Time to talk breasts

After two years of restrained theological reflection on this blog, it’s time to talk breasts. It’s been hard to avoid them what with all this talk of PIP, silicone implants, ruptures and such.

Came across this piece by Judith Woods in the UK’s Daily Telegraph

Recent years have seen a dismally retrograde return to a preoccupation with taut, tanned, cartoonesque cleavages, aided and abetted by the plunging pornification of fashion; hooker heels and porn boots, curve-accentuating bodycon dresses, skirt lengths leaving little to the imagination and even less to modesty.

She’s right of course. I live in a university town and her description captures perfectly the gangs of young uns tottering around the town in a uniform of high heels and not a lot else. It’s a depressing sight (honest!). I have two teenage daughters and it’s not a culture that does much to respect and affirm the dignity of women. Its voracious appetite extends to the sexualisation of younger and younger girls.

“Barbie isn’t just back – she has taken over the world” quotes Woods, continuing …

… We are losing any connection with our bodies; by gorging ourselves on food, we have achieved the unenviable distinction of being crowned Europe’s fatties. Self-pity and self-indulgence have been rebranded as self-determination and self-fulfilment, and a well-trodden route to happiness that leads straight to the surgeon’s door.

And she ends by posing this question

We must ask ourselves what has made us so uncomfortable in our skins that we crave – and, crucially – have normalised, dermabrasion and liposuction, scalpels and trout pouts?

She mentions the unrealistic conformity of celebrity culture, women’s power lying in their appearance combined with longer life-spans, self-indulgent short-cuts to a fantasy world, and erosive insecurities.

What’s your answer I wonder?

I’d want to put money and consumerism in the mix –  a lot of people have a lot to gain from such a culture.

And in such a culture of desperate lostness and manufactured dissatisfaction, what a priceless gift a healthy sense of self-worth is. And no deeper basis is there than knowing you are loved and accepted, at immeasurable cost, by the triune God.

Holiness, that most misunderstood of words, comprises not of a negative or defensive rejection of the world, but an authentic experience of the depth of God’s love and grace. Such love is liberating (Galatians 5:1); freeing us to be who we are truly meant to be as people made in God’s image. Such freedom leads to peace, not craving to be, or look like, someone else.

That is good news for all of us, male and female alike.

Romans 1:7: “To all in Rome who are loved by God and called to be his holy people: grace and peace to you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ.”

4 thoughts on “Time to talk breasts

  1. Lol… A title like that’ll boost the vital stats, if you know what I mean!

    The idolisation of youth means that women are more and more conscious of normal changes in their appearance due to ageing. Now, I count myself as fairly low-to-medium on the richter scale in regards to being body conscious, but I just turned 30, and for the last two years at least I’ve been more and more aware of looking at other women to see if their skin is more or less ‘aged’ than mine. With the normalisation of surgery and botox and the like, I have to admit a growing fear that when I turn forty I’ll look even worse if every other forty year old woman is indulging in those ways of cheating the years. The age-old comparison game has got us good.

    Maybe being single also affects this – in a world where men choose women for their physical appearance, ageing is not a single girl’s friend.

    Anyway… A very interesting read for women and mothers of women (and probably men and fathers… ok, for everyone!) to look at and think through some of this stuff : “Why Beauty Matters”


  2. The witty one liners are flowing … !

    Thanks for your honesty.

    I’m sure I don’t remotely get the pressures that women feel under and I’m also sure that just saying what counts is inner beauty doesn’t automatically solve things. Does seem to me that core issues are identity, self-esteem, security and those things don’t just appear out of nowhere. And they need to be pretty firmly embedded to resist the onslaught of messages our brains receive every day promoting self-doubt and insecurity about body image in a toxically materialist and pragmatic culture.

    [And increasingly effecting men too – I’m saving up for the follicle enhancement surgery].

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