19-year-old Jenna Munger didn’t need to hear she was ‘too fat’ for shorts. She especially didn’t need to hear it at church. But sadly, that’s exactly what happened. And the North Carolina teen’s story of body-shaming is an important reminder of why we should leave the judgment to God.
God gifted Jenna Munger with a beautiful singing voice. And Jenna uses that gift to serve the Lord in the Worship Band.
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One Sunday, when Jenna showed up to sing at church, she was wearing shorts. When praise and worship time was over, Jenna left the stage and headed for the bathroom. She brought her cell phone along, as she had a loved one in the hospital with a brain aneurysm and wanted to check for any updates.
But a woman from the congregation decided to follow the teen to the bathroom. And her reasons for doing so have left many fuming.
Teen Is Told By Church Member She’s ‘Too Fat’ For Shorts
The woman, a stranger to 19-year-old Jenna Munger, proceeded to tell the teen she was ‘too fat’ for shorts.
Here is the outfit I was wearing that she attacked me… also please read my shirt because what she did was not agapé love pic.twitter.com/6d5sNeMQrI
- Jenna 🦊 (@roo_jenna) June 30, 2019
Because Jenna already had her cell phone handy, she started filming the unbelievable body-shaming.
You can hear the teen sobbing as she responds to the woman’s accusations that she’s ‘too fat’ for shorts. The conversation gets heated very quickly.
The woman’s unexpected criticism upset Jenna greatly. For starters, church is probably the last place Jenna expected to encounter this kind of body-shaming. It’s a place meant to be free from shame and judgment.
Additionally, Jenna has been battling her weight and depression for much of her life.
“I have always struggled with my weight for the entire time I’ve been alive,” Jenna explained.
After heading to college, Jenna’s struggles only got worse. She put on more weight and eventually found out she suffers from Hypothyroidism.
Jenna had been working hard to get things under control and had recently lost 30 pounds thanks to healthy eating. All of this only made the woman’s words that Jenna was ‘too fat’ for shorts even more hurtful. The attack really hit a nerve.
WATCH: Stranger Shames Teen In Shorts
Heartbreaking Story Of Body-Shaming Goes Viral
Jenna wasn’t the only one bothered by the woman’s actions. She took the video to her pastor, Kevin Baker, who was deeply “shocked and saddened” by the “great harm” done to a “faithful and very gifted young lady.”
“The church is supposed to be a place of safety, love and acceptance,” he said.
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The topic of what to wear to church can certainly be a touchy subject. And undoubtedly, some of you reading this story may feel shorts aren’t appropriate. (Read 7 Important Reminders about Modesty the Church Needs to Hear for some great insight on the issue).
But the woman’s issue with Jenna wasn’t about “proper” church attire (and her approach would still be inappropriate even if modesty had been her primary concern). Rather, it revolved around the fact that she felt Jenna was ‘too fat’ for shorts.
So by sharing her story, Jenna Munger is trying to tackle body-shaming head-on.
The lead pastor sent this out to people ❤️(since some of you found the church, also please don't be a bully back nothing will be solved from that… an eye for an eye makes the whole world go blind) pic.twitter.com/r875AP33ak
- Jenna 🦊 (@roo_jenna) July 2, 2019
Overcoming Adversity To Inspire Others
Jenna wanted to speak out about her encounter as a reminder of just how damaging shaming a person can be.
Had this situation happened earlier in Jenna’s battle with depression, it could have done even greater harm and even been life-threatening. But Jenna has been doing the hard work to learn to love and see herself as Christ does.
“Always remember that you are loved,” she said.
Jenna’s story is an important reminder to be careful with our words and actions. We should weigh them against God’s word to see if they are showing His love.
You never know what someone else is going through. And just as a simple act of kindness can have a huge impact, so can an ill-spirited word. We should be trying to lift each other up, not tear one another down.
Lots of people have offered up words of encouragement and support for the teen. Not only did the church’s leadership seek to uplift Jenna, so did thousands of people who heard her story online.
“You look beautiful!! And thank you for standing up for yourself — when you did, you did it for all of us,” one person wrote.
We all make mistakes. The woman has since apologized to Jenna for telling her she’s ‘too fat’ for shorts. And we pray God’s loving Spirit will be at work to bring about forgiveness and healing all around.
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We live in a broken world, which is why it’s so important we keep our identity rooted in Christ. All that matters is how He sees us. And His love for us is bigger than anything in this world!
h/t: Inside Edition
Featured Image: Twitter/Jenna Munger