Friday, 3 June 2016

On Beauty


I love makeup. I have ever since I was little and I would wander through drugstore makeup isles, staring in awe at the tubes of lipstick and brightly coloured eyeshadow. I still have the first bullet of lipstick I ever bought, from a clearance bin at Walmart. It's a deep plum sort of colour, with a hint of shimmer. I was probably around 8 or 9 and I wanted it so badly, even though I knew I would never be allowed out of the house wearing it. It was so pretty! I remember going home and trying it on and feeling beautiful. When I was in my early teens I was allowed to buy a small eyeshadow palette with four colours in it. There was this beautiful pearly off-white, a pale browny bronze with a light shimmer, a medium matte brown, and a dark brown that also had a hint of shimmer. I actually still love the colours in it. It was the perfect neutral palette. I was now allowed to wear mascara at this point, as long as it wasn't too noticeable. How grownup and pretty I felt!

Beautiful. When I was little I thought I was beautiful because all girls and women are. At some point though I decided I wasn't. I don't look like the women in magazines. I don't have the classic face, or even the 'modern' look. I'm me. And I decided that I didn't measure up because I didn't look like those pretty ladies. I couldn't accept the way I looked because it is so very different than everyone else I knew. I have a face that contains many of the ‘flaws’ that magazines tell you how to disguise. I struggled to feel attractive when everywhere I looked I was being told I was anything but.  I looked in the mirror and the face that looked back at me was too square, the eyelids too hooded, the lips too small, the eyes too brown. I wasn’t the girl with big blue eyes and oval face, with killer cheekbones and full lips. I hated myself for it. I tried to hide my perceived flaws with makeup, trying to escape the skin I was in. I had an unhealthy obsession with beauty, wishing to be anyone but me. My life was wrapped up in my appearance. 

It’s been a long journey to come to the place where I have a healthy relationship with makeup. I don’t use it to hide myself anymore. Now l use makeup to enhance my features or to play around with and have fun. I still struggle sometimes with the girl who looks back at me in the mirror. I’ve learned to accept (mostly) my features as how God wanted me to look. He didn’t make a mistake. I may not see my true beauty, but beauty is in the eye of the beholder. God created me, he is the one looking at me right now, seeing my potential. Beauty is so much more than what you look like. 

“Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.”
                                                Psalm 31: 30

A woman who fears the Lord is to be praised…I want to be that woman. I don’t want to be wrapped up in how unattractive I think I look. I have so much more to live for and I am worth so much more than my appearance. It’s so hard to be real when you are constantly being bombarded with shallow headlines and advice. Honestly, this journey to discovering my true beauty and worth has not been easy. I’ve struggled almost daily to not hate myself for how I look. I struggle with guilt because of how shallow I am. Good thing God hasn’t given up on me, because I certainly have given up on myself before! It’s when I struggle again with my appearance I think, “Seriously? Again? You should be way past this by now.” I am definitely a work in progress, with positive steps forward and sometimes backsliding. 

“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.”
Psalm 139: 14-16

Wonderfully made. We are all so very special. God created YOU to be who you are. What you look like, your personality and all the things that make you you are what God wanted. He made you who you are specifically. It took me so long to see that I had been created with purpose and with a plan. How freeing it is to go out and not worry what I look like! Our beauty is so much more than our appearance, as I’m slowly learning each day. It’s the fact that we were made in the image of God that makes us beautiful.

If you feel unworthy of being called attractive, if you roll your eyes when someone says your pretty or laugh it off, if you hate what you look like when you stare into the mirror, I hope and pray you come to the place where you can see your true beauty. I hope you can come to the place where you can understand in your heart, as well as in your mind, that beauty has very little to do with how hot your body is or how pretty your face is. Your beauty comes from what is inside and who God has created you to be. And that is beautiful.

Xoxo,

Sarah




3 comments:

  1. Sweet Sarah, so much of what you soulfully and openly wrote here resonated with me big time. Like yourself, I have struggled with issues of self-esteem/self confidence and self-perception over the years massively. I know that I'm not stereotypical beautiful, my body is far from "perfect" (not that I actually believe such a thing existsly, but in so much as 21st century society defines such), and that my teeth are very unattractive (crocked, crowded, ill shaped in some cases, etc). In my mid-twenties I made a conscious decision to practice greater self love and to try and move past my insecurities. Such isn't easy and takes constant effort, but at very nearly 32 years of age now (my next b-day is less than a month away), I can honestly say that I've made major strides in that direction.

    I now direct a lot of that thought and the energy behind it towards other areas of my life, from running my blog and Etsy shop to taking care of my family to my spirituality and so much more. I know that I'll always have certain hangups and areas I'm sensitive to in regards to my appearance, but I no longer loath my reflection, rarely spend much time focusing on the parts of my body I don't uber love, and have grown so very much as a person by taking these healthy steps, as it sounds like you have, too (which genuinely warms my heart to hear).

    Here's to the heartfelt hope that we'll both continue to adore and appreciate ourselves and our absolutely gorgeous bodies more and more with each passing day.

    Tons of hugs,
    ♥ Jessica

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    1. I can't tell you how much your comment means to me. After a hard day it was such a lovely thing to see, and honestly made me tear up a little! It's so hard to see our true worth in a world that has a very narrow perception of what is beautiful. I have been so inspired by your blog, and your sweet self. Thanks for making my day a little brighter!

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  2. It's been a journey for me too. Goodness, I still don't feel beautiful most days. But everything you have said here is the truth- it's not up to us to decide whether or not we are beautiful- it's up to God. Thank-you for sharing this so truthfully. :)

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