Women and the pressure to be thin.

2 Nov

One of Boundless’s bloggers, Chelsey, recently became engaged and is now thinking about writing a series for the blog entitled “Bridal Battles.”  In Bridal Battles: Part I, Chelsey talks about all of the stresses she now has due to becoming engaged.  Among these stresses is one that she considers completely unnecessary:  losing weight.

In support of this opinion, she cites her friend’s advice to her:

Before I was even engaged, one of my best friends gave me some awesome advice: “Chelsey, just never forget that he loves you for who you are. Promise me you won’t be one of those crazy brides who tries to lose 20 pounds and order your dress four sizes smaller.”

But that attitude definitely does not permeate the bridal industry, as she experienced:

Last week I tried on a dress that was a little too small. Logically, I turned to the attendant and said I would probably need the next size up. She stared at me like I was the bride from Mars. “Well, what do you plan on doing for the next eight months? You could probably lose a few pounds and get this one.” I stared at her, took the dress and hung it back on the rack. Then, the next day I received an email from theknot.com: “Dear Chelsey, congratulations! Your wedding is only eight months away! Now it is time to get in shape….”

Chelsey writes:

As if there isn’t a big enough pressure on women to be thin on an average day of their life, why not pressure them into losing even more weight for one of the most important days, right?

Okay, why is it that I always feel like churchly arguments about looks always tend toward the extreme when citing rebuttals to “the world’s view” of beauty?  If you put yourself on a diet, you’re going to have an eating disorder, or you don’t value God’s beautiful creation, or whatever.  (Similarly, if you drink alcohol, you’ll become a divorced, homeless bum.  If you see a picture of a naked lady, you’re going to destroy your marriage with a porn addiction.  If you smoke, you’ll get lung cancer.  Etc.)

Yes, there is pressure on women to look good, and there always has been.  These days the bar has been raised very high due to increased wealth of the average person and improvements in and affordability of diet, exercise techniques, and plastic surgery/rejuvenation treatments.  And we all know what we could possibly look like due to constant exposure to pictures of beautiful people in magazines, TV, film, and advertisements.  So I get that there is a perception that there is an “unrealistic standard of beauty.”

However, unless you live in a mecca of beautiful people, such as Los Angeles (and even here the homely are not exactly nonexistent), genuinely highly physically attractive people are more the exception than the rule.  It’s kind of like when you get older and then you look back at your high school yearbook and wonder how everyone could have thought so-and-so was so devastatingly gorgeous, when in reality she was just a big fish in a small pond.  The truth is that Hollywood levels of beauty are really only found in…Hollywood.  (You will never find a place with more attractive waiters.)  So in my opinion, all the wah-wahing about unrealistic standards is a hamsterism for possibly more unpleasant actualities.

Going back to Chelsey’s beef about the pressure on women to be thin…welllllll…there might be pressure on women to be thin, but how many of them are pro-actively dealing with that pressure by keeping themselves in shape?  Some people are just naturally thin, but any cruising around the average mall on a Saturday reveals a lot of women for whom the pressure to be thin doesn’t seem to be registering.  So do we laud those women for their nonconformity, or do we ascribe to them even more pressure because they’re obviously incapable of attaining a Hollywood body despite their wishes to be thin and beautiful?  I see both responses being used by the “I’m beautiful just as I am” crowd.

And then Chelsey regurgitates the standard evangelicalisms about looks:

Sisters, please don’t believe the hype. I’m not saying you can’t try to look great on your wedding day; I’m just asking that you don’t let society convince you to be someone you are not. No. 1, you are a daughter of the King and, therefore, made in His majestic image. And No. 2 (for those who are engaged) your fiancé should love you for you.

There are so many other important things that should be done during engagement, and it breaks my heart to see how our culture eats up all that time with improving physical appearance. I challenge all the engaged couples out there to step back today and remember what this stage is all about. Ask yourself, “What would God want me to prepare for right now?”

Regarding the first point:  Okay, seriously, how many women are killing themselves trying to be unrealistically thin for their weddings, versus how many women are buying plus-size dresses for their weddings?  (Has anyone seen Say Yes to the Dress?  That show regularly features plus-size brides-to-be and has even devoted an episode exclusively to plus-size women.)  How many women are REALLY spending the majority of their engagements exercising and eating bird seed instead of doing all of the other prep work that goes into putting on a contemporary $25,000 wedding?  And does God’s majestic image really include, say, a size 22?

Regarding the second point:  Yes, obviously the man loves you if he’s willing to marry you, but that isn’t a license to ignore your body ’cause it just isn’t your thing.  If you’re a size 6, and he’s marrying you, then it’s not important to him that you become a size 2.  So you can stop worrying about that.  But if you’re a size 12 on your wedding day and you blossom into a size 24 by your tenth anniversary, are you really doing right by the man who loves you for you?

I just think that in this culture, people have lost grip on reality and realistic standards of attainability.  The self-esteem culture has really seeped into the church, and now we strive to equalize the beauty of every woman.  But the truth is that some women are just more beautiful than others, and no amount of “you’re beautiful at any size and shape” or “God sees your beautiful heart” is going to give a 4 and a 9 the same standing.  I think if we were more willing to accept our limitations and work to make what we do have the best it can be within realistically attainable standards, there would be so much more happiness and contentment among women.  Ironically, in trying to bolster women’s self-esteem, the whole “everyone’s beautiful” movement just makes it harder for women to have any self-esteem.

 

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95 Responses to “Women and the pressure to be thin.”

  1. Chris November 2, 2011 at 2:14 am #

    Nailed it. Absolutely correct.

    i’d add one piece of advice halve your wedding budget . It is not the happiest day of your life. It is one of the happy ones. Commit to each other, have a wonderful party… then use the money to help build your marriage.

    Because a marriage is a marathon, not a sprint.

  2. Karen November 2, 2011 at 4:32 am #

    “But if you’re a size 12 on your wedding day and you blossom into a size 24 by your tenth anniversary, are you really doing right by the man who loves you for you?”

    I absolutely died laughing at “blossom into” I haven’t ever heard it used in this context.

  3. Toz November 2, 2011 at 4:59 am #

    Ugh. Another person claiming that doing what she would do anyway is somehow virtuous. And you wonder why 60% of the American church is women. This attitude is a vice. It’s a Christianized version of hamsterization. Too many women somehow believe thin = shallow through some convoluted (hamsterized) argument.

    Haley, I predict this post to be one of your most popular.

  4. Will S. November 2, 2011 at 5:05 am #

    Spot on, Haley.

    I pity Chelsey’s poor fiancee. He’s going to marry a woman with THAT mindset? (Never mind her weight; she’s ugly on the inside…) I hope he sees the column and ditches her.

  5. Will S. November 2, 2011 at 5:44 am #

    Er, fiance.

  6. jack November 2, 2011 at 6:50 am #

    Gluttony is a sin of course. A person’s addiction to food is not that much different than an addiction to porn, in terms of being harmful to a marriage.

  7. Will S. November 2, 2011 at 7:10 am #

    Yes, gluttony is a sin, but would a husband’s addiction to food be as harmful as a wife’s?

  8. John November 2, 2011 at 7:21 am #

    Humanity has a bad habit of taking things and swinging them too far to extremes, on the one hand there is a Hollywood culture where everyone is a size zero and every guy is totally ripped (unrealistic) or we overreact and treat image like it is of zero consequence (irresponsible). The real problem is that we’ve thrown image out of where it should properly be in our priorities.

    If, for example, we were talking about buying and owning a home, it would be grossly irrational to bankrupt ourselves into debt trying to have a Hollywood mansion and keep up with the Jones. That being said, that’s no excuse to neglect the upkeep of the little townhouse we have until it goes to pieces. I’d much rather visit someone who keeps their house clean, tidy, well-kept and is proud of their own abode than someone one of either extreme. Beauty falls under the same principle. (Note that in 1 Tim 4:8 Paul doesn’t say that physical care is useless, just that it needs to be kept in the right priority.)

  9. y81 November 2, 2011 at 9:34 am #

    Or you can be like my wife, and explain to the fitter that you’ll probably be, um, a little bigger in the waist area when the marriage takes place in four weeks. That will quiet her down. But it’s probably not the sort of advice that will be dispensed in Boundless.

    Seriously, and further to both what Chris said and to earlier discussions on how chastity isn’t going to survive a multi-year courtship, why do people spend eight months planning a wedding? It isn’t rocket science: it’s just a church service, not notably more complicated than a christening or a funeral, followed by a big party. It doesn’t take eight months. If you think that this day is going to redeem the meaninglessness of your existence, you are asking more than the occasion can bear.

  10. jandy November 2, 2011 at 11:21 am #

    So true on all fronts. I’m having a second wedding myself in a month ( Ill stop whilst you all tell me I am going to hell since I’m divorced) :p but, being a bit on the “older” side, I’m now getting to see some of the bridal craziness from a more mature point of view. On one of my two trips to the Bridal shop, though, I have to say I noticed rather than being thin, the fat ( and even normal, non fat) women look like whales in a lot of the dresses, simply because finding one that is not strapless, skin tight without going the other way (makes you look like an extra from little house on the prarie) is next to impossible. Also, I’m amazed that in addition to the fat, that these girls have no qualms about showing off their tattoos. When I was getting my fitting, the girl in the room with me had a backless halter style dress ( fortunately she was thin, so it looked good) but had a tattoo the ENTIRE length of her back. Quite the juxtaposition with her pretty dress ….Sigh….whatever happened to wanting to be just “pretty”? Not tatted up?

  11. Jennifer November 2, 2011 at 11:56 am #

    John and y81, nailed it.

    “And does God’s majestic image really include, say, a size 22?”

    I don’t care for shallowness at either sides of the argument, and while Boundless goes on one side, you tend to go on the other. Honestly, this is a pretty decent article; her challenge about what God considers more important regarding marriage preparation is perfectly put and not at all an ugly attitude. Yes, I do think many women struggle to get in shape for weddings, considering all the other kinds of painstaking preparations they make for physical beauty on the special day. Many weddings today are ridiculous, but why should it take eight months? There are different reasons: the couple may not have a house yet, or may be finishing college courses, or have relatives living in several different areas. It would be nice if humanity, as John excellently put it, found a better balance; whether it comes to bodily weight or mental obesity in politics and doctrine, we need to tighten up.

  12. jz November 2, 2011 at 12:07 pm #

    “Just play the hand you’ve been dealt”

    That’s my advice before, during, and 20 years after the wedding.

  13. CL November 2, 2011 at 1:24 pm #

    All this fuss over weddings. I think I prefer the OT way of you screw in a tent, then you’re married. This is just silly – too much stress over one day – one day! If only people took that time to get to know each other and develop real emotional intimacy instead of wasting a shed load of money on unnecessary frills. All this “her special day” crap makes me cringe. It’s nothing to do with taking marriage seriously and all to do with a Bridezilla mentality.

    I just can’t imagine taking 8 months to plan one ceremony and a party. It’s not like any of this is useful or will have any effect on the quality or duration of the marriage. There are much better things people could be doing than spending an inordinate amount of time and money on one church ceremony that can be just as easily accomplished at a fraction of the cost or even at no cost. It’s like people are trying to infuse it with meaning by spending more money or something.

  14. Chris November 2, 2011 at 1:47 pm #

    Jandy, congratulations, and best wishes for this marriage, from another person who is divorced. (Christian divorce is a very “special” kind of pain, is it not).

    CL: Total agreement. Find the priest, get the licence, use the standard form of service, wear something nice and let your families celebrate while you find a nice camping ground (or hotel).

  15. Blair November 2, 2011 at 2:18 pm #

    I just read the article and I agree the author swings a little too far in the “looks should not matter” direction. Beauty is a great gift a woman can give her huspand. When I get married I will not try and stay fit, and take some time on my appearance because he demands it but because I love him and want to please him. Brides to be as well as married women should have this mentality. One of my best friends just got married. They were engaged a year so she could finish her degree and he could save money. She decided to try and lose weight for the wedding. We even worked out together at the gym. She did not lose all her weight but the effort she put in paid off she looked amazing on her wedding day and her and her now huspand contiue to work out and cook healthy. I know he appriciates her effort.
    As far as the wedding goes I want a simple wedding. Maybe even just having the exchange of vows after church and then a big potlock with friends and family. Weddings today are to self centered and drama filled.

  16. Will S. November 2, 2011 at 6:58 pm #

    @ CL: Hear, hear! If, we are saying it’s ‘her special day’, why are we not also saying it’s ‘his special day’? Alas, I know the answer: in our society today, it’s all about her, and not about him.

    The OT method of marriage looks more appealing than ever.

  17. Jennifer November 2, 2011 at 7:49 pm #

    It’s obvious why people generally celebrate marriage instead of banging in a tent (how special). Men simply don’t usually care about pageantry, that’s why they call it her day. It’s nice to make it more enjoyable for him, though; not so much strain on frills and fittings and money (I’d get a headache from half of the stuff people do nowadays). Too bad sevring alcohol can be so expensive.

  18. Jennifer November 2, 2011 at 7:49 pm #

    *serving

  19. Chris November 2, 2011 at 7:58 pm #

    Jennifer: men care about ritual and protocol. They want things done exactly right. (Anglo Catholics, traditional catholics, drill teams, the household guard (UK) speaker of the house (NZ — current one wears his academic gown and reintroduced entering the debating chamber from the public space).

    What men hate is bridezilla and her twenty camp elves all telling the girllz they must be special. No. Book of order and host a nice dinner.

  20. Will S. November 2, 2011 at 8:01 pm #

    Nailed it, Chris. Just so.

  21. Jennifer November 2, 2011 at 8:17 pm #

    Nothing wrong with hating the Bridezillas, Chris. But I admire men who care for protocol, and especially who have classier ways of bonding to a woman permanently than casual sex. In the OT, that was damage control, not a special commitment.

  22. samsonsjawbone November 2, 2011 at 8:24 pm #

    I think I prefer the OT way of you screw in a tent, then you’re married.

    Agreed.

  23. Ruth November 2, 2011 at 8:28 pm #

    Thank God we’ve evolved.

  24. Jennifer November 2, 2011 at 8:29 pm #

    Make it a gorgeous garden, and I might be okay.

  25. CL November 2, 2011 at 8:44 pm #

    bridezilla and her twenty camp elves

    Ha ha ha ha!

  26. lifeinlonglegs November 2, 2011 at 9:20 pm #

    “I just can’t imagine taking 8 months to plan one ceremony and a party. It’s not like any of this is useful or will have any effect on the quality or duration of the marriage. There are much better things people could be doing than spending an inordinate amount of time and money on one church ceremony that can be just as easily accomplished at a fraction of the cost or even at no cost. It’s like people are trying to infuse it with meaning by spending more money or something.”

    So true.

  27. Jennifer November 2, 2011 at 9:39 pm #

    Like others pointed out, there could be factors other than a ridiculously large ceremony at work for the eight-month engagement.

  28. John November 3, 2011 at 6:54 am #

    While I agree that 8 months or longer is by no means necessary for planning a wedding (I’ve seen friends and family members pull of a pleasant little ceremony in less than a week) I would also point out that there are some advantages to giving oneself at least a few months time to make arrangements.

    Primarily, it’s possibly the first major life event that the two individuals are having to handle as a pair; and the problem-solving, communication, delegation, stress management, and time management skills that are involved can set the stage for how they’ll handle other issues in the future. (Or at the least it will show their partner how they will be likely to behave in other stressful situations.) It’s also a prime time to get some premarital counseling so that they can plan how they want to manage things like parenting, finances, time, vacations, family, etc.

    Basically, the key focus of your engagement period ought to be planning for your marriage, not just planning for your wedding.

  29. 7man November 3, 2011 at 7:12 am #

    @John,
    All those things should be well worked out by the time of the engagement. So all that should be left is vows & consummation.

  30. Jennifer November 3, 2011 at 8:36 am #

    Great points, John.

  31. Aunt Haley November 3, 2011 at 1:40 pm #

    Toz–
    Haley, I predict this post to be one of your most popular.

    Hits-wise, it’s not off to a too shabby start.

  32. lifeinlonglegs November 3, 2011 at 7:07 pm #

    “the key focus of your engagement period ought to be planning for your marriage, not just planning for your wedding.”

    Agreed – however, you have already committed to be married so some of this stuff should be already understood/planned together at the point of engagement. Inner unity should come before outer unity.

    On that note, I’m feeling called to stop blog commentary and just seek God more. So, I wish you all the best. God Bless you.

  33. Random Angeleno November 3, 2011 at 7:10 pm #

    “Regarding the second point: Yes, obviously the man loves you if he’s willing to marry you, but that isn’t a license to ignore your body ’cause it just isn’t your thing. If you’re a size 6, and he’s marrying you, then it’s not important to him that you become a size 2. So you can stop worrying about that. But if you’re a size 12 on your wedding day and you blossom into a size 24 by your tenth anniversary, are you really doing right by the man who loves you for you?”

    This is the money quote for me. Only I would have substituted “balloon” for “blossom”.

    If I was getting married again and my fiance suddenly developed Chelsey’s attitude, I’d walk away. Chelsey sounds and acts like she is giving herself permission to let herself go after the ceremony and her husband to be will be considered evil if he says anything about it.

  34. Aunt Haley November 3, 2011 at 7:44 pm #

    On that note, I’m feeling called to stop blog commentary and just seek God more. So, I wish you all the best. God Bless you.

    Betting, I mean, Christian prediction pool now open for lifeinlonglegs’s return!

  35. Will S. November 3, 2011 at 7:49 pm #

    A week at most.

  36. CL November 3, 2011 at 9:00 pm #

    Make it a gorgeous garden, and I might be okay.

    So would you be comfortable being naked outside with him? Or would you want a tent?

  37. Jennifer November 4, 2011 at 12:55 am #

    Garden, maybe a tent IN the garden, or a draped gazebo or something (saw the most exotic painting with a similar theme). Just not going to be some casual affair; bang bang between cheap flaps, and done.

  38. CL November 4, 2011 at 6:54 am #

    The real problem here is that the women who are so concerned with details like the colour of the napkins at the reception or whether they make love in a “gorgeous garden” is that they are more concerned with setting than with the man. It seems that if they need all this frilly setting just to have sex, they are not very much into sex or the man with whom they are having sex, if these details are what will make it “special”. Furthermore, where do any of them even mention the man in all this? It’s all about “the wedding” and nothing about the man! Believe me, if you are into the man, you’re not going to give a toss if there are pretty flowers to look at while you’re making love!

  39. CL November 4, 2011 at 6:56 am #

    bang bang between cheap flaps

    Uh….

  40. Jennifer November 4, 2011 at 10:19 am #

    For pete’s sake, CL, I was exaggerating.There’s nothing remotely wrong with wanting a decent ceremony instead of just sex; anyone can just screw in a cheap setting. Once again, declaring marriage after sex in the OT was damage control, not an actual wedding; this is a marriage we’re talking about, something that signifies what they’ll be together for the rest of their lives. It’s not like she’s asking for flowers every time they have sex; time for sex wherever and whenever comes later. If a guy actually expected a woman to be content with fast sex in a tent instead of taking any sort of vows in a dignified setting, he’s got the problem and lack of regard.

  41. Ruth November 4, 2011 at 10:32 am #

    bang bang between cheap flaps

    Uh….

    I think she meant your suggestion of sex in a tent.

  42. terri November 4, 2011 at 12:16 pm #

    When I got married I wasn’t all that into planning the wedding. It was decent looking ceremony I guess, but it was cheap and my best friend, stepmother, and my husband’s female relatives were far more into the ceremony than I was.

    I just wanted to be married to the guy. Period. I didn’t enjoy the wedding planning all that much and I am always a little confused by all the emphasis on flowers and whatnot.

    And what’s wrong with the way they married in the Old Testament? Except for the fact that nowadays most women would be stoned for not passing the “sheet test.” LOL.

  43. CL November 4, 2011 at 12:54 pm #

    Nothing wrong with not really giving a monkey’s about a pomp and circumstance filled ceremony and just wanting the sex. Anyway, some of those OT tents were pretty fancy!

    “Love’s language reads the same anywhere…”

  44. Will S. November 4, 2011 at 12:55 pm #

    CL, I saw that unfortunate line too, I just wasn’t going to go there, heh heh.

    If she’s not waited but rather ridden the carousel, they will be, cheap indeed.

  45. Jennifer November 4, 2011 at 1:05 pm #

    True CL, about wanting the sex, but the ceremony’s sacred. Anyone can just have sex and call it love, but vows speak of real love. And for some women, it would be their first times, which should be special. I don’t want any big silly thousand-dollar affair, or even many gifts ( I don’t need any, period), but it’s more than reasonable to expect a nice, tasteful celebration and exchange of vows.

  46. Jennifer November 4, 2011 at 1:12 pm #

    “If she’s not waited but rather ridden the carousel, they will be, cheap indeed”

    Well I’m not cheap, and neither am I ostentacious. I’ll be happy to help pay for the wedding if need be, and neither a monstrous affair nor a roll in the hay are what I consider appropriate.

  47. CL November 4, 2011 at 1:19 pm #

    If vows speak of real love, why the high divorce rate? It doesn’t seem to make much difference any more. It comes down to the two people, not the vows. Not that I’m saying having your union blessed isn’t a good idea, just that it doesn’t necessarily make for a better outcome. There’s something else at play besides all this stuff. Faith is not enough and not a reliable cornerstone for a marriage. (Now I’m going cause trouble! But the evidence of this speaks for itself – Christians are no more likely than anyone else to stay married).

  48. Ruth November 4, 2011 at 1:19 pm #

    Nice tents, sure, but the Jews would be living there for the rest of their lives. I don’t see why it’d need to be either one extreme or the other. Somehow I think parents would prefer a dignified ceremony as well to “ooops, kids did it again, now they’re stuck with each other.”

  49. CL November 4, 2011 at 1:20 pm #

    I should say: “it doesn’t necessarily make for a better outcome on its own.

  50. Jennifer November 4, 2011 at 1:32 pm #

    “It comes down to the two people, not the vows”

    It comes down to how seriously they take the vows. Yes, actions make the difference, but the action of caring enough to even take vows and sign legally binding contracts is far more solid than just having sex. Faith makes a huge difference, when it’s really there; I think the problem is that very often today, it ISN’T present in marriage; everyone’s become looser about everything. My mom was just talking about how Christians are expected to both accept the world’s ideals (or boohoo, we’re mean) and to be different. We have to choose one or the other, and because of this I’ll be very careful when I choose a mate; I don’t intend to make a loose covenant and end up as another bad statistic for the faith.

    “Not that I’m saying having your union blessed isn’t a good idea, just that it doesn’t necessarily make for a better outcome (on its own)”

    I agree with this

  51. 7man November 4, 2011 at 5:27 pm #

    A ceremony is not Sacred; the Vows that make the commitment a Covenant are but one aspect of the Sacred. The other aspect is the physical – the Consummation. The Sacrament consists of a spiritual element and a physical element. They are each reflective of the other. So get down to the basics – Vows and Consummation. The dignity of the surrounding environment for each matters none.

  52. Will S. November 4, 2011 at 5:29 pm #

    “I want to be reamed someplace nice!”

  53. Will S. November 4, 2011 at 5:30 pm #

    Okay, that introduced certain connotations further than intended, I just meant ‘ravished’, pardon my terminology.

  54. Jennifer November 4, 2011 at 7:10 pm #

    I guess that depends on the ceremony. I consider the vows and sealing by the minister to be sacred, and the environment does matter for most.

  55. Jennifer November 4, 2011 at 7:11 pm #

    LOL I doubt you’re alone Will.

  56. Will S. November 4, 2011 at 7:44 pm #

    ” ”

    means

    Someone has said what’s in quotes…

    Just FYI…

  57. Will S. November 4, 2011 at 7:44 pm #

    (Or, it’s imagining words being said.)

  58. Jennifer November 4, 2011 at 7:52 pm #

    I know, but I figured you might share that sentiment.

  59. Will S. November 4, 2011 at 8:01 pm #

    As a heterosexual man, I wouldn’t be getting ravished (or reamed), would I?

  60. Jennifer November 4, 2011 at 8:22 pm #

    Not reamed, but I’ve heard ravished be used both ways, heh.

  61. 7man November 5, 2011 at 9:31 am #

    Well to avoid any confusion, I am the ravishor and she will be the ravishee. Most normal men and normal women would agree. And any that don’t agree with my sentiment are of no concern or interest to me.

  62. Will S. November 5, 2011 at 9:33 am #

    Exactly, 7man. Agree, completely.

  63. Jennifer November 5, 2011 at 10:39 am #

    LOL I’d say it’s mutual.

  64. y81 November 5, 2011 at 10:42 am #

    Well, if a woman is “ravishingly beautiful,” then a man would be ravished by her beauty, no? The phrase is not “ravishably beautiful.”

  65. Jennifer November 5, 2011 at 10:48 am #

    Truth be told, I was reminded it’s actually an extremely ugly word, when it’s used sexually. When it’s used emotionally, it means to overwhelm with emotion, so could work either way,

  66. Jennifer November 5, 2011 at 11:10 am #

    Heh, true y81.

  67. CL November 5, 2011 at 11:55 am #

    Yes, it would be nice to be ravished a few times a week.

  68. 7man November 5, 2011 at 2:45 pm #

    Contrivance and redefinition of common usage leads to muddlement of clarity.

  69. Will S. November 5, 2011 at 5:07 pm #

    Just so, 7man. But of course, some seek such, to control public discourse and attempt to thus win arguments in that manner, since their arguments otherwise can’t stand up, due to their irrationality.

  70. Jennifer November 5, 2011 at 5:12 pm #

    Indeed, some do. It’s also easier than ever in this age to confuse meanings of words that used to be more common.

  71. Ruth November 5, 2011 at 5:18 pm #

    Eeyick, I just looked up the definition of that word myself. Guess I can’t say I want to ravish one of my male acquaintances anymore, unless it’s to shock him with my beauty, ha ha. Thanks for the reminder, y81.

  72. David November 7, 2011 at 6:34 am #

    Personally, I think its matter of doing the best with what you have. No one should expect a size 0 at 40, but it is reasonable for a man to fear the cupboards being stuffed with twinkies after 6 months of marriage.

    It all comes down to doing the best you can to please your spouse. If a man got married and then quit his 100k+ job to play video games all day and defended himself like this “I am a son of the KING! and I am made in his image. My wife should love me for me.”, we would be quite right in telling him to man up.

    Of course the wife will gain a little weight, but to act like you have license to let yourself go just because you are married does not reflect well on the woman’s attitude towards the marriage.

  73. Jennifer November 7, 2011 at 7:07 am #

    True, David.

  74. Aunt Haley November 7, 2011 at 7:32 am #

    David–
    If a man got married and then quit his 100k+ job to play video games all day and defended himself like this “I am a son of the KING! and I am made in his image. My wife should love me for me.”, we would be quite right in telling him to man up.

    I LOLed.

  75. y81 November 7, 2011 at 9:01 am #

    This particular variety of Christianese, the “daughter of the KING” stuff, isn’t very common at our church. We’re much bigger on the “that saved a wretch like me”/”for such as a worm as I” type of language. Maybe because we speak the Reformed dialect of Christianese. (I wonder what my Reformed friend Hana thinks.)

  76. Will S. November 7, 2011 at 9:44 am #

    I know what you mean, y81, being Reformed myself. Reformese takes many forms. Sometimes we’re stumbling over ourselves to appear more humble. For example, I remember a few years ago, at a concert at my church at the time (in a different place from where I live now), if anyone praised someone’s singing afterwards to them, instead of simply graciously saying “Thank you” or “That’s very kind of you”, everyone was responding along the lines of, “Well, if I can do anything, it’s only through Him!” or “Well, to God alone be the glory!”, etc. It was a bit much, and my parents, who attended (who aren’t Reformed), scowled at the falseness and ingratitude of it.

  77. Jennifer November 7, 2011 at 10:56 am #

    I totally empathize with that kind of thing. Many go either the extreme of “We are God’s GLORIOUS beautiful children!” or “We should think of ourselves as NOTHING!” Both are overwhelming and, to me, like a bad suit of armor. I understand where many Reformed folks come from, but some parts of Calvinism were poison to me because folks would say that everything’s from God (good or evil) and that anyone’s capable of anything without Christ, which I disagree with. OTOH, very ironically, some majorly conservative Reformed folks would have lacy blogs, recommend sappy items for children, and talk about their daughters like they were queens (even though many said daughters were discouraged from leaving home before marriage, going to college or ever having a job away from home). One woman said to me “They treat their daughters like the world revolves around them, like they’re living in some Jane Austen novel as the heroines.” We are children of the King, but also very flawed.

  78. Will S. November 7, 2011 at 12:23 pm #

    True enough, Jennifer; I’ve encountered pedestalization in Reformed circles, certainly.

  79. Jennifer November 7, 2011 at 1:50 pm #

    Yup, and pedestalizing women is an occasional ironic side-effect of those who try to repress them in other ways; sometimes it’s like they’re trying to compensate for restrictive roles, and other times it’s like baiting a hook. Some of the most severely trad groups advertise for men and women with such enticing words as, “Learn to be a SOLDIER for God! Woo your daughter’s heart and be her knight! Be your family’s prophet, priest and king!” Then for the girls, “Here’s a beautiful book about how to be a PRINCESS for the Lord! The graceful queen of your home, your father’s/husband’s valuable ambassador.”

  80. Hana November 7, 2011 at 6:27 pm #

    This particular variety of Christianese, the “daughter of the KING” stuff, isn’t very common at our church. We’re much bigger on the “that saved a wretch like me”/”for such as a worm as I” type of language. Maybe because we speak the Reformed dialect of Christianese. (I wonder what my Reformed friend Hana thinks.)

    Ah – yes, that’s true of Reformed churches, though it would depend on which one. The Christian Reformed Church is moving away from that language, though it hasn’t yet lurched into the “Daughter of the King” language that Boundless is so fond of. The Canadian Reformed Church and certainly the Netherlands Reformed Church, though, would be appalled at anyone using Christianity to boost self-esteem. I must admit that since moving away from home, I don’t go to a Reformed church anymore; but the one I attend doesn’t seem to mention Daughters of the King too much, either. Or maybe I just steer clear of women-only Bible studies and other places where such terminology is likely to occur.

    Actually though, I’m taken aback by a lot of the phrases on Boundless, just because I didn’t grow up with that type of Christianity at all. As an adult, I don’t think I would last too long in a church that spoke of everyone as “God’s precious children”, and women as “Princesses for the Lord.” It sounds so sugar-coated and so unlike the robust language of the Bible.

  81. Hana November 7, 2011 at 6:27 pm #

    Ah…sorry, the first part of my post above should be in quotes (I was quoting y81).

  82. Will S. November 7, 2011 at 6:31 pm #

    Hana, are you Canadian? I am. And Reformed, but belonging to another denomination you didn’t mention, similar to the CanRC (you’ll probably know which one I mean, without even spelling it out, they view each other as ‘sister’ churches, basically).

  83. Hana November 8, 2011 at 9:19 pm #

    Yes, I’m Canadian – I can think of at least a couple different Reformed denominations I didn’t mention.

  84. Jennifer November 8, 2011 at 9:31 pm #

    What are a few that are specifically Reformed?? All I know of is the Presbytarian church, and even that isn’t always really Calvinistic. I thought Calvinists could be found just about anywhere (the Botkins are very Reformed, but they’re Anabaptists, someone told me).

  85. Will S. November 9, 2011 at 6:26 am #

    @ Hana: As can I…

  86. Will S. November 9, 2011 at 8:56 am #

    @ Hana: I have a couple questions for you, but I don’t want to try our hostess’ patience with a rather OT digression; if you’re interested in talking, email me at wgstewart at gmail dot com.

  87. Doc November 9, 2011 at 12:24 pm #

    I put no pressure on women to be thin – at any point in their lives… If they aren’t thin I don’t date them, talk to them, or interact with them in any way. That makes it difficult for anyone to equate complete indifference to pressure. They my pressure themselves due to not being able to find a date, or fill-in-the-blank, but there is no pressure from me…

  88. Hana November 10, 2011 at 9:50 am #

    Will S. – No, I don’t mind answering a couple questions. I sent you an email from my old blog email address (asmanywaters @ gmail…)

  89. Will S. November 10, 2011 at 7:14 pm #

    Cool. I’ve just sent you a response.

  90. Chris.NZ.92 November 12, 2011 at 3:18 am #

    very interesting especially reading the comments about wedding/engagement time period/costs.

    Good advice

    “Because a marriage is a marathon, not a sprint.”

    That should be a bumper sticker, lol

    Also been thinking myself what makes marriage marriage , obviously not things like rings and cake, but things like the vows and consummation.

    But what do the vows need to be? Probably bare minimum is just making a two-way covenant of life-long commmitment and loyalty… two made one :D

  91. Chris November 12, 2011 at 2:16 pm #

    Well Chris the other, since you are a Kiwi, I went to the Presbyterian Church website to help you out.

    LEGAL REQUIREMENTS:
    No Minister can marry persons who are not in possession of a valid Marriage License. The license is obtained for a fee from the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages, usually located at the Court House. After the relevant application forms have been completed and lodged with the Registrar, the license itself is normally available after three whole working days. A consent form must be signed by parents of any party under 20 years of age. The license is valid for three months and the marriage must be at the place specified, between the hours of 6am and 10 pm with open doors.

    And again, the order of service in the church — including what you can leave out.

    AN ORDER OF SERVICE FOR THE
    CELEBRATION OF MARRIAGE

    A Processional Entry
    B Welcome
    C Hymn (optional)
    D An Introduction to the Marriage Service
    E Opening Prayers
    F Giving Away (optional)
    G Readings
    H Declaration of Intention
    I Vows
    J The exchange of Rings
    K Declaration of Marriage
    L The Blessing (optional)
    M Signing of the Register (may be included here or as
    the concluding act of the ceremony)
    N Readings (optional place, see section G above)
    O Words of encouragement and challenge
    P Closing Prayer (and the Lord’s Prayer)
    Q Hymn (optional), Candle ceremony (optional)
    R Benediction
    S Signing of the Register and recessional

    I think you can get it down to a half hour.

    Full link is http://www.presbyterian.org.nz/for-ministers/worship-resources/special-services/marriage-kit

  92. Chris.NZ.92 November 13, 2011 at 1:28 am #

    mmm, thanks… and what, I can’t get married at midnight? ;)

  93. Chris November 13, 2011 at 8:06 pm #

    If you want to get married and midnight, you have to get married outside NZ. Which I did not know until I looked it up.

  94. imnobody November 14, 2011 at 3:56 am #

    In America, the fatter people become, the thinner models are

    In America, the shorter the marriages become, the more expensive and elaborate the weddings are.

    Could somebody explain these contradictions to this foreigner?

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Boundless blogger considers first anniversary a “miracle.” « Haley's Halo - January 10, 2012

    […] back when they wrote for Boundless.  Chelsey Munneke, Boundless’s recently engaged blogger who believes weight loss for a wedding is an unnecessary stress, has never spoken of her fiance this way, either.  Rather, she believes her man should love her […]

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