Making the rounds on social media is a group of yearly photos taken of four sisters over 40 years from 1975 to 2014.
You can read the story of the photos and see them at this link. If you would like to scroll through them larger size, go to this link as well.
Nicholas Nixon, the husband of the sister second from the right, took the photos, which are astonishing in many regards. (I used to be married to a photographer, so I immediately could tell these were done by someone who understands light, composition, etc.)
What do these photos tell you?
As I scrolled through them, I was immediately struck by the truth that time stands still for no one. I say this not with a critical eye, but with a sense of awe of God’s design and the gift of earthly life that really is but a breath.
We are always in the process of aging. This discourages us too often, right? We become fixated on body image to the point that we really lose grasp of what we have at the moment.
We long for a younger, firmer, thinner version of ourselves.
But do we sacrifice too much in that longing? This isn’t commentary on these gals in the photos, because I know nothing of their life.
But to see such a visual reminder of the natural process of aging… to see photos that are not digitally doctored to remove what we have come to see as “flaws”… what will it take for such a visual reminder to enlighten us rather than discourage us?
What do you see when you look in the mirror? Are you hyper-critical?
As a married woman, do you let body image sabotage sexual intimacy with your husband? Are you unwilling to let him see your body and caress it as he desires?
I’m not saying that there isn’t value in getting healthy. But if your standard is based on an unrealistic photoshopped version screaming at you from magazine covers and Entertainment Tonight, then maybe you need a new perspective.
The other thing that struck me when I looked at the photos of the sisters was the sense of relationship. And there are lessons in that as well.
When all is said and done over the decades of our life, have we savored and valued relationship above all else?
What do you see when you look in the mirror? What do you see when you look at your marriage?
Are you valuing what matters most?
For more encouragement about overcoming the battle with body image, read A Body that Never Quits and The Secret to Stopping the Body Image War.
Copyright 2014, Julie Sibert. Intimacy in Marriage Blog.