Posted by: nieophyte | June 26, 2008

Nieophyte 2.0?

Two weeks ago, I found myself in an air-conditioned waiting room wondering how the hell I ended up at a plastic surgeon’s office in South Korea listening to my grandmother discuss my potential eyelid surgery with the friend-of-the-family doctor. I’d come to visit my family in Korea for two weeks and thought I’d have a pretty good time. Instead, I was subjected to the hyper materialistic, superficial and often very vapid society of my motherland. In the beginning, I was amused by the endless commercials hawking diet products and the obsessive celebrity culture, but this was the last straw. My “when in Rome” attitude ended right there. Let’s go now, I said as politely as I could to my grandmother.

If you remember my last post, I considered the importance of my body and came to the conclusion that the physical realities are just as important as spiritual ones. So how is it that our world–not just America, not just Korea, but so much of our world–has become willing to reject their body in order to have a different one?

Friends and family can tell you that I am not without my own set of insecurities. Strong and independent woman I am not. But something I came away with from my trip to Korea was a clear understanding of how ridiculous society’s standards for beauty have become. I was reminded of a beautiful article written by a friend of mine for Christianity Today in which she recounts her own bout with “going under the knife” to lose weight. After nearly bleeding out on the operation table and recovering, she shares this gem of wisdom:

In the meantime, ads remind me every day that no money or energy should be spared in order to avoid having a body like mine. Yet, I’ve never hated my arms and legs and everything that’s connected to them. I am sometimes embarrassed by my girth; my frailty is writ large in the stretch marks etched across my body’s surface. But my body is me. And I am loved by my Creator. Therefore, my body has the same intrinsic value shared by all bodies—skinny, short, missing an arm, featuring webbed toes and a big nose, or otherwise

Beautiful and true, isn’t it? Reading this again just made me realize that it is just as hard to say, “I am my Beloved’s” as it is to say, “And He is mine.”

til next time,




  1. Amen.

  2. I think materialism and notions of external “beauty” have gone off the scale. I am all for staying in shape (as is genetically possible), trying to eat healthier, exercising to stay fit… but my sense is that whenever we cross a pretty clear line from staying healthy to acting unhealthily (physiologically and otherwise) in order to look good, our bodies go from being our temples to becoming idols.

    Our bodies are just buildings, housing, structures. They can be beautiful and amazing, testifying to the love, skill and creative expression of the temple-builder… but temples were meant for worship, never to be worshipped.

    Happy Merging Lanes Post #100!

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