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Why Pastors Should Preach About Body Image

Our obsession with appearance has theological ramifications for both women and men.
Why Pastors Should Preach About Body Image
mikemelrose_ /Flickr

Have you ever heard a sermon about body image?

Aside from the occasional side comment, I've never heard body image given substantial treatment from the pulpit or serious attention from leaders in the church, which is surprising since body image is not a marginal issue in our culture.

Statistics vary, but research shows that somewhere between 80 percent and 90 percent of women are dissatisfied with their bodies. Although the percentage of women with severe eating disorders is between 0.5 percent and 3.7 percent, roughly 3 out of 4 engage in some form of disordered eating.

And in 2013, women had more than 10.3 million surgical and non-surgical cosmetic procedures, signifying a 471 percent increase since 1997. The top procedures were breast augmentation, liposuction, tummy tuck, breast lift, and eyelid surgery.

Although body image is a predominately female struggle, it does not affect women alone. Approximately 43 percent of men report body dissatisfaction. Among adolescent ...

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