If you’ve been online or watched TV in the past few weeks you’ve probably seen the Dove Beauty commercial. There have been parodies about it and much controversy.
All this jibber-jabber of late has taken away the important message of the video: when it comes to ourselves we see the worst. This is especially true of sexual abuse survivors. As I mentioned in a guest post on a friend’s page, 5 Questions on Dating/Singleness, abusers are not silent in their abuse. If someone in a violent way tells you that you are unworthy and ugly you begin to believe it.
Sexual abuse victims begin a war with themselves the day they are first abused. A war with how they view themselves and their body. I have a healthy body image because I have worked hard to have one. But I knowingly have a broken sexual image.
This may not make sense if you have never been abused. My body was literally used for someone else’s enjoyment and in order to survive the ordeal I had to become separate from my sexual self or my sexual organs. You see my va-jay-jay is a separate entity in my mind. It is something that was used and is inherently ugly and damaged. This may actually be the case, after all they do call it, “bumping uglies,” but I understand this view to be broken.
We are not born with an unhealthy body or sexual image. We are instead born with healthy images and it takes culture and abusers to change that.
Over the years I have managed to work out that I am a beautiful woman, who is wonderfully made. I have also worked out that my vagina is part of my body and is therefore, beautifully and wonderfully made.
But I’m still a work in progress. I work with God, friends, and trained professionals to sort out the distorted views in my mind. It may take a healthy, loving relationship to truly begin to clear out the cobwebs and clean out the distorted broken images to see my sexual self as it is: a gift from God and therefore something to treasure.