Boob Jobs for Christians!

Ordinarily, I try pretty hard to avoid listening to Christian “talk radio” stations, for obvious reasons. But I must have been either bored or incredibly lost on the dial this afternoon, because I managed to stumble across 100.7 The Word FM, broadcasting The Scott Wilder Show.

I don’t remember what they were talking about, but as soon as they cut to the commercial break, something caught my attention: It was a commercial advertising plastic surgery – breast augmentations, tummy tucks, etc. – all for the noble purpose of “giving you the body you’ve always wanted.”

WTF???

I see ads for plastic surgery all the time, and the clinic was located in Highland Park (the Beverly Hills of North Texas), so I guess I’m not too surprised, but still…I thought Christian radio stations were at least somewhat conscientious about what they advertised, and the values their ads reflect.  Yeah, I know cosmetic surgery is occasionally both good and necessary, but that didn’t seem to be the kind they were selling here.

Maybe I’m just way out of touch. Maybe there’s nothing theologically wrong with spending thousands of dollars to make yourself look sexually attractive and half your age, or sending that kind of message to kids who already have serious body-image issues.  But when there are 15-year olds in my youth group getting collagen injections to make their lips more full, and single moms in my church saving up their money for breast implants, I can’t help but feel like we (the body of Christ) must be seriously off-message.

I find myself echoing my friend and fellow theological trouble-maker, Ryan Pappan, who likes to put it this way:

WTFWJD?

I don’t know anymore. You tell me…


Comments

Boob Jobs for Christians! — 36 Comments

  1. I really don't think you can say whether it's right or wrong. I would like to say that it's wrong, however I will be having an elective surgery this spring that I have been saving for, i.e. a tummy tuck. Many would say it's vain, maybe it is, but all I know is my body is extremely different after having 2 kids. My abs are split so there's 5 centimeters of space between them where my insides poke out & no amount of sit ups can fix that. Not to mention the stretched out skin. It will not only improve my look, but help with future back problems, hernias, and make me a hell of a lot more comfortable. But, everyone can justify their own reasons. I think if it's just one thing that you really want to change it can be fine, even helpful. Just so you're not relying on looks to define yourself. Granted, I could do something "better" with the money. But, I don't spend a lot on clothing, hair, cars, electronics, bigger house, etc… So this is one big thing I'd like to do for myself so I'm gonna.

  2. Dannah — you're absolutely right that I don't have the right to say whether it's right or wrong. I hope that's not what came across here (although knowing me, it probably did).

    My fault isn't with people who get cosmetic surgery, My fault is with this particular clinic for creating an ad (I wish you could have heard it) that definitely and irresponsibly appealed to all the wrong reasons for getting cosmetic surgery.

    My fault is with the Radio station that "prides themselves" on being a "family" station for sending that kind of message. You're an adult, and I trust you can make your own decisions for the right reasons, and resist the lure of peer pressure and advertising.

    My fault is with the church, and with myself, for not doing more to communicate to people that they don't have to look like runway models (and probably won't ever) to be accepted and loved by society.

    I don't think you're in that category, and I do think you get Christ's message. Often better than I do.

  3. No, I haven't. I have to really watch myself when stumbling across Christian Talk Radio. If just the commercials can get me that worked up, imagine what the Conservative Evangelical Rhetoric would do.

    And I'd probably need a brain implant afterwards– does that qualify as elective cosmetic surgery?

  4. Sorry, Neal, but I gotta pull out the yellow card here. You sound like an early rant that ends with words like whippersnappers and young’ens. What would you have said about tooth whitening (the most common cosmetic intervention) or tooth straightening (I had braces for 5 years)? How about coloring hair and–forgive me for hitting close to sore spot you and my husband may share–rogaine for balding? Collagen and even surgical changes are just the most modern version of a trend so old that Cleopatra was saying ‘that’s so hot’ when she dropped belladonna in her eyeballs to make her pupils look larger and sexier. Besides, I’m getting jowls.

  5. Do you see me getting hair implants? I hope I have better things to spend my money on.

    Actually, you might hit closer to home and have a stronger point if you talked about tattoos — something I do want to spend money on.

    But I’m not really talking about spending money to make one’s self look good, here. And I’m not ranting “at” the young’ens — more at those who take advantage of their insecurities and vulnerabilities.

    You of all people — the one who taught her children to say “yuck” everytime you drove by a McDonald’s — should appreciate a desire to oppose the propaganda machine. The same voices that are telling our children that greasy hamburgers are healthy, fun, and good to eat are telling them in the next breath that unless they have a skinny waist and enormous breasts (or, to be gender fair, an enormous ummm…well, you know) they can’t be loved.

    There are many reasons to change one’s appearance. I’ve partaken of several, from piercing to accessorizing, to paying too much for clothes (although I’m having a change of heart on that last one — my goal for the year is only to buy second-hand from goodwill or salvation army).

    I wish you could have heard this commercial. The message it sent was one that appealed to insecurity, fear, and self-loathing. Regardless of what you think about Collagen or breast implants, that kind of advertising is irresponsible. Especially on a station that prides itself on being “family friendly.” And Annie, I know you’re not going to argue against me if we start talking about the hypocrisy of the church, right?

  6. I think this type of cosmetic surgery in the church is just one more example of how we are totally inward focused. We want to look 20 years younger, but for what reason? What the hell difference does it make? I don’t want to tell people how to spend their money, but couldn’t it be used for something better? Take your kids on a vacation they’ll remember for a lifetime or give it to someone with a deformity who can’t afford to make themselves look better. I’m just saying there are a lot better ways to use $20K than to give yourself a D cup.

  7. I really can’t say anything about spending money to look better (see the bill for all of the highlights and make-up I spend my last dimes on).
    BUT
    I have to say that I think that it is the resposibility of the church to address issues of humility, agape love, and respect even when it comes to personal appearance. The trap we get into is not loving people (or loving people less) because of the judgments we make based on appearance- and those judgements can go either way (I can’t believe she got breast implants!How irresponsible and vain! OR dear God, she NEEDs to do something – like bathe, bless her heart).
    That’s my opinion anyway.
    Oh! and “WTFWJD” – genius!

  8. In this case, Jesus would get a job. He was true to his nature, right? The radio stations is a profitable enterprise. Maybe one has qualms about mixing profit and religion (temple steps tirade, anyone?), but in airing commercials they’re just being true to their profitable nature.

  9. Neal, If I had the money I would get hair, a tummy tuck, and a few old tattoos removed. Actually I would love to get one arms tattoos removed so I could get all new ones!

    Boob jobs on the radio. It goes to show that Christian brand anything is just another brand. I wonder if you get prayer or a 10% discount on the procedure.

    On the real…it is very difficult to be a “big” guy and in ministry. I have been told countless times that no one will take me seriously as a pastor unless I loss weight. I fight it all the time. I pray for the day when weight is not an issue. It sucks to be told your worth is less because you are bigger and do not fit the “typical” look of pastor. I guess Brad Pitt had a lock on that as well.

    Blessings friend. BTW thanks for the nod on the WTFWJD?

  10. O.K.- I've chickened out on the surgery. But not for money or vanity (or feeling bad about spending money or being vain, even though I did a little) but I just really can't get over the fact that I could die from an embolism or complications from anesthesia. So there we go. I'd rather have a belly than risk death, even if the risk is small. I kind of feel relieved. I know God loves mee too.

  11. yep. Self preservation is a good motivation. And I think my kids need their mom so I'm going to do the best I can to lower my risk of death. That's why I've quit everything too. And why I try to be healthy. I just realized that nobody cares at all if I have a belly and if they do they're weird. Then I was wondering if I really care. And if I do then why? And after a while I decided that I really don't. Of course, I want to look good and present myself well but i no longer feel like I need surgery to do that.

    I'll feel this way until the next person asks me when my baby's due, which is what started all of this in the first place.

  12. Yeah. You live in Frisco, remember? The land of stick figure soccer moms (probably thanks to a combination of plastic surgery, loads of money, anorexia, competition with their teenage daughters, abundance of high-priced fitness centers with day care, and stay-at-home boredom). Wow, that wasn't judgmental stereotyping at all…

  13. I have a gym membership, and stay at home boredom. That's why I'm always on the computer. Maybe I should get off this thing and get my belly to the gym and use the day care. Oh wait- I can't. Noelle's got the flu. Well maybe next week. The gym won't take care of the post- pregnancy belly (not this one at least) but it will make me smaller and it's good to be healthy. That's not vain. And don't tell me I don't need a gym membership to exercise because frankly, I don't want to hear it. I love the gym. Even if I don't go often enough, I do use it. Sometimes it rains. Sometimes it's 40 degrees (or 104) and you can't drag your infant/ child out in the elements, even though they have to in third world countries. And if I didn't have this problem of having too much to eat 😉 I could go on and on.

  14. For me it’s an issue of ethics. I rarely listen to Christian radio these days for two reasons: 1)the songs all sound alike and 2)the commercials. I have a real problem with the illusion of “integrity by association” that a company might gain as they hawk pills that help you lose weight while you sleep on a radio station that suggests they might actually know the answer to WTFWJD?
    It’s a step removed from prosperity gospel churches who take advantage of those impressionable poor of spirit et al folks, encouraging them to give so they will receive. My time in the trenches of the homeless introduced me to hundreds of innocents who, once they got one step up the ladder via Jesus and a job, listened full-heartedly to that muck, bought into the BS, and fell backwards into the pit again.
    Free market acknowledged, wouldn’t it be nice if it came with a conscience?

  15.  Dannah Walter at 5:40pm January 18
    I really don't think you can say whether it's right or wrong. I would like to say that it's wrong, however I will be having an elective surgery this spring that I have been saving for, i.e. a tummy tuck. Many would say it's vain, maybe it is, but all I know is my body is extremely different after having 2 kids. My abs are split so there's 5 centimeters of space between them where my insides poke out & no amount of sit ups can fix that. Not to mention the stretched out skin. It will not only improve my look, but help with future back problems, hernias, and make me a hell of a lot more comfortable. But, everyone can justify their own reasons. I think if it's just one thing that you really want to change it can be fine, even helpful. Just so you're not relying on looks to define yourself. Granted, I could do something "better" with the money. But, I don't spend a lot on clothing, hair, cars, electronics, bigger house, etc… So this is one big thing I'd like to do for myself so I'm gonna.
  16.  Neal Locke at 6:24pm January 18
    Dannah — you're absolutely right that I don't have the right to say whether it's right or wrong. I hope that's not what came across here (although knowing me, it probably did).

    My fault isn't with people who get cosmetic surgery, My fault is with this particular clinic for creating an ad (I wish you could have heard it) that definitely and irresponsibly appealed to all the wrong reasons for getting cosmetic surgery.

    My fault is with the Radio station that "prides themselves" on being a "family" station for sending that kind of message. You're an adult, and I trust you can make your own decisions for the right reasons, and resist the lure of peer pressure and advertising.

    My fault is with the church, and with myself, for not doing more to communicate to people that they don't have to look like runway models (and probably won't ever) to be accepted and loved by society.

    I don't think you're in that category, and I do think you get Christ's message. Often better than I do.

  17.  Neal Locke at 7:22pm January 18
    No, I haven't. I have to really watch myself when stumbling across Christian Talk Radio. If just the commercials can get me that worked up, imagine what the Conservative Evangelical Rhetoric would do.

    And I'd probably need a brain implant afterwards– does that qualify as elective cosmetic surgery?

  18.  Dannah Walter at 12:50am February 6
    O.K.- I've chickened out on the surgery. But not for money or vanity (or feeling bad about spending money or being vain, even though I did a little) but I just really can't get over the fact that I could die from an embolism or complications from anesthesia. So there we go. I'd rather have a belly than risk death, even if the risk is small. I kind of feel relieved. I know God loves mee too.
  19.  Dannah Walter at 4:54pm February 6
    yep. Self preservation is a good motivation. And I think my kids need their mom so I'm going to do the best I can to lower my risk of death. That's why I've quit everything too. And why I try to be healthy. I just realized that nobody cares at all if I have a belly and if they do they're weird. Then I was wondering if I really care. And if I do then why? And after a while I decided that I really don't. Of course, I want to look good and present myself well but i no longer feel like I need surgery to do that.

    I'll feel this way until the next person asks me when my baby's due, which is what started all of this in the first place.

  20.  Neal Locke at 9:51pm February 6
    Yeah. You live in Frisco, remember? The land of stick figure soccer moms (probably thanks to a combination of plastic surgery, loads of money, anorexia, competition with their teenage daughters, abundance of high-priced fitness centers with day care, and stay-at-home boredom). Wow, that wasn't judgmental stereotyping at all…
  21.  Dannah Walter at 10:31pm February 6
    I have a gym membership, and stay at home boredom. That's why I'm always on the computer. Maybe I should get off this thing and get my belly to the gym and use the day care. Oh wait- I can't. Noelle's got the flu. Well maybe next week. The gym won't take care of the post- pregnancy belly (not this one at least) but it will make me smaller and it's good to be healthy. That's not vain. And don't tell me I don't need a gym membership to exercise because frankly, I don't want to hear it. I love the gym. Even if I don't go often enough, I do use it. Sometimes it rains. Sometimes it's 40 degrees (or 104) and you can't drag your infant/ child out in the elements, even though they have to in third world countries. And if I didn't have this problem of having too much to eat 😉 I could go on and on.

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