*First of all I would just like to say that I don’t think wearing makeup is wrong in any shape form or fashion! This article is about the intent of our hearts. In fact, wearing makeup is meant to be fun! This article is simply about my personal commitment not to (normally) wear make up.
*Second of all I would just like to say that part of the reason I don’t wear makeup is because I have a very low maintenance personality. Part of the reason I don’t wear makeup is because it exhausts me. I am a person very concerned with only the things I think matter, and one of the things low on that list is how people think I look. As long as I love the way I look, then I’m content.
That being said, I don’t wear makeup. Many of you know this. I have had a desire to write this for a long time because everyday I see young girls walking around in bondage to filling the expectations of others. I still live in bondage to this, but I have to say in the area of personal beauty and body image, I have found a lot of freedom.
A conversation I have had a lot over the years goes a little something like this;
“So, why don’t you wear make-up?” I proceed to explain my reasonings…
“Wow. You can do that. It actually works for you. The all-natural look is good on you. But not for me! I could NEVER because…”
After leaving a conversation like this I always genuinely feel sorry for the other woman. Let me challenge you with this statement: the “all-natural” look is your look. And if you don’t like the way you look, then there may be a deeper heart issue going on. Most likely, there is a worship issue going on.
My personal commitment not to wear makeup started in middle school when I began to compare myself to all the other girls at school who began to cake makeup on their faces and wear nothing but Abercrombie and Hollister. I could never keep up with the trends. But here is the thing, I didn’t want to be like those girls at school. I was envious of their popularity, but all they seemed to be concerned about was their looks. The shallow things their conversations consisted of held no appeal to me, yet at the same time I still hated the way I looked. In my mind, they were beautiful, and I was not, but I didn’t want to do what they did to feel beautiful. I wanted to feel beautiful all on my own.
A prayer I prayed CONSTANTLY in those horrible three years was this; “Lord, I just want to be naturally beautiful. I want to like who I am just the way I am, and I don’t want to feel dependent on clothes or makeup to feel confident in my body image.”
I recited Psalm 139 every morning before going to school, trying desperately to believe it.
And I made a commitment to myself, that I wouldn’t wear makeup. I decided not to in order to challenge myself. In every circumstance, in every situation, I wanted to be comfortable in my own skin, and I wanted to believe that I was fearfully and wonderfully made. I didn’t want to rely on any one else’s opinion except the Lord’s.
Well, as you can imagine, it has been a long hard fight to believe these things. I don’t really think I have completely succeeded until here recently, after I graduated from college. At every turn the world is trying to define beauty for us, and if we aren’t diligent about running to the Lord to let Him define beauty, the world’s definitions will take deep root in our hearts.
As I have let the Lord define beauty for me, I have realized that external beauty always takes a backseat to the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit;
3 Your adornment must not be merely external–braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; 4 but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God.
1 Peter 3:3-4
Another verse that can help in understanding this is Proverbs 31:30;
30 Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain,But a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised. Proverbs 31:30
While external beauty can point us to the beauty of our Lord in small ways, the internal beauty of a heart truly reliant and submissive to its master is the true display of the beauty of the Lord at work in a person.
As my focus has changed to cultivating this kind of beauty in my life, I have found it easier and easier to be confident in my body because the more I value the Lord the more I value what He made. The more I truly believe that I am adopted, justified, and glorified through Jesus Christ I find it increasingly difficult to take the focus off of Him and put it on myself by being insecure or by worrying about if a guy thinks I’m pretty.
The more you orient your life around believing the promises of the gospel and the goodness of our Lord the harder it will be to think self-deprecating thoughts or to live in a prison of this world’s idea of beauty.
Now I am not saying that not wearing make-up got me to this point. It didn’t. The Holy Spirit did. But I will say that if you feel uncomfortable in your own skin, or you feel uncomfortable even going a day without make-up, it may be a good thing to challenge yourself not to wear it. You might be surprised at what comes out of your heart or your mind as a result.
Now I choose not to wear make-up because I genuinely think I look better just as I am. I genuinely believe that I am the most beautiful without it. Because this is me. This is the body I was given in this life to help me reflect the image of God. And I love it.