Comfortable in Your Own Skin
by Peter Scaer
That used to be the goal. Maybe it still is. But I think it's especially confusing for women. The mixed messages are everywhere. On the one hand, photoshopped pictures fill the Internet. Models maintain their seemingly impossibly beauty well into what we used to call old age. Hair stylists, make-up artists, not to mention fitness trainers, serious dieting, and even plastic surgery go a long way in promoting a certain image. And, yes, again, the photoshop. On the other hand, there is Ashley Graham, and the emergence of plus size models, not to mention the kind of relatable female figures we might see with Oprah, Rachel Ray, or Kelly Clarkson.
Maybe we can all agree that what we want is for everyone to be comfortable with who they are. Not comfortable in their own sin, which is a false version of this, but comfortable in their own skin.
It's not easy being a boy or girl these days. But, now, let's think about the girls. Read Abigail Shrier's book Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters. It has become a crisis. Young women, not comfortable in their bodies, are too often at sea, blown about by our schizophrenic cultural winds, not knowing where they fit in. For young people, we do best to counsel patience. So many are worried what they will be when they grow up, what will they do for a living. To this we say, not to worry. Work hard. Develop the talents that have been given you. Yes, develop healthy habits, ones that will load the dice in your favor. Remain chaste, we do well to add. But it will work out in the end. Give it time.
But we are doing the exact opposite with our girls and boys too. A girl feels a bit boyish, maybe like what we used to call a tomboy, maybe a misfit. Instead of becoming comfortable in their own body, we go along with the lie that she can be made comfortable in a wholly different body, the body of a man, as if that were possible.
But instead of letting a young girl find her way, grow into her own skin, we begin with the stereotypical clothes (for a reverse example, think of Bruce Jenner wearing a dress, lipstick and pearls), followed by puberty blockers. Think about that. Talk about a solution worse than the problem! Leaving our children into a perpetual land of Peter Pan. That is followed by hormone treatment, the second permanently damaging treatment, followed, if this course has been run, by surgical mutilation, the cutting off of healthy breasts. It's all horrific, and in the generations to come, they will marvel at the darkness of our minds.
What needs to happen? Things we already know. We must be patient with our children, encouraging them. There is so much pressure to be special, and supposed gender transition has a certain social cachet. When you are young, you can't possibly see the big picture. Who among us hasn't felt awkward, hasn't felt like we don't belong? But with time, come to know who we are. Like an artist or singer finding his own voice.
Here is the big lie, the thing they are not telling us. Some 90 percent of confused kids, kids suffering from gender dysphoria, kids who don't feel comfortable in their bodies, will indeed become so, if only they are allowed to grow up. And a little patience and love helps. It's ok of the girl does boy things, or the boy does things society may call effeminate. Be kind. Why in a world of supposed diversity do we not recognize that the real range of variance is not with 52 genders, but with the various ways that a man or a woman will express him or herself as a man or a woman. It's great to have a girl who likes to split wood, and it's great to have a man who knows how to sew. It's the transgender movement that preys on such stereotypes, not us.
Oh, patience, people. For our children's sake. Let them find their way, in their own bodies, without the lie of transition, without the barbarity of surgical mutilation, without cocktail of drugs necessary to sustain the illusion. What a cruel world we live in, where manipulation masquerades as kindness. The body you have is wonderful. It's you. So exercise, eat right, and all the rest. We all feel better when we do. But let's stop the madness. Our kids need us.
The Rev. Dr. Peter Scaer is chairman and professor of Exegetical Theology and director of the M.A. program at Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, Ind.
Transgender issues are life issues. Learn why Christians can’t confirm transgenderism from Glenn Stanton of Focus on the Family.
“Hang on to Jesus, my dear friend. In Him and Him alone is true life—both now and forever. Though God’s work in the world may be hard to understand sometimes, we rejoice and celebrate as we look forward to all that He has in store for us.” –Rev. Dr. Oswald Hoffman, The Lutheran Hour
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