What We Can Learn From Bikini-Clad Women

At this moment, you’re doing one of a couple things. Option A is that your blood has begun to rush to your face, and you’re moving towards something between enraged and mildly offended. Option B is that you’re laughing. Either way, I think I probably have your attention at this point.

I work with students. Junior High and Senior High students predominantly over the past 10 years, but I’ve also had a lot of contact with college students. As I’ve jumped into the lives of these students I’ve seen patterns. Pornography. Eating disorders. Lust. Sexual promiscuity. Body image problems. Self esteem issues.

But this list is certainly not limited in its application to students alone. To one degree or another, most or all of us have had, are having, and will have struggles in some of these areas.

Thus, a recent article on CNN.com caught my attention quickly. I’d recommend you read it, but for those who don’t have time, I’ll summarize briefly.

Women wear bikinis. Male brains react oddly. Men see sex as a goal. Men see women as goals. Men have image of nearly undressed women burned in brain. Men see women as objects. Smart psychologists publish findings on above observations.

Could there be many things more demeaning than being viewed as an object? As a piece of meat? This new research out of Princeton University suggests that this is exactly how many men see many women.

I could talk on this for days (I really could, just ask my wife. My heart hurts when I see girls and women struggling with eating disorders and body images. And I want to strangle men who help drive them to such things…but I’m ashamed to admit that I’m part of the problem…and odds are, so are you). But I won’t. Here’s a few quick observations/lessons.

1. How many men reading this want to view women as objects? Go ahead and raise your hand. No takers? But we are encouraging our hearts and our minds to do exactly that when we lust, when we are selfish in our sexual lives, when we view pornography (not just the hardcore stuff, fellas. There are many forms of pornography. Television, movies, Sports Illustrated, etc. can all be pornography).

2. Women have come so far in their perceived value in society, their ability to hold jobs, make good money, vote, etc., etc. Praise God that women are not considered a possession or property in America today, as they are in other cultures and in past times in our own country. But ladies, many of you are returning to your former status of objects. Isn’t this ironic and depressing all at the same time? You’re feeding into it when you wear clothes that are too revealing, when you dress to make sure you get some head-turns. I know you need attention, and affection, and to be loved and appreciated. We all do. But this is not the way to do it.

3. It’s no wonder eating disorders are running rampant in young women (and men sometimes, and not-so-young women as well). Guys have an idealized image of what beauty is and pursue girls who fit the mold and all too often see women as objects. Women buy in to the lies that Satan throws at them in the grocery aisles, in commercials, and on TV. Did you know that studies have shown that in many cultures across history eating disorders are quite rare? America generally is considered to be the hotbed for such problems, and for a long time other countries showed little signs of following suit.

Not anymore. You know why? Because American culture, television, movies, and music have gone worldwide. And as our media has grown in influence and spread…so has our propensity for eating disorders.

We all buy in to these lies. Men, women, all of us. But are we any happier for doing so? I don’t think so. So in this instance let’s work on our hearts as we learn a lesson from bikini-clad women.

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