Is the Media's Image in the Mirror?
By Jessica Jones 4 Minute Read
When you look in the mirror, what do you see?
Today, I want to talk about two images that can be seen when we look in the mirror. One is the image society and the media have told us to be. And the other image is the one God has created us to be.
The World’s Image
Perfection. We see our society’s obsession with the need to be “perfect”, especially physically, everywhere we turn. From the photoshopping of models and celebrities to plastic surgery, crash diets and workout programs that would be exhausting even for professional bodybuilders, the quest for physical beauty and perfection is blatantly shown all over the media: in movies, magazines, and on social media.
But these things only serve to create a false reality. Not everyone is a 6’ tall, size 6 woman or a 6’2” man with wide shoulders, ripped abs, a tan, and zero body fat. Most of us are not created to look like that at all. In fact, the people we see in magazines and in movies do not look like that either! Airbrushed makeup, hairstylists, photographers, and digital editing all contribute to making them look like they meet this “standard” the world holds up. The reality is that these flawless images they portray are fake.
Now, don’t get me wrong. There is nothing wrong with wanting to look our best or wear nice clothing. But when our desire to be “perfect” leads us to harm ourselves through extreme diets with poor nutrition, eating disorders, or extreme workout routines which push our bodies beyond what is needed for a healthy life or reasonable amount of weight loss, that is when things have quite clearly gone wrong.
Created in God’s Image
As believers, we need to remember that while we should take care of our bodies, what ultimately matters to God is that which is eternal - our hearts and souls. Our bodies are temporary vessels, but our souls have eternal value. As Paul wrote in his letter to Timothy, “Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Rather train yourself for godliness; for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come” (1 Tim. 4:7-8, ESV).
The media and society tell us that our value and worth come from our outward appearance. It tells us that we are not worthy of love and acceptance unless we conform to their “image.”
God tells us that He alone defines our value, that we are worthy of His love and acceptance because of who we are, not for what we look like. He tells us that what is most important to Him is that we become conformed more and more to His character and ways. Romans 12:2 says, “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God” (NKJV).
God wants to radically transform us and change the way we think so that it no longer aligns with the fake ideologies of the world, but with the Truth of His Word. He wants us to be what He has created us to be - His Image-bearers and representatives of His kingdom to the world.
The question we must all ask ourselves is: which image do we see when we look in the mirror? Do we see the false perfection of the world? Or, do we see an Image-bearer of God?
Who do you want to be?