TA-DA!

October 22nd, 2017

I need to start by saying that some of this will only echo a dear woman. All “amazing quotes” and whatnot, are probably hers, not mine. But I am so excited about this, that I need to share it.

Those who see me regularly may have noticed that I look a bit different recently. I’ve been without makeup 80-90% of the time. This concept has been foreign in the past 15+ years. I have been wearing makeup every day (unless I didn’t leave the house), and hated the way I looked without it.

And then… I listened to a woman named Liz Curtis Higgs speak on women, and how we are all absolutely disappointed with who we are. We cannot take compliments – if someone compliments us, almost before the statement is finished, we argue it. We cannot simply say, “thank you.” If it’s our hair, we respond with something along the lines of, “ugh, it’s awful today.” JUST SAY THANK YOU. And we want to be every other woman… because she has great eyes, lips, shoulders, legs… she’s thin, beautiful, articulate, knowledgeable, an amazing cook, outgoing, intelligent, attractive… Guess what? YOU ARE TOO. And as Liz said, it’s likely that she is thinking the same things about YOU. Stop comparing yourself to the person next to you. God didn’t make you to live his or her life.

You were made by our Creator. And He doesn’t make mistakes. You were made exactly as you are, and God said, “TA-DA!” as He presented you to the world. There’s no doubt that He was proud of you and loved you just as you were. He thinks you are a beautiful creature. And whose opinion means more than our gracious God? Who are we to say that His work isn’t good enough?

Find a mirror. Then read the next bit out loud.

YOU ARE THE DEFINITION OF BEAUTIFUL for YOU. Read that again.

There is only one you. And there should be only one you… God loves you just as you are. And THIS (yes, THIS,) is EXACTLY what He had in mind when He created you. He was just as excited to make you as He was to make whomever it is that you envy.

So, back to my makeup story… The words “This is exactly what He had in mind when He created you,” and “You are the definition of beautiful for YOU,” shook me. Those words stuck.

I’d like to say that those words were enough to move me. But, they weren’t. I didn’t change a thing for about a month. And truthfully, my no-makeup thing started out as not having enough time in the morning. I’d do it when I got to work after dropping my son off at school.

And then one day, I forgot. I imagine the phone was ringing as I bounded the stairs, and then I jumped into my emails, writing notes, or whatever was going on that day, and I simply forgot to put on my makeup. I remember that day. I looked in the mirror late in the day and was mortified. I felt embarrassed that I’d walked around with a naked face. The makeup thing was off and on for about two weeks, usually because I forgot. With the encouragement of a couple of my friends in whom I’d confided about my struggle – with nothing more than, I am sad to say, my own naked face, I got brave. I didn’t do my makeup, purposefully, for about a week. And I learned something.

I’d been wearing makeup for 15+ years. My “made-up” face was what I was used to seeing in the mirror. I’d been told by society that makeup made you look better. After a couple of weeks of bare skin, I realized that it wasn’t that I looked better with makeup on… I’d simply forgotten what I looked like without it. And the words “made-up face” sure are appropriate. One of the definitions of “made-up” is: Invented. Not true. I realized how different (not necessarily better) it makes me look. Why do we need to reinvent ourselves when God made us just as He intended us to be? My naked face was hard to get used to. I flinched at the sight of myself in the mirror several times, because who was that person? And could I be loved and accepted without it? As Liz reminded us, that person in the mirror is who God made, with a “TA-DA!” He loves me, just as I am, and created me exactly as I am, intentionally. So yes, I can be seen without my makeup.

About three weeks into this no-makeup thing, I no longer do a double-take at the person in the mirror. I recognize the person I see without makeup. And though it took me a while to get used to, I am beginning to like myself without it. (It saves time in the morning, too!) This doesn’t mean I’ll never do my makeup. I’ve done it a few times in the past few weeks. But far more often I have a naked face. And my skin feels better, too. Though it’s only a small step, it’s a step in looking for what’s beautiful without alterations.

That’s all for now.

Be good to yourselves.🖤

(Indented section is mostly paraphrasing of Liz Curtis Higgs.)


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