This past weekend I went to my friend Kristina's bachelorette party. As part of the weekend, we went to Jeju, a traditional Korean Day Spa outside of Atlanta. If you've not heard of a Korean Day Spa, it has tons of spas and pools of varying temperatures, as well as massage therapies. What we didn't realize fully before arriving though is that while at the spa, you'll be entirely naked.
Bear in mind that I'd only met the majority of the girls Friday night and this was the first activity of the day Saturday. Essentially, it was just about the fastest way you could ever get to know someone. I think when we learned we had to be naked 99% of us were ready to give up the money we'd paid and head home.
I'll spare you intimate details, but, as you can imagine, it was awkward at first. But then, suddenly, you stopped noticing that everyone was naked. Suddenly you just went back to being girls talking and getting to know each other. Suddenly your insecurities melted away and you were just some girls in a steam room.
What I couldn't help but notice, though, is how many shapes and sizes of bodies I saw there. Women of every type were there. And it made me wonder why, when we all look so different, so many of us try to look like one thing? Why do we all strive to look like women we see on TV or in magazines or even our friends when we were designed to look exactly as we do? Why do we try to change our shapes when our shapes are meant to be ours? Shapes that have been uniquely ours since we were tiny, little ones?
I'm guilty of it - undoubtedly. I can't tell you the number of times I've compared my legs to my friends. Wondering why they're so dang muscular instead of bean poles.
I have a really hard time with the notion that we're all trying to be smaller. I have a hard time with the thought that we feel like we should take up less space on the earth than we need. And I have a hard time with the idea that we're trying to look one way when we were made to look another way - our way.
I believe deeply in living healthily - eating well and exercising. But I also believe deeply that these things are meant to be done because we should care for the temples that our bodies are. They're meant to be tended to and cared for, but not worshipped or coveted. We aren't meant to live confined to a life of strict rules or a life of constantly striving to look like someone else. We're meant to live freely and fully in our bodies. We're meant to embrace them for what they are - fearfully and wonderfully made.