A thought came to my mind about six months ago…a curiosity of sort. I don’t particularly know what was driving it, but I became preoccupied with finding beauty. I began watching YouTube videos, scrolling through Instagram, and searching the Internet for any subjects related to women’s makeup, hair, fashion, and fitness. I wanted to embody that which I considered to be beautiful, replicate it, and present it to the world. It was my mission.
As such, I began to take action. I started researching different makeup and skin care lines and trialing and buying whatever I thought suited me best. I signed up to sell a makeup brand for a short time, and I began to take selfies and post them with all of the hashtags that I thought were necessary to get the attention that I desired.
But something inside of me didn’t feel quite right about my approach. I began to question my whole reason for this preoccupation. It wasn’t a need to make money, as I have a career. So what was it? Was I craving male attention because I felt stagnant in my singlehood? Or was I succumbing to the pressure of social media and seeking validation by earning “likes “? Was I feeling at this point in my life that I was getting older and thus no longer attractive?
I needed to get some answers, so I took action once again. I began to reach out to people to get their opinion on aging, beauty, and the role that social media plays in forming our opinion of ourselves. I also saw a therapist (twice!), asked a complete stranger to meet me for a beer to get his perspective on things, and most importantly, went back to my roots and sought God.
That’s when I finally started getting some answers. I was led to a book called “Captivating” by John and Stasi Eldridge. Through it, I learned that as women, there are three things that we long for – to be romanced, to play an irreplaceable role in a great adventure, and to unveil beauty. Did you see that third one I just listed? Yes, unveil beauty! I am not joking when I tell you that I cried when I read the introduction to the book and continued to do so throughout reading it. Obviously, it really spoke to my heart and made so much sense to me and what I was feeling.
As women, we all want to know that we are pretty. How many of us have changed our outfit at least three times before going out for the evening? How many stress over every scar, stretch mark, or extra pound that finds its way to us? How many have paid way too much for a haircut that we ended up hating two weeks later? I know I can’t be alone!
It is because we all have that God-given desire to be pretty! Yes, you heard me right- it is God given, which means we shouldn’t be ashamed of it or think that we are vain or self -obsessed because of it. And it doesn’t just apply to outward beauty, but inward as well. They actually go hand in hand, or at least they should.
But here’s the thing: Somewhere along the way, life has had its way with us and given us the message that we are not good enough. Whether we think we are too old, too fat, too short, or whatever… somewhere along the way we were disconnected from seeking beauty. Remember as little girls when we would play dress-up and get into our Mom’s makeup and things? We were pretending to be a princess, fairy, or some make-believe movie star. As we matured and endured life, we lost that sense of playfulness and curiosity. Chapter 8 in “Captivating” states: “Beauty is what the world longs to experience from a woman. We know that. Somewhere down deep, we know it to be true. Most of our shame comes from this knowing and feeling that we have failed here. So listen to this: Beauty is an essence that dwells in every woman. It was given to her by God. It was given to you.”
How comforting to know that my inner desires and needs were formed by my maker.
I would like to say that I have found my answer and I’m now satisfied… but quite the contrary. My journey has only begun. Now that I know WHY I have this need and curiosity, I am learning HOW to satisfy it. I can tell you that this will most likely be an ongoing (but positive) journey for me. As you see, each one of us has her own path to follow. In the meantime, I will continue to share any (outward) beauty tips or recommendations that come my way. The inward work is up to you! If any of this article spoke to you in anyway, I strongly encourage you to read the book “Captivating” to learn more.
In closing, I recently participated in a glitter photo shoot. Many people asked me why I had it done. What was the occasion? Was it for a boyfriend? And my answer was simply this: I wanted to be beautiful. I wanted to be captivating. When I saw the pictures for the first time, my immediate thought was, “Is that ME?” What a shame that I was surprised that I looked pretty!
Ladies, we should not question our beauty. We all have it. We need to find it. We need to be that little girl again, and share it with the world! We need to go out and play in glitter and say “Yes that’s me! I’m pretty!”
God bless you all! I hope you find your curiosity and the little girl inside you as I did.
Photo by Wild Artistry photography