Let’s face it ladies: we are very vain creatures. Men have the capacity to be vain as well, I’m not counting them out. However, the majority of men I know in my life spend less than 20 minutes getting ready in the morning, in comparison to taking about an hour-an hour and a half myself, depending on how difficult my hair decides to be that day.
We spend so much time picking out the perfect outfit, making sure ever hair on our head is in place, and doing everything we can to ensure our make-up is #flawless. We think we have to be absolutely perfect for our selfies and Instagram posts. Not only do we allow our brains to obsess about our appearances, but we dole out thousands of dollars to make-up and beauty stores like Sephora, Ulta or the designer makeup counters at department stores. According to Allure magazine, the average woman will spend $300,000 in her lifetime on make-up alone. Let that sink in. $300,000 on her face alone. (Here’s a link to the article: How Much the Average Woman Spends on Makeup In Her Lifetime) That’s not even including how much we spend on clothes, jewelry and hair products to feed our vanities. Think of how much coffee you could buy, how much you could travel, and to all my undergrad/grad/professional students out there, how much student loan debt you could avoid, AM I RIGHT? Think of all the good things you could do for the world with that money. How many homeless people do you think we could feed if we put that money towards a good cause? How many fewer children would go to bed cold and hungry? I’m as guilty as anyone else. I love make-up. It’s my guilty pleasure. I have to work very hard to keep myself from blowing $200-$300 during a single binge shopping trip.
This morning as I was putting on make-up to go to a coffee house by myself, though, I was thinking a lot about how useless it was. I’m not saying to ditch your make-up, I know I’m not going to stop loving sparkly eyeshadows or the perfect lipstick shade. I am saying that most of us are much more concerned with our outward appearances than with the condition of our hearts, minds, and souls. It doesn’t matter how much make-up we use to hide our flaws. If our hearts are full of sin, hate, anger, and bitterness, we are as filthy as pigs. A verse Rev. Josh Vaughn of Columbus Ave. Baptist Church here in Waco used during his sermon on folly is a fitting image of how I picture us sometimes. Proverbs 11:22 states, “Like a gold ring in a pig’s snout is a beautiful woman who shows no discretion.” In the same way that a gold ring does not beautify a pig, no amount of physical beauty can conceal a woman’ s lack of moral perception. My study Bible explains, “Outward beauty with indiscreet conduct has no value and actually turns beauty into ugliness.”
With all of this in mind, beauty and self-image cover a vast array of topics. There are extensive scriptures on beauty, appearances, and how we as Christians should respond to these things. There are so many things I want to write about on this topic, but I don’t want to give you all a 2,000+-word blog post that you wouldn’t read. So I’m going to focus on this topic for a while. Over the next few weeks, I’m going to concentrate on different things we women tend to get so worked up about. I’m really excited to write this series, and I’m planning to really dig into this through online and book references. I really hope this helps all of you, and I can’t wait to see what God reveals to me through this project.
In closing, I wanted to leave you with two scriptures and truths to think about today. These are two of my favorite verses, and I have a feeling that some of you really need to hear this today.
1.) You are made in the image of God. Genesis 1:27 states, “So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” To think of this in a different light, that huge forehead that you hate? God’s image. Big size-ten feet that you’re dad calls boat oars? God’s image. When you have something about yourself, you are literally hating the unique pieces of God’s image that he bestowed upon you. I know it’s hard to think of it that way, but you have to believe me when I say that you are created to look exactly the way you do and that you are created in the image of an all-powerful, all-knowing, indescribably beautiful creator (which means you too are beautiful by default!).
2.) God doesn’t look at outward appearances but at the heart. 1 Samuel 16:7 tells us that God doesn’t worry about outward appearances, and neither should we. It states, “But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.'” In this instance, Samuel is looking for his successor. When he sees Eliab, Jesse’s son, because of his grand stature, he thinks he is the man God has anointed. In reality, Jesse’s youngest son, David, is the anointed one, a man after God’s own heart. In verse 12, the Lord says, “Rise and anoint him; this is the one.” It is so easy to judge a book by it’s cover. But It is extremely important for us to look at a person’s heart the way God does. Look past the rough exterior to see the person for who they really are. And look to Biblical examples to model your heart after those who were unconditionally devoted to the Lord.
I hope all of you have a productive, joy-filled day. I pray that these words rest on your heart and maybe give you some needed encouragement. No matter where you are in your life today, I pray that you can see yourself as Jesus does: beautiful and worthy of love.
With love and blessings,