I have never failed to catch the Victoria Secret Fashion show since the year 2009. My friends and I deliberately set aside time on the day it airs to watch it. The performances are always fun and the costumes extravagant. But most of all, something about the perfection that all the models seem to possess is alluring. The models are dubbed Victoria Secret Angels, and angels they seem to be. Perfected in skin, hair and coveted of all, their body.
This show puts a spotlight on body image, and unfortunately the world puts a spotlight on this show. While modeling lingerie is most likely not every girl’s dream, the magnitude of this fashion show exposes a great deal about the value we assign to beauty. As women we desire perfection and if we don’t have it, we strive to attain it. We watch it, attempt it, and buy it, molding ourselves into something that is not us, just to have it.
The problem is, “perfection” is almost unattainable for most women. Studies have shown that the body type that is portrayed in advertising is possessed naturally by only 5% of American females. Because the majority of us don’t fit into this suffocating mold, we will diet, refrain from eating, and hide ourselves behind a mask of cosmetics and nice clothes. We knit our identity into what our bodies look like and not who we are. It seriously is not a big mystery why dieting is a concern for most of my female friends and myself. And this seemingly trivial problem does not remain in just young adults. The wave of insecurity has infected younger girls, even those ages 6 to 9, 42% of them wishing they were thinner.
I am not pointing fingers at just the media and the world. As women, we’re naturally fashioned with insecurities and the desire to be “pretty”. When we think we’ve achieved the slightest bit of “perfection”, it whispers worth into our hearts. We feel confident and valuable. But just like the image that we’ve donned ourselves in, these feelings pass away quickly.
What happens when we put our self worth in something that is truly worthy instead of our appearances? In someone who finds us truly worthy? Because of what Christ has done on the cross, I am breathtaking and flawless to God. He died for my sins so that they no longer stain me. He desires for me to have a heart that models Christ’s and not a body that models a Victoria Secret Angel. He loves me in all my disheveled hair, sweat-pants-wearing, pigging-out-in-my-room self. He loves me when I am immersed in my sins and downright awful. And to me, this is love perfected.