Do not underestimate his tactics.
After much thought and reflection, I have made a personal choice to stay away from women’s magazines. I think those particular publications are degrading to women. The articles, the pictures, and the advertisements portray women as an object that needs to be manipulated to reach certain standards. The author's and the editor's goals are to address those who read them as if they are hopelessly flawed and not good enough the way they are. Each article is about how to better yourself, dress nicer, look prettier, have perfect hair, lose weight, and be the center of attention. Each picture is airbrushed to an unrealistic cartoon-ish look. Even though it is openly deceiving (and they admit it!), it still causes us to compare ourselves and become envious and discouraged. If you read those magazines you will, most likely, be persuaded to change yourself in one form or another. And yet it is completely unnecessary. Completely. Unnecessary.
I once thought that women’s magazines were for our entertainment. Yet, there is nothing, absolutely nothing, entertaining about feeling inadequate, trying to live up to phony standards, and being degraded to the level of an object.
The truth is, these magazines are not going to help us live better lives, contrary to what they say. The truth is, these messages are definitely not going to help us get to Heaven. These types of magazines, their Internet equivalents, television shows, and commercials are a deliberate way the devil is working against us. He knows exactly what he is doing. He is slowly taking control of our self worth and, thus, he is taking away our value as an individual human person.
To counteract the temptations, I use proactive methods. When I am at the doctor, I bring my own reading material for waiting rooms. I go through the self check-outs at the grocery store so I am not assaulted by all the images while I am waiting in line. And we also do not have television in our home.
Since I have been really good at avoiding this trash, my self confidence has increased tremendously and I have a much healthier body image than I did before. I am slowly, but surely, beginning to see myself as God sees me.
I should have known, however, that the devil would not give up on me so easily.
In the mail the other day, I received an issue of Cosmo. It was delivered straight to my house and address to me, so it was no accident. I didn’t have to go anywhere or do anything; the temptation came right into my hands. I couldn’t believe it. Had I been by myself, I might have flipped through it out of curiosity. Thankfully, my husband was home. I had him throw it in the recycling bin immediately. I might not have been able to do it on my own, but I want to be a better person for him. And those rotten magazines will not help me do that.
You might think I am being a bit dramatic. What harm can one little magazine do? What is so wrong about watching TV? Well, for me, it sends me down a road I do not want to be on. I know that I am in a war. Every day, I will have to fight battles. I want to set myself up for victory. And looking at those things will only set me up for failure. I have to be 100% ready and at the top of my game. A poor body image makes me cower and shrink back in fear and incompetence. I have to be in tip top shape to achieve success. The enemy is no dummy and he knows how to chip away at my weaknesses until I fail. It is difficult at times to stay strong, but it is worth the fight.
I don’t want to live like everyone else in this world. I want to be different. I want to live a life for God. I want to have happiness in this life and supreme joy in the next. To do that, I have to make choices that are different than the norm. I can't keep doing what everyone else is doing. I think that avoiding degrading material like that in women's magazines is a key step in achieving this goal.