No, it’s not just the girls. Yes, it seems like it used to be. But in recent years, a growing number of boys and men have fallen victim to body image issues and disordered eating. That shouldn’t be at all surprising. We live in a social-media and marketing-saturated world that pounds us all. . . every single minute of every single day. . . with the message that “YOU ARE WHAT YOU LOOK LIKE. . . NOTHING MORE. . . NOTHING LESS.” Add to that the visual barrage that sets the bar above and beyond normalcy and a few things start to happen.
First, we worship our bodies. Yes, it’s idolatry. Our bodies are gods that we put before God. We spend time, energy, and money trying to reach the unattainable standard. And that leads to #2. . .
Second, we never attain the standard. Of course, that’s the way the marketers want it. If we’d ever arrive we’d stop spending our money to get there. Pursuing the unattainable leads to unending spending. . . of time, energy, and money.
Third, we are killing ourselves. . . spiritually, emotionally, and physically. The sad irony is that the very thing that we think will bring us life abundant is actually quite deadly. . . sometimes literally.
To give you a sense of what’s happening with our teenage guys, here’s a helpful infographic from the folks at Rawhide. What are you doing in your life, your home, and your youth group to set and pursue a different standard? What are you doing to push back on these ridiculous yet all-consuming standards?