Those of you who have read previous posts on my blog know I attend college while living at home (I study nutrition). There are arguments for and against college, but today, I would rather not make any; I only want to share with you an observation I made.
Not long ago, a question was raised during class. One of my fellow students asked:
"What do I do with women who don't need to lose weight but still want to? How do I convince them their current weight is normal and healthy?"
Good question! The desire to become stick-thin is certainly not uncommon these days.
Our teacher looked at the young lady who asked, looked at us all, and asked a question in return:
"How many of you want to lose weight?"
There were about 20 of us in that room, all young women, none of us overweight. Guess how many stated they were not interested in losing weight? Only 3.
Yes, only 3 out of 20. And we are talking about women who are about to graduate with a degree in nutrition, fully equipped with knowledge, who are perfectly capable of making the simple calculation to find out their weight is healthy and normal!
So what about the 3 gals who thought their weight is just fine? Would you like to know what they had in common?
It's amazing, but they were all religious. 3 religious girls out of a group of 20, and those were the 3 who stated they are not interested in losing weight! By the way, one of those 3 was actually the only one in the room who could be described as curvy. Coincidence?
I have researched some literature recently and found several studies which prove religious women are less prone to eating disorders and distorted body image. Possible explanations?
I can't find the articles right now, but I remember that in one study, it was stated that religious women are more likely to have stronger values and tighter family connections, and therefore less likely to feel they are appreciated based on outwards appearance. Religious women were also more likely to have a firm, loving connection with their father – a highly important factor in building a girl's self-image.
A book I came across a while ago suggested a deeper level of thought on this matter: religion respects femininity, I'll say more – puts glorious womanhood on a pedestal. 'Liberated' world shuns it. Being 'feminine' these days means a skimpy outfit.
A healthy, feminine figure with curves, with breasts and hips, represents fertility and nurturing. It reminds us of the God-given role of joyful mother – a role intended for the vast majority of women. And some try hard to fight against is. Our culture is afraid of powerful womanhood! Women are afraid to acknowledge they are miles away from their true calling – and subconsciously, they choose to look less and less like women.
When I read this, it seemed a bit far-fetched. But after that incident during class, I'm inclined to believe it.