Sunday, June 26, 2011

A Swimsuit that Embellishes...

I don’t normally find myself wondering around stores in the women’s swimsuit section. But I could not help but notice a sign placed near the main aisle of one of my favorite retailers advertising swimwear that extols the perceived advantage of “embellishment.” At first glance I laughed to myself. I was thinking: Women can’t just buy any swimsuit. They need one that embellishes certain parts of their anatomy. But I soon quit laughing, because I understand the term “embellish” all too well.



I do a lot of public speaking for a variety of audiences in a number of different settings. I preach every Sunday, give after dinner speeches, lecture to students at universities, and lead training events for law enforcement chaplains. Embellishing as an instructor of speaker is usually associated with stretching the truth, making the story grander, or the numbers larger. It is not a virtue. Embellishing a story or a set of figures is a fast way to completely destroy a public speaker’s credibility. Exaggerating any aspect of a presentation is not going to be received positively by participants.


I am aware that the term embellish can also mean to decorate, adorn, or otherwise beatify. Maybe that is what that store is trying to convey in their swimsuit marketing strategy. But based on other advertising commentary promoting the same swimwear I don’t think that is the case…


I think a good message to send to men and women alike is: Forget the embellishment and be your self. And by the way, don’t be ashamed of any aspect of the way God created you. I am no expert by any stretch of the imagination on eating disorders all too common to younger women, but I do know that body image issues fuel such problems.


Last week I interacted with dozens of high school kids at camp. This week I will do the same with middle school students. I know for a fact that a lot of those kiddos sure need a boost in the self image area. My message to them: Be yourself. Don’t try to be something you are not. Discover who you are and who you are meant to be. There is no need for embellishment…

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