Sexy, Not Sinful: The Christian Woman’s Response to the Pressures of Society

Recently I have been pondering the thought, what does it mean to be sexy? The modern world tries to convince young adults, teens, preteens, and even children that in order to be liked, one must be considered sexy. What does sexy mean, do you ask? The media is flooded with pictures of child stars inappropriately dancing, profusely drinking alcohol, and wearing skimpy clothes. According to pop culture, this behavior is associated with being sexy. It is impeccably sad how drastically the public’s vision of sexy has changed from the curves of Marilyn Monroe to the barely-dressed sexually openness of Miley Cyrus.

My cousin just turned 12. She is obsessed with One Direction, boys, makeup, and jumping ahead to her adult years. I have watched this thoughtful, smart, outgoing, witty, confident, and incredibly fantastic little girl’s worldview change from a place full of wonder, to a place full of judgement. She used to find joy in playing in the mud with her brothers, talking about sports, and spending time with her family. Now, she still enjoys the same activities, but only when her friends aren’t watching. She is now scared to reveal her true desires, likes, and hobbies, for fear of being judged or made fun of.

I have watched this world change my cousin. I have watched this world change my friends. I have watched this world change myself. Although one cannot truly say, it is all the world’s fault that I am this way, the unabashedly judgmental and self-absorbed social norm does play a big role in the creation and presupposition of the fact that women must strive for excellence in beauty in the modern world. I am not a feminist, to clarify. But, I do strongly believe that society is aiding in shaping the thoughts of young girls, and warping their views on body image.

But, there is hope. In a recent study conducted on a Christian Liberal Arts College campus, men were interviewed on their ideal woman, and what they find most attractive in women. These men are all very successful, intelligent, and goal-oriented students; the exact type of man that almost every woman wants to marry. In this survey, the men were asked what the top 5 most attractive qualities in a woman are. The results were much different than those expected in the secular world.

1. She genuinely loves the Lord
2. I am attracted to her
3. She is easy to talk to (carries herself well)
4. She is outgoing
5. She is encouraging to others

Other qualities that these men listed were: She is intelligent, friendly, smiles a lot, sympathetic, hardworking, independent (but not stubborn), and she goes out of her way to help others.

Look at the book of Esther. Esther was a Jewish orphan, in a time where Jews were considered the “lower class” and eventually the enemy (because they wouldn’t bow down to the current king). It is a long story, and a terrific read, but to sum it up, Esther was utterly beautiful. The king, Mordecai, banished his wife because she would not obey his commands (to expose herself to his friends). Mordecai went on a search for the most beautiful woman in the land, and after testing that lasted multiple years, Esther was chosen. Because of her beauty, Esther eventually saved her people from destruction.

Why was Esther so sexy? Her outward appearance is highlighted in the Bible; she was extremely beautiful. But, perhaps the most beautiful and influential attribute that Esther possessed was her devotion to the Lord. Because of this obedience, she was selected to save an entire people. That is a big deal. Esther was wise in her decisions, and incredibly well-spoken. Of course she had her flaws, but Esther never failed to obey the Lord.

Beauty can be defined in so many ways. Vying for the attention of men through illustrious activities is not attractive. The majority of men do not find such activities sexy. The men worth pursuing a relationship with value so many other things as sexy. In fact, Ashton Kutcher, one of the most attractive and successful men on the planet, spoke on this topic in his acceptance speech at the video music awards. He blew the minds of viewers everywhere when he dared to admit the truth about beauty: “The sexiest thing in the entire world is being really smart. And being thoughtful. And being generous. Everything else is crap!”

I wish my cousin could realize that true beauty is so much more than the way you dress, or style your hair, or how much makeup you wear. True beauty is intelligence, thoughtfulness, generosity, loving the Lord, knowing how to carry an intelligent conversation, and being an all-around good person. This fascination that the media has with skimpy clothing, girls throwing themselves at guys, and immorality, may never pass. The media will always be obsessed with the gossip-worthy news. But, more and more people are becoming unconvinced that this is true beauty. No matter what people say, the media says, or society says, true beauty has always been the same: a woman who loves the Lord and walks in His path. That is beautiful.

A Brief Hiatus: The Perks of The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Okay, okay. I know it has absolutely nothing to do with health or fitness, but I just have to take a brief hiatus to explain how much I love the movie The Perks of Being a Wallflower. To say this is my favorite movie is a huge understatement. You know those books that you read and you think wow, I wish this was my life. I wish I knew these people. I wish I was in this book. This feeling was significantly multiplied when I saw the movie. I would pay a very significant amount of money just to live in this movie for a day. 

I had heard of Logan Lerman briefly before I saw the film. My friends raved about how cute he was, in the simplest of ways, they said. I did not understand the buzz. The first time I watched Perks, I immediately felt the same about Logan. He is adorable, and he makes the film worth watching. Not in the Oh-my-gosh-Channing-Tatum-is-so-hot-I-am-going-to-buy-this-movie kind of way, but in the this-actor-is-so-adorable-it-just-adds-to-the-amazingness-of-this-movie kind of way. I know, makes perfect sense, right? 

It is almost unexplainable how perfect Logan is for this role. Great actors can move audiences without saying any words at all. That is what Logan is about. In this role, Logan [and obviously his costars] moved me to tears by how well they convinced me that they really, truly, loved each other. It is like I was watching a true story about their lives, and I had to convince myself that they were merely actors in a film. 

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I mean, seriously, how cute is he?

I think the most impressive part about this film, though, is the chemistry between Logan Lerman and Emma Watson. As a big Harry Potter fan, I have always loved Watson’s acting style and ease in every role she plays. These two have an undeniable bond that makes you root for them to workout as a couple [through the whole movie]. If they dated in real life, I have a feeling that it would look exactly like it did in Perks. Their connection was so genuine, it made me question whether they were in love in real life. 

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In conclusion, I absolutely hated the movie. Just kidding! As you can tell by my obvious bias, I would recommend this movie to any and every person that I meet! Perks of Being a Wallflower is my favorite movie of all time. If anyone figures out a way for someone to live inside the movie world for a day, let me know!

 

 

From Olympic Champion to Rehab: Allyson Felix’s Injury and Road to Recovery

Picture this: Thousands of fans are cheering at the Track and Field World Championships in Moscow on August 16th. They expect a great show between two of the World’s best [perhaps the best] female 200 meter runners: Allyson Felix and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce. Although Fraser-Pryce is known for her early speed and ability to lead the field, Felix is known for her end of the race kick to wipe the field.

Allyson Felix, a two time 200m silver medalist in the Athens and Beijing Olympics, and 200m gold medalist in the London Olympics, was the favorite for the race, not to mention my all-time favorite runner and idol. I had always heard of Felix, but she did not become my favorite until her stunning performances in the 200m, 4x100m, and the 4x400m races in London [all of which she received a gold medal in].

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The gun sounded for the start of the 200m World Championship Race. Jamaica’s Fraser-Pryce erupted out of her blocks and jumped in to first place early in the race. Just as Felix was inching up on Fraser-Pryce; about to pass her, Felix dropped to the ground and out of the screen. Fraser-Pryce kept her pace, and ended up winning the race in 22.17 seconds [not too shabby]. The USC graduate, Felix, was carried off of the track with a torn hamstring, by her brother, also a former USC sprinter, Wes Felix.

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Felix, who was devastated by the injury, seems to have accepted it and is now focussed on making a full recovery. Just ten days after tearing her hamstring, Felix jovially tweeted: “Had a good day in rehab! Making progress. (Excuse my white feet😜).”

My prayers are with Felix as she recovers from her injury, continues rehabilitation, and eventually continues to train for the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Beginning My Newest Race

I have always loved to write. It just comes easy to me. I know, it sounds absurd: a college student who actually enjoys writing papers. Well, that is me in a nut shell. I was never the musical prodigy or the art genius. I did, however, play the violin for a year, and the piano for three. Needless to say, I had the musical competency of a dog. Except the music I created was more of a bite than a bark.

Another one of my passions is fitness. I run Cross Country and Track for a Christian Liberal Arts school in Illinois. Running [and writing about it] is my creative outlet. If I am ever having a rough day, a run will make it all better [Usually. Occasionally I have my days where I loathe running just as much as the average human being].

This being said, I thought I would combine my two loves: Running and Writing. Although I do not play any other sports, this blog will be a blend of running, health, fitness, and any other sporting news that strikes my fancy.

Enjoy! 🙂