I abruptly opened my eyes to the blaring sound of my alarm.
As the blurriness began to subside, I slowly sat up and peered toward the window directly in front of me. It was a grey and overcast day in Chicago, but it was an exciting day nonetheless.
My mom was asked to be a part of a show that highlights the benefits of incorporating raw fruits and vegetable into your diet. She was going as a testament to how raw foods have greatly improved her type 2 diabetes. My two sisters and I were also invited to come to the shoot to get some footage with our mom.
Going to the shoot also brought one more thing that I was even more excited about: I could wear makeup. As a young teen, I wasn’t allowed to wear makeup unless it was for a special occasion. So whenever I could, I got super geeked out about it. Anyway, I put on a little bit of foundation, then eyeshadow, and finally mascara (because that’s all that my mom would let me put on that day).
Sis, let me tell you, I got more compliments on my beauty that day than I had gotten all year, and maybe even the year before that.
Sadly though, that day single-handedly forged the notion in my mind that I was only beautiful when I had makeup on. And quite frankly, it was that poisonous thought that controlled how I viewed myself for years to come. I genuinely believed this lie, which meant that the majority of the time, I just simply wasn’t beautiful.
This lie caused me to overdo it (sometimes to the point of looking like a clown) because according to my twisted logic, there were only a few times a year where I was actually beautiful.
Then one day God decided to teach me a lesson.
I was seventeen years old and still holding onto the lie that “I was only beautiful when wearing makeup.” I was getting ready for my annual spring formal and putting on liberal amounts of makeup. Finally…I get to be beautiful today, I thought to myself. I continued applying cakes and cakes of makeup with no proper blending techniques. Yikes!
I did my full face and was ready to take on the evening with full-fledged confidence. I had a lively and enjoyable night hanging out with my classmates around downtown Chicago and wished that it would never end. But alas, we all went home.
That night, I remember staring into my bathroom mirror trying to savor the very last moments of being “beautiful” before having to wash it all off. I didn’t want to let go. I was grieving internally. More time passed and I knew I had to go to bed.
Begrudgingly, I took one long, heavy sigh as I bent over the sink to wash my face.
My first glance in the mirror after I rose from cleaning my face was a shocking one. Here I was without a spec of makeup on and yet I was…beautiful! My skin was radiant, my eyes were bright and I looked just as stunning as I did with a full face of makeup a few minutes ago! I had never seen myself in that way before and God totally used that moment to teach me that I am truly beautiful, unique, and precious with or without makeup on.
In that moment, I knew I could feel confident because I am a beautiful daughter of the King. I have so many attributes that He has instilled in me that go far beyond aesthetics.
That one moment completely changed my relationship with makeup forever. Since then I have started wearing it regularly and I really do enjoy the creative aspect of it. I get to play around with different products, colors, techniques, and finishes and it’s just plain fun to change up my look every now and then.
I am able to enjoy makeup without makeup defining my beauty and worth.
I now have so much freedom in that regard because I’m fully grounded in who I am and who God made me to be.
I don’t need makeup, but I enjoy it. So I’ll wear it but only on my terms.
Sister, if you’re struggling with something similar to this just know that you are an exquisite and beautiful woman. You do not need A N Y T H I N G to validate your worth. You are truly remarkable because God created you in His image. Know that. Breathe it in until it sinks into your psyche. You are loved.
What material things have you turned to in order to validate your beauty? How did you overcome it? Do you still enjoy them?
This guest post was written by: Megan Richardson