Do You Have a Hot Body?


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Do you have a hot body? If so, your odds of finding true love are very good! If not, what are you doing to rectify the problem? Perhaps a diet, exercise, a surgery or two? After all, you’re not lovable unless your body is hot and looks as flawless as possible.

This is the billboard message that our culture bombards us with today—and obsessively I might add! Movies, television, and popular magazines are all guilty of promoting this message. Notice, our culture never gives you the option of loving and accepting the body that you already have. They don’t ask you whether your body is healthy or unhealthy. They don’t bother inquiring as to whether your heart and spirit are beautiful or what kind of a person you are. Rather, they lower the bar to the shallowest possible rung.

How many Hollywood celebrities have worked to make their bodies flawless, and yet, have been divorced multiple times? The real truth is, having a nice body is not what cultivates true love or fosters lasting happiness. Other far more important things are needed and should be held in higher esteem. We shouldn’t get caught up in the big lie that if we don’t look a certain way, then we are not lovable.

This was brought home to me recently upon leaving a church in New Haven, Connecticut. This parish is a huge and beautiful church. As I descended the flight of steps toward the sidewalk, three blonde haired college girls were passing by. As they all stared examining the church, I heard one of them say, “Wow, what a beautiful church this is!”

My first thought was, “Little do they know.” Yes, the outside of the church was impressive. However, it was nothing compared to the more exquisite beauty inside that I had just experienced (not to mention the ineffable beauty of Christ who dwelled within that church).

It’s the same with us. While someone may (or may not) have a hot body exteriorly, the inside is where the far greater beauty is found. After all, bodies come and go with age, car accidents, health problems, etc. But, the beauty of true love, sincere kindness, joy, faithfulness, heroic virtue, and so much more, all proceed from within—and these are what lasting marriages are built upon.

Am I saying that looks are not important? Attraction unnecessary? Absolutely not! God made us to be attracted to one another, and this is good. In fact, we should always seek to better ourselves on the inside and outside. Ultimately though, the inner beauty is far more important. In fact, exterior beauty is only a “sign” helping us to be cognizant of the greater, unseen beauty dwelling within.

For example: a confident man with a muscular, defined body may come across as strong and disciplined. But, is he? Some strong men are actually weak and slothful within, not being able to control their lust, their temper, or their emotional problems. So, what good is a nice body? Even if a man does not have a great body exteriorly, he can still show and live the strength of manhood in his life!

Likewise, a woman with an attractive, shapely body may come across as feminine and lovablebut it she really? If not, what good is a nice body? If so, all the better, for she reveals the beauty of God, the ultimate beauty of all. A woman doesn’t need a nice body to live feminine genius, to show true love, or to reveal the true beauty of womanhood.

I know people who have struggled with eating disorders because they desired bodily perfection. Unfortunately, they focused so much on looking a certain way on the outside that they forgot to work on inside, which is of much greater importance. Everything was so self-focused, they did not cultivate those more important aspects within.

This can be understood by the reflections of an online “Beauty guru” who helps women with makeup and hair, but also helps them develop the beauty within. She asked her Youtube followers to think of one or two role models in their life, someone they really admire. She then tells them to think of the reasons why that person is their role model. Usually the answers come; “They are hard-working, compassionate, loving, sacrificial, strong in times of trial, etc. Then she points out that of all the answers given, not once is looks mentioned as one of the criteria for why someone is their role model. Why? Because our looks are not what our worth is based on! It is all the other things that define us and make us who we areaspects that are truly important and worth focusing on.






46 Comments

  1. Dan-1002097 March 23, 2014 Reply

    Actually, Bryan, in the case of this topic, I think it is you who is “…lowering the bar to the shallowest possible rung.” You seem to be the one taking the superficial path here.

    So, someone appreciates physical beauty, whether of a church or another person, and that appreciation somehow makes that person “superficial”? You meet a woman who you has “..an attractive, lovely body…”, and if it turns out she does not have the character to match it, you say “…what good is a lovely body”? Some people standing outside your own church comment on how beautiful it is, and your “first thought” is “How little do they know”? You don’t even know them…for all you know, maybe they know A LOT more than YOU do about all the spiritual beauty also within that church…and from the drift of your post, I would bet more on them for that insight than on you, Amigo. Where did you pick up this little streak of latent Calvinism that says one example of ‘good looks’ that don’t pan out much further proves that all ‘good looks’ don’t pan out much further? We hear so much…too much, I think…about all the shallowness of the pool of “culture”, when in fact, the surest way to find the deep water in a “pool” is by swimming through shallow water first.

    It is the person who clearly does not take good care of their body…clearly not keeping good care of what they have been given, perhaps even to the risk of their own health…it is that person who needs some reflection and counsel on their attitude toward “body”, not the person who strives to look and feel as well as they can…and appreciates the same in others.

    • Luz-1055440 March 26, 2014 Reply

      It would sound unfair to say that some people need counseling because they don’t take good care of themselves. These includes bald men, too thin guys who don’t do weight training, ladies with an ugly nose, short men, gentlemen who look older because their genetics give them gray fair on their 30′s, etc., people who have a family tendency to have a wider frame, men who get early wrinkles or who get too red in the sun rather than a nice tan, and so many others…

    • Laura M. March 26, 2014 Reply

      Thanks for posting Dan-1002097. My thoughts exactly! Well said.

    • Dominic-981542 March 27, 2014 Reply

      Dan I thought Bryan did okay , maybe just a little over the top , but has a lot of truth to it . . What he said about the world portraying is correct , sexual attraction is love for sex , not the care of a person but self love of ones own apatite.
      I think its important to be attracted to some one , but this does not mean sexual attraction , if some one see’s a Church to be beautiful , we know for sure its not sexual and yet they see beauty , so to its fair to be attractive to another . . there are no rules made by us men to say what we must do . . Nature can be cruel and it will let us know with painful results if our ways of thinking are wrong . . there’s no harm in what Bryan is saying , as long as his aware we all have a lot to learn yet .

  2. Trey-1068334 March 23, 2014 Reply

    I think the very premise of this argument rings so true. But many of us are visual creatures. I want my mate to be pleasing to the eye (at least to me, most of the time). Attraction starts at the outside, and then works its way inward. It’s a nice sentiment to wish that one’s heart matters most at the outset, but that is not the way it works. I do believe that is in God’s design, otherwise it’d work differently. I mean, if a woman was perfect for me in every other way, but I was not attracted to her physically in the least, I don’t think it would work. Period. It hasn’t worked for me yet. I don’t think it should work, either. At the end of it, I might say,”What did I marry?” And take it all the way to divorce court. That is terrible, but a reality I don’t want to entertain.

    Call me shallow. I’ve been called worse. But physical attractiveness is important. For me, it’s a lie to pretend it’s not. The beauty of it is, who I find attractive might have absolutely no bearing on what others find attractive. I’ve been head over heels infatuated over girls I found to be lovely, but everyone around me didn’t see it, tantamount to calling them ugly. Thankfully you don’t always get to choose who you’re attracted to, it just happens. God has some twisted, but totally awesome plans, don’t He?

    • Luz-1055440 March 26, 2014 Reply

      This post, while almost cynical, says the truth about how men in general behave. There are only a few rare men who do actually dig deeper before choosing whom they will date. Trey says it does not work for him, and that is how most men think.
      I appreciate more the sincerity of this post from Trey than the judgmental comment from Dan1002097 above who does strongly state that people who are unattractive are not keeping good care of themselves. I wonder if getting bald is a sign of not keeping good care of himself. By worldly standards baldness is ugly.

      • Dominic-981542 March 27, 2014 Reply

        Not sure what you mean by the constant usage of the phrase “bald” , being bald has become a trend , men are shaving them selves bald while having good hair . . . your comment on how most men think is also how most women think . . some think to be aware of , human beings are sinners .

  3. Kathy-730470 March 23, 2014 Reply

    I do not think Byran is saying that looks do not matter. I think he is saying that inner beauty……who a person is is the most important thing. Your beliefs and the way you live your life is who you are not your looks. Although you may be initially attracted to someone by their looks if they do not have the qualities and live their life in a way that is desirable then it will not matter what they look like because you will lose interest in them. Looks will not keep you together or keep your relationship together. There has to be something more which is their inner beauty. Bryan is not saying that you should not take care of yourself or your body at all thorough exercise, eating right, make-up, nice clothes, nice hair cut. No he is not saying that at all.
    When I was married my ex husband was a very good looking guy. Everywhere I went a friend or co-worker would tell me. They would say is that your husband? I would say yes. Then the conversation would go oh my Kathy he is hot !!! He is gorgeous !!! He is cute !! If you don’t want him I will take him. This happened throughout my 19 year old marriage. Well what my ex looked like and the way he was and treated me were two different things. His looks did not keep our marriage together. Soooo although you may be attracted to someone by their appearance if there is nothing more for example kindness, patience, forgiveness and love your relationship will not last even if that person is really beautiful or handsome.

  4. Maria-1022025 March 23, 2014 Reply

    Wow this one is touching close to heart this morning. People have perceptions….yes, to an extent attraction in important, but how many times has a really “hot” guy come talking to me and open his mouth….and think, “Oh wow this guy was hot until he started talking. There has to be a happy medium of physical, spiritual, and moral fiber…there has to be substance in the shell. Otherwise, yes, you may have a “hot” spouse, but what would you talk about, what interests do you have in common, how important is God in their lives? These are three fundamental attributes that outweigh the physical. Also physical fades with time, the other things do not…why is there so much divorce? People are shallow….superficial, and focused on the things that do not matter….

  5. Kathy-730470 March 23, 2014 Reply

    Maria why is there so much divorce ? That is a question that has many layers and not so easily answered. I do know though it takes two to say I do and only one to say it is over. This article touches close to my heart. As I mentioned above during my marriage I heard over and over again how good looking my husband was from my friends to co-workers including my boss just how good looking my husband was. Looks are only one aspect but looks fade. Who a person really is stays the same whether is 20, 50 or 70. I remember reading somewhere a story about a man in his elderly years whose wife was dying. She was in her last days and told the minister or priest who had come to see her look at my wife she is as beautiful as the day I married her. I think this illustrates the point. If someone is beautiful on the inside then they will be beautiful on the outside no matter what their physical appearance really is. Also physical beauty is in the eye of the beholder and so everyone is beautiful to someone :):):).

  6. Chavel-895977 March 23, 2014 Reply

    Wow, the naivety of this article…I’ve known looks mattered by the time I was 13 yrs of age and by the time I was 21, you could include money. If I’m wrong you should take a poll of all these truly nice, good hearted, God Loving, considerate, and thoughtful ladies on this site. They don’t get any run, much attention, messages, or asked out on a date. That they are slightly overweight (“few extra pounds”), don’t have the perfect nose, eyes, hair color, skin complexion, are not the right age, considered too old and washed up is the main reason.

    In selecting a mate or if you must, love, you’re dealing with Eye People. Eye People (the absolute majority) respond to what they see and are too myopic to look beyond. The are superficial and not only respond to what they see but are concerned about what other Eye People see when they see this wonderful, kind, considerate, woman/man with them that would be rated a 5 by other Eye People and not a 8+.

    Looks? Nah, Looks matter Bruh, maybe not in the celestial world we might eventually get too, but in this real world, yeah, they matter, they matter alot….

    • Dominic-981542 March 27, 2014 Reply

      Chavel-895977 , thanks for your contribution of naivety . . Like i said early up top . . when we are wrong nature will punish us for it . . Looks matter when we are 13 to 21 because we are green within and not ripe to true value , some times adults remain green the whole rest of there lives . . there are different ways to see attraction and it comes with our own spiritual shape of health and condition within if it has to be sexual or not . . either way if its not right we will pay for it

  7. Alma-953915 March 23, 2014 Reply

    We all see beauty in different ways. I might not be attracted to a certain someone on here, but someone else will and that person will be head over heels over that person that I am not attracted to. So what? Be thankful! I see that as a wonderful thing. Imagine how more difficult that would be in looking for that special someone if we were attracted to everyone! We were not meant for everyone. God works in mysterious ways. Our worth is not in what every person thinks of us. Our worth is in Christ. We are beautiful, because God created us. I don’t care if a certain number of men are not attracted to me. I just care that the person who marries me, is the one that finds me very attractive inside and out. We all just need to trust in God. He knows what He’s doing! God bless you all on your search. Thank you, Bryan, for the article.

    • Javier-912139 March 25, 2014 Reply

      I agree with the beautiful way you stated your words Alma :)

    • Luz-1055440 March 26, 2014 Reply

      Alma, I think it might be a bit naive to say everyone will be attractive to somebody. Ask some wonderful mature ladies in this site. The truth is, one has to be happy with oneself and with God only, and love love love life and be joyful with that, because ones cross might or might not be to be single for life, and that is specially true for people who are not attractive in worldly standards. I am sure most of us know someone who never married, and it all started with the looks.

  8. Kathy-730470 March 23, 2014 Reply

    Very well said Alma ! I agree with you :)

  9. Catherine-798892 March 23, 2014 Reply

    Dear Sir:
    Have you ever heard of a windshield/glass and a very tragic wreck?
    Once you go through one, your beautiful face, will never be the same…
    I wood [sic] rather practice what my beautiful French grandmother always told me, and as a former teacher, I instructed my students in the same very real fact…
    “Pretty is as pretty does.”
    “Wax on. Wax off.”
    “Beauty in. Beauty out.”
    Post script: I feel sooooooo-o sorry for all the buff folks, who think ( for one nanosecond), that anyone would want to fall in love with their outside covering.
    Shallow in. Shallow out.
    Our body does not have a soul. Our soul has a body, and we are all the same size in God’s eyes, and in those who have learned the true meaning of (real) love.
    I have learned (much) through the ages, and I know for sure that kindness is our only beauty and our only strength…
    I pity anyone who thinks a beautiful body will make them happy.
    Only a beautiful mind will make you feel true happiness, unless you wish to wade in the shallow end of the gene pool….

  10. Jon-1060512 March 23, 2014 Reply

    Sigh! I knew I shouldn’t have gotten the gym membership. All those squats, cleans and bench presses… down the drain. JK :D Personally, I don’t see anything wrong with spending hours in the gym and/or dieting to get that “perfect” body, as long you are doing it for the right reasons.

    There is no doubt that Hollywood and magazines create an illusion of a perfect body. Hollywood and Magazines will do what they do best; i.e. make money by trying to sell us stuff, convince us to buy stuff that we don’t need and/or convince us to look a certain way.

    I truly believe it is up to us to make right/better decisions. We do have a choice; fall prey to their schemes or choose not to be influenced.

  11. Alberto-546988 March 24, 2014 Reply

    Many of you are missing the point that Bryan is trying to establish. The reality of the world we live today is that many people focus in the outside more than on the inside and reject all possible options for them to open up and meet someone just because they don’t have a certain height or certain weight.

    • Joan-529855 March 24, 2014 Reply

      It appears that most of the men are missing the point Bryan is trying to establish. By your comments Alberto, I can conclude that you are a rare man. Unfortunately too many men are just as Bryan stated, too focused on the outward appearance and not focused enough on the inward beauty. Pray for these brothers, that God will provide them with a true change of heart.

      • Alberto-546988 March 24, 2014 Reply

        We are all beautiful and unique before the eyes of God. I’m just a man that God has built to the man I am today through hardships. Yet, even with the beautiful qualities that God gave me, I’m still single. I can relate to what Bryan is saying because I have been there. Some times I’m not tall or short enough. Some times is because I don’t have blue eyes or some times I’m not on specific weight. Unfortunetly we live in a world in which the media determines what is beautiful, what is not. All we can do is use those opportunities that God gives us to become a better person and not let the judgement of others defines us a people.

    • Luz-1055440 March 26, 2014 Reply

      Alberto, I might ask, would you ask any polite lady around your age for a date? I think we are all superficial to a certain degree. In general terms, men attend to be more visual than women.. I am positive that one of the ladies you haven’t considered for a possible date because they haven’t caught your eye may have been a decent match. Just be Patient. You may have run into ladies who are visual, but I am sure you have also passed good opportunities yourself. Just be patient… Your chances, despite weight, height, etc., are high. Men’s chances are fairly good. Just pray for wisdom to choose the right person.

      • Chavel-895977 March 27, 2014 Reply

        Nah, totally disagree…

        Women are incredibly visual and superficial. ..

        Case in point: Asking a woman to dance, they generally tell me no…after they see me dance (I’m an awesome dancer)
        many times they come ask me to dance…they’re initial response as in most cases was based on what they saw with their eyes….

        • Ann-69118 March 27, 2014 Reply

          Are you tall or do you tend to jump right in there. Sometimes people are put off my a outgoing or even tall person. My dad is tall and very loud (hearing loss due to working in a wearhouse for years) This used to put people off who didn’t know him.

  12. Jennifer-728047 March 24, 2014 Reply

    May I post my “2 cents” for the day? Anymore, ya know what is HOT to me?? A MAN. He does NOT use pornography, he DOES have manners, and he IS a leader, protector and provider who loves Jesus, rather than just “going to Mass.” THAT? That is hot. I’ve had more ‘luck’ with guys I did not find physically attractive at first, who protected my chastity (which aroused me all the more!), who ended up becoming the ‘cutest boy in town,’ to the ‘hottie’ narcissist who is obvious to anyone around but his iSelf.

    Just tossing in another item for the attracto-meter on the topic:)

    The outside should radiate the inside. There should be fruit of our faith, which ends itself to how we take care of our minds, bodies and spirits. “Thin girls” are not necessarily healthy. To be anorexic is worse than being having a few extra pounds. To be too overweight means there is problem with discipline and self-medicating with food (depression, anxiety). True, holistic care of the self, with Christ truly at the center = the way. All else will fall into place.

  13. Jennifer-728047 March 24, 2014 Reply

    typo, sorry….*oblivious (not ‘obvious’)

  14. Joseph-815172 March 24, 2014 Reply

    I agree with this. Yeah looks are nice, I prefer a taller woman. But I weight more heavily topics such as can she support me in growing in my faith, do we share enough interests, what is her family like , etc. Looks are just the icing on the cake, maybe 15% tops.

  15. Joseph-508741 March 24, 2014 Reply

    I just want to find a good traditional catholic girl that goes to the Latin mass and is close enough to my age. Catholic is my type.

  16. John-693290 March 25, 2014 Reply

    Joan, too many women are focused on a man’s money and his material possessions.. There are many men that use women as sex objects, but there are also many women that use men as “success objects” — men who are rich and powerful. Both men and women are equally bad, superficial in their own right, with equal propensity for evil.

    • Joan-529855 March 26, 2014 Reply

      I understand what you are referring to however the author of this article is not referring to women and using men as “success objects”. JPII said the opposite of love is not hate but “use”; using someone to meet your needs. Men’s greatest weakness is objectification; women’s greatest weakness is insecurity.

    • Luz-1055440 March 26, 2014 Reply

      John’s post is fairly accurate.

    • Chavel-895977 March 26, 2014 Reply

      True..for men I believe as long as they know the standard being applied to them in a relationship, as you say, “success objects”, they should be alright…shame on the man that doesn’t as well as shame on the woman who gets hustled for her looks and body…

      Shalom

  17. Jared Z. March 25, 2014 Reply

    This is a great article and I agree with most all of it but I do think he’s focusing on the separation of the interior from the exterior rather than the body as an extension of the interior. The body and the soul are not two separate entities but rather the same substance. The exterior beauty of an individual does not HAVE to be a distraction, rather it can become a path of assent towards its Creator. Beauty is the beginning of Faith for most. Using the example of the girls seeing the outside of the Church, this very well could be what leads them to search into why Catholic Churches are so beautiful, which would lead them to study the goods of the Faith and then the Truths. In the same way, exterior beauty, while it comes in all shapes, forms and sizes, can lead others to ponder Who it was that created that body. We are after all, made in His image and likeness.

  18. Marie-575233 March 26, 2014 Reply

    My sentiments exactly Brian. You have echoed my very thoughts. As I have mentioned in my profile, I seek those whose inner beauty radiates to the outside.

  19. Steven-184857 March 26, 2014 Reply

    The articles makes very good points. People should add the hours they spend working on their bodies each week, and then make sure they spend at least as much on developing their soul through prayer and spiritual reading.

    That being said, look at a diagram of the human anatomy. That’s how God made us. He did not make us to be blobs. Being severely overweight is not only unhealthy but distorts how you were meant to look. If you’re overweight, don’t be surprised if nobody asks you out because you’ve not been a good steward of your body and have distorted it.

  20. Jay-1033664 March 26, 2014 Reply

    It’s kind of amazing. I read your message the other day and then in reading scripture that night, I opened my bible to Paul’s first letter to Timothy and read this. Thought it might be helpful to everyone. “Train yourself in godliness; for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.” 1 Timothy 4:7-8

    Even St. Paul acknowledges the worth of bodily training, but I think he also instructs to not make that the focus of your life! :) But don’t ignore bodily training either! :)

  21. Michelle S. March 26, 2014 Reply

    As an artist, I believe that woman is the only true works of art. A woman who develops her beauty, both inner and outer, is the loveliest of all beings. That being said, with that, comes responsibility. There’s no room for being lazy spiritually or physically, to accomplish it, and beautiful women need to nurture their daughters to achieve it. A strong, feminine spirit in a healthy body can light up the lives of everyone in the family and in the workplace., and be a precious jewel to her spouse.

  22. Sean-986239 March 26, 2014 Reply

    If physical attraction gets me in the door, my inner attraction will do the rest. If I can be disqualified by others if I don’t take care of my body, then I’m happy to justify making that a requirement for those I’m interested in.

    Physical attraction has a lot to do with mutual attraction in some ways as well…it shows that we both value certain things and respect ourselves in certain ways. Every good thing has its downsides, and that will always be true….

  23. Ivan-5469 March 26, 2014 Reply

    Referring to a body as HOT is thinking in terms of sexual thoughts towards a person.
    Society, the medias, and marketers try to brainwash us into boob jobs, tummy tucks, not being large enough, and on and on. Keeping a healthy body is what’s important. Genetics could still leave us with a fluffy body no matter how much we exercise and diet.

  24. Ann-69118 March 26, 2014 Reply

    I believe in living a healthy life style and taking care of yourself that said back when I worked out 6 days a week and spent a lot of spare time in the gym (1-2 hours each night) I didn’t get anymore attention then I do now. If was pretty much the same crowd too. Older guys looking for someone way younger. The guys my age were either married or not interested. One married guy used to bother me quite a bit and even brought in his wife and kids to the gym and winked at me while they were there :-/ While I don’t consider myself a raving beauty I don’t think I’m all that bad to look at either. I’ve always been on the quiet side and was even more so back then. I think attitude a flirty nature and a strong outgoing personality attract more attention then looks. Just my 2 cents.

  25. Steve C. March 27, 2014 Reply

    http://www.sensustraditionis.org/multimedia.html check out the lessons Fr gives in this. In none of them on relationships will you hear “take the cute guy or girl” but you will hear virtue. Even if you need to hang a steak around her or his neck for the dog to play with him or her as long as they are virtuous then salvation is achievable. If you look for selfish reasons then you’ll fail. That is living of this world. Also, pray for your vocation.

  26. Curtis-1032804 March 29, 2014 Reply

    Hey everybody! Just thought id put my 2 cents into this as I’ve been researching it for about 6 months. I found out that with online dating if you are a guy that is shorter than 5’10″ you can give up, statistics have shown that it doesn’t work for that demographic. That made me sad, but I thought that in the real world things were different. I conducted a survey of local couples around charleston. I found that couples with a male at or over 5’10″ outnumbered couples with a male 5’10 2 to 1. Below age 50 it became worse. Out of 297 couples, only 13 had a male less than 50 and shorter than average (5’10″) I propose this. Women consistently overlook good men and choose men that are not good matches. Hence the high divorce rate mostly by women. I’m not trying to bash women, I’ve only come to realize that they may be running some belief inside that consistently causes them to choose the wrong person. This height observation is only an indicator of the problem, not the problem itself. But if anyone else has insight I’d love to hear from you. I’m always open to new ideas, and I think this may go deeper in society than dating. Blessings!

  27. Julie G. April 2, 2014 Reply

    I feel like I said this in another post, but it’s so obvious that most of us have been hurt in the dating realm…by both secular folks and Catholic folks. But that doesn’t mean we should give up the IDEAL that Bryan is positing to us in the article: that physical beauty is a gift from God, but that it is only the initial stage, like seeing a beautiful church, and that it is the external beauty that leads us the most important part: the stunning interior. Bryan offers us an ideal to aim for in dating…for both men and women. And why not take up the challenge and try to do it? Ok, so men are more visual and maybe SOME women want to feel secure so they like men with money. That stinks if you are the recipient of having dated someone like that, or maybe, you WERE like that in the past. But we all are Catholic, and have the availability of SACRAMENTAL GRACE that helps make us into the best versions of ourselves. We CAN be different. We OUGHT to be different. And with God’s Grace, we Catholics can start setting a trend of how love and fidelity can be lived. Why NOT try living up to the ideal? Why not pull up our big girl and boy pants, let go of our wounds from the past, and live the way that Christ is calling us to? I think that is what the New Evangelization is all about: a radical transformation of self that sets an example to others.

  28. Joseph-924851 November 25, 2014 Reply

    I’m really enjoying the clash between the ultra-realists and hyper-idealists herein, as the former deride the “naiveté” of the latter, while the latter decry the “superficiality” of the former. The perspective of those who eloquently, angrily *insist* that “looks *shouldn’t* matter,” and try to live on a purely spiritual plane, is *every bit* as asinine and myopic as that of someone who breaks up with a mate because they’ve recently put on ten pounds and have been therefore downgraded from “lean” to merely “slender” … or fall out of love with someone who’s been in a disfiguring accident because they’re “just not the person I married.”

    Here’s the reality, boys and girls: We’re *individuals*, each with distinct likes and dislikes, based on our nature, our spiritual development, our confidence, our emotional maturity … and, of course, our sense of aesthetics. I, for example, wouldn’t spare a glance to most women considered beautiful, bodacious blonde bombshells, because the type doesn’t appeal to me in the least. On the other hand, a slender, intelligent-looking redhead or brunette has my immediate attention … and my hope that the substance matches the style.

    Too many people, in my opinion, denigrate the very concept of working to gain and retain a fit form, not because they’re unaware of its appeal, but because instead they lack the discipline and strength of will to hit the gym four times a week and while dining have occasional second helpings, but save thirds and big portions for high holy days. What they do instead is take refuge behind the wholly specious idea that “looks don’t matter to the truly perceptive person.” What a complete *crock of [moderated]* … and a cowardly, hypocritical one, to boot.

    By the same token, those blessed with attractive features and trim bodies often immediately dismiss anyone who’s not at least on or near their level of beauty and fitness as unworthy of even their attention, let alone romantic regard. You’re not *any* less capable of love at 40% body fat than you are at ten percent (and having spent time during my adult life at both of these extremes and now residing somewhere between the two, I know whereof I speak). How many women and men have missed out on a person who could have been the great love of their life simply because he or she needed to drop twenty pounds on the occasion of their first date? Millions, I’d wager.

    Your spouse or significant other *should* love you unconditionally. (Remember, though, that physical attraction is *not* love, and you absolutely cannot be expected to have the same level of physical desire for someone who sullenly, stubbornly refuses to take good care of themselves and is thus deteriorating apace as you would someone who respects both themselves and you enough to at least seriously make a concerted attempt at keeping themselves trim and taut.) That should *not*, however, preclude him or her wanting you to be the best version of yourself you can, and even pushing you towards that at least a bit … because no one on the planet not 7′ 2″ or without a significant medical condition is the best version of themselves at 375 pounds. And anyone who sits there and says, “He/she should just love me for who I am,” all while stewing in an easy chair and reaching for another package of bon bons, is writing their own autobiographical tragedy and blaming everyone for the … ahem … poor composition.

    My ex-wife, during the course of our marriage, gained 80 pounds (none of it muscle), smoked like a chimney and at times seemingly drank enough vodka to float a Russian dreadnought, then had the nerve to wonder why I was less enthusiastic about relations as our [as-of-this-time-weeks-away-from-being-annulled-for-lack-of-canonical-form] marriage progressed … or, rather, devolved. (Don’t think I’m claiming the moral high ground, here, because I’m not: I gained 75 pounds [and have since lost 95 and regained 45] and was in many ways a *lousy* excuse for a husband.) Did I still love her? Yes. Was as I eager to perform my husbandly duties when she weighed 177 (and later topped out at 217) pounds as I was when she came in at 127? Sorry, but … no. And *no* reasonable person could expect me to be.

    By the same token, I once entered into a relationship (before I’d embraced the chaste lifestyle) with a woman who has a degenerative, debilitating disease. She expressed fear that I would no longer love and desire her if she became incapable of being sexually intimate. I knew, though (and reassured her) that I’d love her all the more and not leave or stray over such, because losing physical attractiveness and sexual viability due to disease, accident or the natural consequence of aging and/or childbirth (which can obviously include gaining a bit of weight and having things go a bit south) is a *very different matter* than refusing to take care of yourself as a matter of sloth, resentment, pathology or even a strategic move aimed at hurting your significant other.

    Our home isn’t in this world, but our bodies are the receptacle and chalice of our souls until God calls us home … and to treat our bodies with the kind of disrespect that has us constantly, chronically gorging, imbibing toxins, allowing our muscles to atrophy and then wonder why people don’t find us as attractive … well, as Cris Carter would say, “Come on, man.”

    God gave you a temple. If possible, do the maintenance on it.

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