k y   i s   s k i n n i e r   t h a n   y o u .”

That was the day the Ricky Schroder era ended for me.

For the boy in the inner tube it was nothing but an idle comment, an afterthought, but for me it worked like an evil spell cast upon my body and soul, because I quickly gained even more weight and broke out in a permanent case of acne.

Not immediately right there at the water park in front of that boy, but my confidence in my appearance and contentment with my body drown in that wave pool in Houston.

I hear I’m not alone about this sensitivity. And though it’s usually the ladies who speak of body shame, I can’t help but believe there’s a number of guys out there who secretly wish their body measured up to the CrossFit standard.

But let’s be honest. This isn’t a new phenomenon. Check out the post pic of Michelangelo’s David. Granted, his perfect visage wasn’t plastered across the internet back then for every man to envy and every woman to swoon, but it’s evidence that we’ve always had this unattainable physical ideal to live up to.

But then it gets worse, because that same culture which wants to shame us for not looking like David or Venus or [insert famous body type here] then wants to exploit us when we do “got it.”

And then, (Look out, kids!) here comes the church with its teaching on modesty and purity which can leave us with the distinct impression we’d all be better off with no body at all.

But, if you’re reading this, it means you must have a body, and so you have to deal with it.

Fortunately for you and me, if we want to relate properly to our body and the bodies of others, the word of God has a lot to say about that.

In particular, it makes five clear statements that we need to take to heart:

In coming posts we’re going to address each one of them as we share the naked truth about your body. I hope you’ll join us next week as we address that first truth.

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Categories: body image, The Naked Truth about Your Body