I never thought I would do something like this.
Do you know how hard I try to avoid being seen without makeup? Pretty hard. Because the voices that tell me I have to are much louder than the voices that say I don’t.
It isn’t worth the risk.
To prove to myself I could, I once took a selfie after taking off my makeup at the end of the day. I ignored the inevitable remnant of foundation and eyeliner still lingering across my skin, thinking surely I was well within the boundaries to include that “no makeup” hashtag on my post. It was good enough. I looked different than when I had all my makeup on. No one would know otherwise.
I’m not sure what exactly I was trying to accomplish, but I knew why I was afraid. I didn’t want to be vulnerable to the potential negative thoughts that would surely run through the minds of those who would be able to truly see me.
Fear dwells behind those long lashes and red lips. There is fear of not measuring up or not being accepted because of a blotchy face that is far from the “beauty” around us.
Makeup works like painkillers. It masks what’s happening underneath the surface and tricks us into thinking everything is okay. But when it all washes away, we’re still left where we started. Hurt, insecure, and hiding from the rest of the world.
The pursuit of beauty is an addiction.
No makeup days have turned into my anthem to demonstrate to the world that my confidence is still intact, my poise is unblemished and I’m willing to show who I really am. Yet, I survive for a day and then retreat to where I was before. What I had set out to accomplish was done and documented online to prove I really could.
It’s a game to see who can be the most honest or the most glamorous without needing to cover up. With the attempt to invite envy and assurance, the makeup comes off and it’s put on display. It’s strategic. It’s manipulative. And it still isn’t real, because we both know that if a woman didn’t want to show what’s underneath the surface, she wouldn’t.
Real beauty isn’t found when we can parade the lie that there’s nothing to hide, on or underneath the surface. It’s when everything inside of us begs to hide and we choose not to because our security resides elsewhere.
It’s when we allow ourselves to be found out, from the inside out – the good and the bad, the blemishes and the scars, the fears and insecurities – and we invite the world to dig further into our hearts because the deeper they go the more they’ll find about the One who created us.
How beautiful could we be if we weren’t afraid to let people in? Maybe we would finally be able to see His fingerprints all over our faces.
The truth is that He created you and me and that makes us more than beautiful. It gives you a story He wants to share with the world. And that story is beautiful. The only imperfection inside of you is the sinfulness which keeps you from your Creator. But because of His redeeming and cleansing love, there is nothing we need to cover up. It has been washed away.
If the One who created the most marvelous places, the most breath-taking sights and the most fascinating creatures in all the world also created us, who are we to contradict what He has called wonderful and beautiful? Who are we to say we are so disgraceful that everything on the inside and outside must be hidden from the world? Who are we to say a mirror speaks more truth than the One who created the person looking back at you?
Mirrors lie – they trap you and force you to look through the eyes of the mirror instead of the eyes of the Creator. All it sees is imperfections. All He sees is beautiful.
Because you are valuable.
You are precious.
You are His.
And you don’t need to hide.
“I would rather be what God chose to make me than the most glorious creature that I could think of; for to have been thought about, born in God’s thought, and then made by God, is the dearest, grandest and most precious thing in all thinking.” – George MacDonald