Saturday, April 21, 2012


The comment:
One of my biggest pet peeves is seeing young christian girls wearing way too much make up, fake tanning, and just looking completely fake in general, yet serving a God who created them beautiful. I understand we all have insecurities but we have to draw the line somewhere. Any advice on this for other girls who aren't embracing their natural beauty?
This is a hard one for me to address.
It's hard because I don't know where the 'line' you speak of should be drawn. While I could easily discourage women from wearing too much make-up, going tanning or looking 'fake'... there's a whole other host of women who are doing a thousand different things that you could argue are not 'embracing their natural beauty', either.

Consider all the things that women do to alter their appearance, aside from the ones you mentioned:

  • Wear some make-up
  • Lay-out in their backyard, by the pool, anywhere sun is found
  • Pluck/wax their eyebrows, chin hairs, mustaches
  • Shave their armpits, legs, arms, bikini lines
  • Paint their fingernails and toenails
  • Straighten their hair
  • Perm their hair
  • Dye their hair
  • Cut their hair
  • Pierce their ears, noses, lips, eyebrows
  • Get tattoos
  • Put on lotion/age cream
  • Take/use acne medication/facewash
  • Wear clothing that's 'flattering' to their figure
  • Lose weight (through exercise, dieting, eating disorders) 
  • Plastic Surgery (breast enlargements, liposuction, face-lifts...etc.)

I probably haven't covered everything... 
But, my point is that while we may not be doing what we think is the extreme, I very much am guilty of doing many of the above things to alter my appearance. Probably some of them on on a daily basis. 

It's an instance where I think we are quick to look at the speck in someone else's eye without first looking at the plank in our own. It's an instance where we are quick to judge someone's appearance without being willing to look at the heart. I'm also guilty of this. 

I think the whole point is that this is often a line that all of us women can typically identify with each other on- we are all striving to know what it means to not let our beauty come from outward adornment, but, rather, focus on the 'unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit'. 

It seems, instead of letting what other people are doing consume us and annoy us, that we should seek to love them. We can probably identify with them a heck of a lot more than we think we can, and I think once we take the time to get to really know them and their hearts, this will be quite evident. Some of my closest (unlikely) friends have sprung out of taking the time to get to know them behind the painted face and the orange skin. 

I don't necessarily think any of the above things are wrong. I do think that when they become consuming, when they become vanity, when they become our focus... that we've lost sight of what really matters. I think that it's a thing of the heart, where each person has to realize within themselves and for themselves that beauty is in inward thing, not an outward thing. Check out one of my recent posts about my latest thoughts on this issue: Quest for Worth

That probably isn't what you were hoping for... but, I can't in good conscious tell other women to stop doing the things they are doing that don't seem like 'embracing natural beauty' when they could just easily tell me the same thing about the efforts I make toward my appearance. 

My advice?
Let those girls do what they're doing. It's not your job (or mine) to stop them or draw a line for them. Get to know them, get to know their hearts... and be willing to admit that you probably also do things to alter your appearance before telling them that they need to embrace their natural beauty. 

Maybe you do, too. 
Maybe we all do. 
Maybe we're all hiding behind a bit of a facade. It doesn't have to look like make-up and fake tanning to try to mask who we really are. 

Perhaps we're all just a bit clown-faced, struggling to figure out where we fit in the world.
Or, maybe that's just me. 

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