Sunny Side of The Stream: Celebrating God’s Natural Design for Our Bodies Heals Self Hatred

By Aliya Kuykendall Published on August 5, 2023

The battle against gender ideology and the belief that one’s body could be the wrong sex reminds me of a body image struggle I had in high school. It’s minor in comparison to the horrors people are now facing with hating their own sex and having their bodies surgically disfigured and sterilized. But I think there’s a relevant lesson that echoes what detransitioners are now saying.

I remember as a young teen crying and believing that God had made a mistake when he made me. My unbearable condition? A small chest. My body was wrong, it seemed. I wondered why God had made me this way.

It was a meaningful battle for me at that formative age. The answer I came to formed my view of the world.

Meditating on This Scripture Made Me Realize My Thoughts Were Wrong, Not My Body

I wrote out Psalm 139:14 on a note card. It says:

I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Marvelous are Your works,
And that my soul knows very well.

I taped that note card to my bedroom mirror, and I looked at it often. I stared at it while sitting on my bed day after day, memorized it, and thought about its meaning. While genetic disorders and diseases can mar natural design, God is a brilliant artist, and His design isn’t flawed. His works are wonderful, because He is God. I am a creation of God, so I am therefore wonderfully made. If I think there’s something wrong with my body, and it’s not a disease or some deviation from its healthy, natural design, it’s actually my thoughts that are wrong, not my body.

Somewhere along the way, I decided that I would seek to enhance my beauty primarily by seeking to improve my health, and not by trying to change the kind of beauty God had given me.

This realization liberated me. I decided my feelings about myself could be wrong, even if I was still feeling them. I told myself that the feeling that a part of my body wasn’t good was wrong, and eventually, my feelings lined up. I began to see how every physical quality that is beautiful often comes with a “shadow side” that isn’t as desirable. A head of thick, dark hair might come with a unibrow and noticably hairy legs. Blonde hair comes with both lighter eyelashes and lighter leg hair. Being taller comes with having larger feet.

Realizations About the Beauty Industry

I came to accept and enjoy the body God had given me, as it was naturally. I began to see how the beauty industry often profits from making women want a characteristic their bodies weren’t designed to have. Women with curly hair straiten it, and thereby damage their hair. And women with straight hair curl it, and thereby damage their hair as well. In parts of Asia, women with little body hair get hair transplants. While in the West, women with body hair get it removed, sometimes with lasers that kill their hair follicles.

Instead of promoting the natural beauty God has given us, so often we buy into the beauty industry’s promise that we can adopt a beauty that’s not our own, and that often damages our natural beauty. I noticed how women who wore the heaviest foundation and mascara seemed to have the unhealthiest looking skin and eyelashes when they didn’t wear makeup. It seemed that the makeup itself, especially when relied upon heavily, was bad for the natural beauty of the features it was claiming to beautify. I realized that this dynamic could serve to make a woman rely on the makeup even more.

What I Wish I Could Share With Hurting Young Women About Our Beauty

Somewhere along the way I decided that I would seek to enhance my beauty primarily by seeking to improve my health, and not by trying to change the kind of beauty God had given me. Seeing God’s natural design as what is healthiest and best to pursue became a life value that continues to guide my choices.

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I wish that I could pass this truth on to the young women who face broken families and a broken world and are told their shame and self hatred means their bodies are wrong and they should change their bodies to look like the opposite sex. Just like the beauty industry profits from making women with curly hair wish they had been born with straight hair, the medical professionals who practice “affirmative care” make big bucks from the belief that a person’s natural body is wrong and must be changed to grant them happiness. It’s the opposite of affirmation, because affirming self hatred does not help a girl or young woman to love herself.

Meet Prisha Mosley, a Woman Who Wants to Spare Others Her Suffering

Shortly before this writing I watched a video of a young woman named Prisha Mosley sharing her raw, heartbreaking story of changing her body to try to make it that of a man, and then realizing she had been led to make a mistake with irreversible consequences. The video, produced by the Independent Women’s Forum, is part of a documentary series called Identity Crisis. Prisha speaks with truth, clarity and sanity on a topic that is clouded with self-hatred-inducing, money-making lies. Her clarity on the topic has cost her dearly: her breasts are gone and her reproductive health has been harmed. Exactly to what extent, she doesn’t know. But she’s using her experience to share with others the truth she’s learned. Her testimony is powerful. Please take a few minutes to hear her story. (Click “Watch on YouTube” below or use this link.)

If I Could Speak to Prisha

I wish I could speak to Prisha Mosley and encourage her. I would ask her if she’s on the path of life with Jesus. It sounds like she’s grown so much, and yet these procedures have come with their own new struggles and insecurities to overcome. I would like to encourage her: You are beautiful. You are worthy of love and pursuit.

I hope you will get married and become a mother, as you desire, through your own pregnancy or through adoption. You may find one day that you have become a mother to many young people by nurturing them with life-saving truth and love that you are uniquely positioned to offer. You have so much beauty and love to give.

What was done to you is horrible and wicked. With voices like yours speaking out, I hope the injustice of gender ideology will end soon, for the sake of all the children who need protection from it.

I saw in the video some evidence that you had exposure to Christianity as a child, and I hope you have and will continue to find comfort in the truths of the Bible. One day soon, Jesus will return, make the world as it should be and rule the world perfectly. Those who are His will receive new, glorified bodies, unscathed by the damage done in this lifetime.

Selfish people will no longer profit from the vulnerabilities of others. Jesus will judge every person who has ever lived and bring justice to every action ever done.

I hope your trust is in Him to pay for your own moral crimes against God and others, and that You have surrendered your life to Him, because He’s coming back soon. He will give eternal life and personal rewards to all of us who give our lives to Him and trust in Him. He will punish forever those who refuse to turn away from evil.

In this life we suffer because of evil, like Jesus did. Your suffering is great, and much has been taken from you. Don’t be discouraged. If you take up your cross and follow Jesus faithfully, you will receive a reward in the world to come that is incomparably greater than any suffering we could face in this life. Keep fighting the good fight with God’s truth and love.

 

Aliya Kuykendall is a staff writer and proofreader for The Stream. You can follow Aliya on Twitter @AliyaKuykendall and follow The Stream @Streamdotorg.

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