I listened as she told how she wished her daughter knew how her pear-shaped figure was “perfect.” Then in her next breath she made fun of girls with straight figures. I found myself biting my lip, not knowing what to say. As the conversation moved onto more significant topics, these comments had a resounding effect on my thoughts. Do we wonder why women struggle with their self-images?

Did you know that the average bra size for models for the lingerie store in the mall, where the models wear wings and heels? It’s 32B. For those beautiful pictures and runway looks, the models use extra padded push-ups and digital doctoring. The models don’t naturally look like their prints, but they portray bra sizes of 32DD!

Did you know that the average shoe model wears a size 6B shoe? To be a runway model the average height requirement is between 5 ‘8” to 5’10”.

So I look at my statistics, as an average American woman: size 7½ foot, bra size larger than 32, height of 5’4”,  and I’m not anywhere near model weight. If I compare myself to magazine models, I am nowhere near their mark.

The women that grace the covers of fashion magazines are not the norm.  According to WebMD, the average American woman’s height is 5’4″, her waist size is 34-35 inches, and she weighs between 140-150 pounds, wearing a dress size of 12-14. The average American woman’s bra size has increased over the last twenty years, due to education of bra fitting and implants, bringing the average bra size to a 36C. I repeat, this is the average!

It is easy to look at the prints in store windows and commercials and feel the pressure to be something we are not. How does one change the negative self-thoughts?

Instead of trying to look like the girls on magazine covers, women should concentrate on the beautiful, unique features we have both outwardly and inwardly. We should give compliments, emphasizing those features’ beauty, reinforcing others’ confidence in the creativity of God. If we point out what we think is another person’s flaws or imperfections, the message we send to those watching is of unattainable perfection and scrutiny. We should not compare apples to pears and we should not belittle one another. There is no perfect figure, Thank goodness. We are all beautiful in the sight of God. There’s not a perfect bra size under heaven. There’s not a perfect shoe size or weight. We are all created individually by God. So as you look in the mirror today, find a feature that makes you unique, and celebrate your individuality. As you look at your friend, call her curly hair beautiful, or her skin like porcelain, or her smile gorgeous. Let’s build up the confidence of the women and girls around us, in who they are, and celebrate the God-given beauty they have. But don’t stop there. Look in the mirror and focus on the uniqueness God created in you. You are one of a kind!