To all the teen girls…
“It’s what’s on the inside that counts” is a well-known saying. But these days and in our culture, I wonder if we really believe it anymore.
Makeup-wearing has become so normal over the years–especially in the U.S. For some people it has become almost as essential as clothes.
I’ve seen girls as young as the sixth-grade wearing makeup. Most of my friends wear it. And not just occasionally for special occasions, either, but everyday.
So, if most girls wear makeup, why haven’t I jumped on the train?
I have a few reasons why I don’t wear daily makeup. Here goes!
Note: This article isn’t meant to slam people who wear makeup–or even makeup itself. Many Christians use makeup in God-honoring and selfless ways. It’s not the makeup itself I’m fighting against, but the implications and intentions behind it. These are simply some reasons why I choose not to wear makeup myself.
1) It has a detrimental effect on confidence.
I find that once girls start wearing makeup, they become more critical of themselves. They start nitpicking their features–some even wishing they had somebody else’s face. Some girls even get to the point where they don’t want to be seen by anyone without makeup on.
If that’s you, then you’ve forgotten who made your face in the first place.
“See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field…will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?” Matthew 5:28b-30
Your creator clothed you with a beautiful face, and no paste, cream or color can change that about you. Don’t spin to society’s expectations in hopes of gaining confidence. You were made the way you were by a creator who knows you inside and out.
You are beautiful just the way you are. Trust in the way God made you–showing the world that makeup isn’t necessary to be confident in convictions and character.
2) I believe in taking care without conforming.
It’s a natural, expected thing for girls to wear makeup when they get older. Socially acceptable.
But what does our society stand for? Not Christ.
“Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
But a woman who fears the LORD is to be
Your relationship with God and inner character matter the most. I choose to take care of my body without patching up the imperfect parts. Our scars tell our stories.
When I see makeup (especially on teens), I see a desire of social acceptance and fitting in. But isn’t that the opposite of God’s call to stand out?
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about…what you will wear…is not…the body more important than clothes?” Matthew 6:25, 26
Take care of your skin without worrying about blemishes, wrinkles or scars. Let them show. Let a bare face be not a weakness, but a strength that sets you farther apart from the world.
3) There are more important things to do.
I think that makeup tends to cause girls to be more self-centered. Not all girls do, but many spend a long time picking, pasting and prodding in front of a mirror to get that perfect look.
But here’s a question: Does all that time make a difference to how the little girl across the street or the elderly man at church see you? Does that makeup make any difference to the young widow at the food bank?
“The world has enough women who know how to do their hair. It needs women who know how to do hard and holy things.”
When you look at the world around you and search for ways to serve others, the need for makeup disappears–as your world is filled with giving.
Being a Christian involves self-denial. What better way to deny this world’s expectations of self-elevation than to deny the need for extra stuff on our faces?
Be the hands and feet of Jesus, even if it means being seen in a broken, imperfect way. As we are broken and imperfect–after all, that’s what Jesus died for in the first place!
Your reach goes beyond, into broken places and broken people who need Jesus when you are seen not as a perfect person but a trustworthy person.
“Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.” 1 Peter 3:3-4
Adorn yourself with character instead, and see the substance of your life grow three sizes.
4) It begs for others’ approval.
The only reason people wear makeup in the first place is to look better. Whether it be to blend in or stand out, it asks for others to validate and notice you as a more interesting, important or acceptable person.
You might put on a little extra makeup to get your crush to notice you or make that group of girls accept you. Maybe you want to look older at a job interview. There are many reasons to dab a little more on. Just a little bit, however, has the potential to snowball into a lot of self-condemnation and doubt.
I mean, since when did Christians need others’ approval?
“If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.” John 15:18-19
If the world hates you, odds are that you’re not doing what the world wants–in other words, you’re a Christian.
Don’t beat yourself up about not gaining approval from those people you’ve set on a pedestal. Jesus said that the world would hate us.
Lathering on more makeup won’t help. If you have determined to be a Christian and follow Christ, this world isn’t going to like you. And that’s okay! Especially in the case of appearances. God loves us, and that’s worth more than a like on social media or a smile from your crush.
Put God on the pedestal of your heart and worship Him. Don’t try to change the way you look in order to gain others’ approval. Instead, focus on your character and how God is working inside you.
There you have it!
Four reasons why I don’t wear makeup. I hope all you girls out there heard what I had to say and are perhaps considering taking some cleanser to your face.
This isn’t to say that I’ve perfected all body-confidence and never struggle with doubts about how God made me. But saying no to makeup is a big step I’ve taken towards finding my ultimate value in Christ alone.
“You doubt your value. Don’t run from who you are.”
~C.S Lewis (Aslan)
In closing, here’s what I hope you heard today: You are beautiful and loved, no matter what you put on your face. Take care instead of conforming. Walk out into the world with confidence, reaching farther into the broken places and people who need hope.
God loves seeing your beautiful face.
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