The other day, I was putting on makeup, and my 7-yr old boy came in and asked what I was doing. I told him it was makeup, and he asked why I was putting it on. I said, “It’s just for fun.”
I have had this conversation with my kids a few times, and it is at this point in the conversation that I always feel some sort of a twinge of guilt? Questioning myself? Because as my kids ask about my makeup, I start to think about the example I’m providing.
My son was actually really curious about the blemish cream I was using, so I even showed him on a red spot on his face how the cream makes it fade so it goes away or just looks like a freckle.
Then, I immediately worried that doing so was not a good choice. I realized, now I have not only showed my son that I cover up my blemishes, but I have shown him a blemish on his face and maybe made him hyper-aware of it.. Oh, and there’s also the fact that I put makeup on my SON. Oops..
Why do I wear make-up? I’ve thought of some answers: It is nice to feel feminine (according to our culture), it is nice to look “my best,” I’d rather not have people see my blemishes, it can be fun to “paint” my face, it is nice to fit in, it would be nice to look better than somebody else…
Wait, did I really say that last one? Isn’t that honestly what happens when in the courting years, though?
There are interwoven reasons why I wear makeup, but ultimately it comes down to what others think of me because I wouldn’t wear makeup in a bubble where I am the only person around. It isn’t THAT fun to put on.
Well at this realization, I start to ponder how much time I spend on improving my outward appearance that is only for other people.
“man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.” – 1 Samuel 16:7
I do believe it is important to try to keep my body clean and well-groomed, to respect my body. But how much of what I do to “get ready” is beyond that?
I can’t help but think about other countries where women don’t even have the luxury of time to consider changing their appearance. I feel like our culture has turned women against their own bodies and also created an extreme time suck because none of us will ever truly be happy when we head down the road of comparing ourselves to the idea of “beautiful.”
I wanted to make a list of thoughts I’ve had that help me think through this:
- What if my body was made this specific way for a reason? What lessons can I learn from the body I was given and the flaws I see?
- When I speak negatively about my body, I am inviting others to see my body that way.
- Negative self-talk about my body gives the idea more power. How would my life be different without that belief?
- When I think about the people I love most, their physical appearance doesn’t cross my mind in the least…because bodies don’t matter when real love is at stake.
- How would my life change if I converted some of my “appearance-improving” time to something else that brings me or others joy?
- Smiles are beautiful, and ironically I’ve noticed I have a really hard time smiling freely when I’m too worried about myself and my appearance.
- I love this quote:
- How does this scripture change my thoughts about and treatment of my body: “know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?” –1 Corinthians 6:19
I’d be curious other people’s perspectives on this. Regarding makeup specifically, I’m not sure I will ever stop wearing a little makeup a few days a week; but I am working on being more okay with my natural appearance. Human bodies are wonderfully imperfect, and I’m hoping to embrace that and see how much I can do with my body instead of wasting time wishing it were different and changing it.