Monday, March 07, 2005

behold the average-looking woman

Do you know what "dressing up" consists of for me? Lip gloss. Shiny, lip-smacking, fruity-colored lip gloss. When we girls went out last Friday night, I "dressed up" in jeans and a black shirt, with a swipe of gloss. Oh, and I donned a necklace, too.

Okay, so I'm not exactly a glam girl. Forgive me. I've been a little busy this past year. A few months after Rowan was born, I met another new mom at church. Her baby was four weeks old. The new mom was teeny-tiny (as in no "baby belly" hanging out over the top of her pants)...her hair was in place...she had on makeup...she was all smiles. She made being a new mom look like a cakewalk. I wanted to strangle her. But instead I just cried on the way home.

It's been almost a year since that encounter, and there are still times that days go by during which I sport a headful of Medusa hair, with nary a touch of mascara. I feel guilty. I feel ugly. (Wow, what an UPLIFTING blog entry!!!) I feel irritated that our society places so much stinking emphasis on physical beauty.

But then, hopefully, a tiny bit of the Spirit wiggles its way into my thoughts and tells me it's okay if I'm not wearing makeup. If God had wanted me to have thicker eyelashes, I would have been born with them. (Not that there's anything wrong with wearing makeup! I still use it when I have the time...trust me!) And the Spirit tells me that, even though my wrinkly, stretch-marked belly will never be modeling for Victoria's Secret, that belly is a badge of honor...it housed a nine-and-a-half pound blessing named Rowan. And the Spirit tells me that even though I'm not the most glamorous or fashionable woman around (not even close!), I CAN be a woman who fears the Lord.

Don't be concerned about the outward beauty that depends on fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should be known for the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God. - I Peter 3:3

Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the LORD will be greatly praised. - Prov 31:30

10 Comments:

Blogger DJG said...

Oh to be free from the chains of make-up and "fixed" hair. I think that is why I fantasize about living on an island like in the Bahamas, going barefoot with free flowing hair and NO MAKEUP allowed!!

3:38 PM  
Blogger Shelly said...

You have no idea how much I needed this today! Thank you for your openness. You have blessed me!

Thanks also for the suggestions for little Miss Hayley. Things are finally better today. Good idea about mixing the fruit with the veggies.

And by the way---one thing that helps me out when I feel discouraged by the supermodels is the fact that one day, they'll be 80 and saggy and have Meducca do's like the rest of us! :)

3:38 PM  
Blogger TMK said...

I totally know how you feel! Something funny I have noticed, when I do have time for makeup (usually the only place I even try is when we go to church)I feel uncomfortable and can't wait to get home, change and wash my face!

4:19 PM  
Blogger Little Light said...

Shelly - airbrushing hides a lot of flaws and can make anyone look "perfect." Keep in mind that even the supermodels don't have flawless bodies (or skin or hair or lives) either and they fret about it too. When you see some of the "beautiful people" in person, some of them really are beautiful, but they're just as likely to not look so great.

4:55 PM  
Blogger MDM said...

You are speaking my language today!!! I have struggled with this "perfect looking mom" thing alot lately. Seems starving oneself is such a trend with moms today. So scary. I have girls, so this garbage is NOT acceptable. We mommys have so much MORE to live for than ourselves. Thank you, and I wish everyone could read your little corner of blogland...I love your fresh perspective.

8:10 PM  
Blogger jettybetty said...

I think you are right on--now I really wonder who even notices when we don't glam up? And are they the people in my life I really care about anyway? I think you are caring about the important things! Blessings! JB

9:54 PM  
Blogger Little Light said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

12:50 AM  
Blogger Little Light said...

MDM - I'm not a mom, so I didn't know that starving oneself was a trend with mothers. I did however, have a classmate who was barred from her health club and eventually passed away from a heart attack for trying to lose too much weight after having her baby. Her daughter was only 5 mos. old when she died.

All I can say is that as a thin, single woman, I think pregnant bellies are beautiful and gaining weight after childbirth is to be expected. Supermodels work to sell clothes and makeup. There are specific reasons why they look the way they do, but there is never any question about being a woman, whatever you look like.

12:52 AM  
Blogger Kate said...

Good post, Jana. I think it's so important that especially as mothers that we are aware of our physical self-image and our self-esteem, and if they are rooted in the "worldly" perspective or a spiritual perspective (and that doesn't mean that to be spiritual you don't wear makeup or curl your hair). Because our children, boys and girls, are watching and learning how they should feel about themselves and how they should view others through our example. They aren't going to learn from our intentions, they learn from what they see us doing and what they hear us saying. I had a 6 year old male student say he wasn't going to eat a birthday snack because he was "on a diet" - guess where he learned that one!

7:30 AM  
Blogger MDM said...

Little Light~~ That breaks my heart. It is a very sad trend...

9:02 PM  

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