jasonbwatson

June 24, 2014

Ruining the Beauty of God’s Creation

One of the beautiful realities about truth is that it is timeless. Sure, some truths are circumstantial and those will change as circumstances change. For example, last year it was true that my daughter was in fifth grade. Next year that will not be true. Those are circumstantial truths. Absolute truth, though, is unchanging (hence the use of “absolute”). God’s truth is absolute and therefore anyone writing or speaking about God’s truth is also presenting timeless truth–truth that will be just as true, just as accurate and just as relevant days, years, decades and even centuries after it was written or spoken.

More than ten years ago Ravi Zacharias wrote a book entitled Recapture the Wonder. On page 36 of the hardcover version of that book Zacharias wrote, “Anyone who thinks he or she can place the boundaries arbitrarily will either destroy the enchantment of life or else wear him- or herself into exhaustion. God’s commands are there to protect what life is truly about, not the other way around. Implementing that truth in our lives keeps us from losing the wonder.”

Because Zacharias was writing about absolute truth that statement is still accurate today. Yet, we live in a world that wholeheartedly embraces the idea of placing boundaries arbitrarily–moving them whenever convenient or desirable, or even eliminating them altogether. We see this perhaps most clearly in the area of sexual behavior. There is an ongoing effort to shift or erase all God-given boundaries of sexual behavior, including God’s design for marriage (between one man and one woman), God’s design for sex (between a married man and woman) and God’s design for gender (male or female, as He created each individual). Much as they may claim to be thrilled with their behavioral choices I believe that many of those individuals who champion this boundary realignment, and/or who live their lives based on the realignment, have in fact destroyed the enchantment of life and are working themselves into exhaustion. They put so much effort into trying to convince the world that their redefinition of what God created is normal and acceptable that they cannot possibly be enchanted by life any longer.

When anyone can, with a few clicks of the mouse, see any manner of sexual activity and perversion imaginable it is nearly impossible for there to be any wonder left about sex as God designed it. When the world embraces the idea of doing whatever feels good or desirable at the moment there can be no sense of enchantment remaining.

The inside flap of Zacharias’ book includes this statement: “Our sense of wonder is a blessing from God, given so that we would be continually amazed at His beauty and creation. But for many of us, our wonder has diminished through the years, and we doubt that we’ll ever be able to experience the overwhelming sense of awe we once had as children.” I would suggest that no small part of the reason for that is that, unlike children who are discovering the world for the first time and are enchanted with each new discovery, we adults are, collectively, seeking to eliminate anything that might be undiscovered or secret or private.

Imagine, for example, if the most beautiful sunrise, or sunset, you have ever seen was available every day, any time you want to see it–and to anyone in the world, not just you. The beauty of that sunrise or sunset would begin to fade. It would gradually become less special, less awe-inspiring, less desirable. It could easily become commonplace, ho-hum or boring. That is what the world is doing, or attempting to do, to God’s design for mankind. This effort to eliminate the special, the private–the sacred, even–is painfully obvious when it comes to sex but is evident in many other areas as well.

What we need to do is return to the truth that the boundaries, “God’s commands,” have been given to us “to protect what life is truly about, not the other way around.” If the human body and sexual behavior was supposed to be open and available for anyone to see God never would have created clothing for Adam and Eve after they sinned. If sex was supposed to be whenever, wherever and with whomever, God never would have given instruction that the man and the woman were to cleave to one another and enjoy sex within the boundaries of their marriage. If sex between men or between women was perfectly acceptable God never would have called it an abomination or referred to it as abandoning the “natural” relationship between men and women. We have allowed Satan to delude us into thinking that by throwing back the curtain and openly celebrating and flaunting any and all varieties of behavior we are in fact celebrating and enjoying life. Quite simply, nothing could be further from the truth. Not only are we destroying the wonder and enchantment we are in fact ruining the beauty of God’s creation.

March 25, 2014

Human Barbie

Last Saturday I was at the local public library with my wife and children. We’re there fairly regularly and we each go our separate ways, usually. I knew I would not be checking out any books because I already had a stack at home to get through so I headed for the periodicals. Sometimes I flip through the various newspapers and usually I will find a news magazine with an article or two of interest. As I was perusing the magazine offerings a story title on the cover of O, The Oprah Magazine magazine caught my attention. It was something along the lines of “When Is It Okay to Lie?” Unfortunately the mailing label obscured the page number of the article and nothing in the contents seemed to fit so I found myself flipping through the magazine looking for the article. This was a first for me; I had never picked up O before. Just flipping through was enlightening, I can tell you. Lots of interesting worldviews being presented! In the course of my perusal, however, I came across a snippet about a woman who is trying to become a human Barbie doll. I read through it and then the rest of my family was ready to go, but it stuck with me as great blog material.

So today, not remembering the specifics of the situation, I googled “human barbie” and, much to my surprise, there are at least two women in the world who fall into this category. The one that was in O is named Blondie Bennett. (She has legally changed her name). According to a February article in Huffington Post Bennett says she is Barbie-obsessed. She has had multiple cosmetic surgeries as part of her effort to achieve her goal, including five breast augmentation surgeries and chin liposuction to contour her face more like Barbie’s. “I don’t like being human, if that makes sense… Natural is boring… I would love to be like, completely plastic,” the article quotes her as saying. Frankly, Ms. Bennett, it doesn’t make sense. The concept of wanting to be plastic is something I simply cannot wrap my mind around.

Apparently the pursuit of physical similarities to the iconic Barbie doll is not sufficient, though. Now Bennett is undergoing hypnotherapy in hopes that it will decrease her IQ. She actually wants to be brainless. “I’ve had 20 sessions and I’m already starting to feel ditzy and confused all the time,” she was quoted as telling the Daily Mail. Somehow, though, this does not come as a surprise; I cannot help but think that anyone who thinks it would be great to be plastic and brainless was experiencing feelings of ditziness long before she began hypnotherapy.

As evidence for the effectiveness of her hypnotherapy sessions, which Bennett has up to three times a week, she says she recently got lost on the way to her mother’s house–the home she grew up in–and, when picking up a friend from the airport, forgot if she was supposed to go to departures or arrivals.

Bennett is currently unemployed, though she apparently is able to make enough money to fund her surgeries and hypnotherapy. She has spent over $40,000 on the breast augmentation operations alone. India.com suggests that her income comes from men who pay her for skimpy pictures. Her pursuit of Barbie-dom began in her late teens when she was paid by toy stores to appear as Barbie. Her obsession magnified as she contemplated a life devoted to the “pursuit of looking pretty all the time and doing nothing but shopping and making oneself look more pretty,” according to India.com. She told Metro, another UK site, “I was forced to live a double life until about eight years ago when I decided to become Barbie for real and ignore what other people said.” How terrible that must have been, to have to live the life of a human being!

The other human seeking to become a human Barbie is taking a different approach. Valeria Lukyanova is a Ukrainian model. According to New York’s Daily News her goal is “to become a ‘Breatharian’ who survives off nothing but light and air.” She claims that has stopped eating and drinking water and survives only on “cosmic micro-food.” She told International Business Times, “In recent weeks I have not been hungry at all; I’m hoping it’s the final stage before I can subsist on air and light alone.”

According to the Daily News article Lukyanova first made headlines in 2012 when she underwent extensive plastic surgery to make herself look more like Barbie. At that time she reportedly stated that her goal was to become “the most perfect woman on the Internet.” Various reports state that her waist size is 20 inches or less. Lukyanova also claims that she is from another planet, that she can communicate with aliens through light and that she can accomplish time travel. Lukyanova is also married to a construction worker, who supports her “pursuits.”

Many things about Bennett and Lukyanova scream out for attention. It is difficult to suggest that the unrealistically-proportioned Barbie doll has no impact on the self images of the millions of children who play with them but it is equally difficult to suggest that the dolls are responsible for the crazy behavior of Bennett and Lukyanova.

There are a lot of questions that come to mind as I reflect on these two women. For example, what does it say about our world in general, about our stereotyped portrayals of what makes a woman beautiful, if Lukyanova believes that by abusing her body through surgeries and deprivation of food that she is somehow getting closer to becoming “the perfect woman”? What does it say about Lukyanova’s husband that he apparently encourages and supports her choices? What does it say about the plastic surgeons who have become accomplices to the ridiculous goals of these two women? Is there any limit as to what someone should be allowed to do to his or her body? (I am not suggesting that there is, but it is an interesting question to ponder). What does it say about the “therapist” that Bennett found who is willing to accept payment in exchange for helping her to become “brainless”? How could anyone truly feel that they are helping someone by aiding in such a pursuit? Doesn’t there come a point when someone–whether parent, sibling, spouse, coworker, therapist, surgeon or random blogger–needs to tell these women that what they are doing is not beautiful? Or is that even true? After all, if it is true that beauty is in the eye of the beholder then at the very least these two women think that what they are doing, pursuing and becoming is beautiful.

I think I am asking more questions than I am answering. That’s because everything about what these two women are doing seems wrong to me. At the same time I am not sure I am convinced that they don’t have every right to keep pursuing their own ideas of happiness and beauty–however twisted and convoluted they may be. After all, last time I checked, stupidity is still not a crime.

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