Lipstick Dilemmas and Mascara Theology

I have a love/hate relationship with makeup.

Random, right?  This blog is usually not about makeup or hair or nails… and it still isn’t.  I’m getting there.

There’s this memory I have from youth group of this woman with some Serious Makeup going on… like, foundation, blush, blue eye shadow, and perfectly coiffed hair telling this goth girl that she needed to ease back on her black eyeliner and dark lipstick (the only makeup she was wearing) because it was ungodly, and wouldn’t God want her to look sweet?

I have another memory of watching church women discuss Tammy Faye Bakker’s makeup with disdain.  I was very little, and I remember thinking that she looked a bit like a princess and I didn’t understand why people were mean to her.

Sometimes I’m really not into the makeup thing.  I like it, but I’m not someone who needs it to leave the house. Sometimes I’m super girly and go on Youtube and figure out what I want to try and Full Face Makeup.  I have thrown out every cosmetic I own, and I have spent $50 at MAC without batting a well mascara-ed eyelash.  Usually, I feel very passionately on the subject of grooming and makeup.. namely I feel you should do what you want on that front.

RuPaul Charles said that “We’re born naked and the rest is drag”, and that’s pretty true.

Recently I visited this young, hip church in the area, and was reminded at how church culture has a Look, and how much you stick out if you don’t adhere to that Look.  I don’t know that the Look itself is bad, but I don’t know that it’s super genuine either. Maybe I’m too judgy about a Look that I don’t fit into.

This is all roiling around in my head because Self Care is such an important practice, and for me sometimes that means not spending any time on hair and makeup and focusing outside myself, and sometimes that means makeup and taking some time to take stock of myself and express myself creatively.

Makeup to me is like painting.  It’s not about anything other than creativity.  However, I have an awareness that it has an association with vanity, pride and selfishness. Is the medium really the message in this case, or is it possible to have a relationship with Appearance that is not too severe on either side?

Then, there’s an ethical component.  Are we using things to make us beautiful or even express ourselves that are slowly killing us, or our planet?  Trying to find even a basic cleanser without microbeads or a plastic base in it is becoming nearly impossible, unless you shell out for organic good quality products… and then one has to ask if that money is well spent?

Is paint a waste of money?  If not, is paint for your face a waste of money?

There is a lot to be said for humility and meekness, but are we using that to stifle?  There’s a lot to be said for the fact that “man looks at the outward appearance”, but are we using that to justify?

Am I going to come to a conclusion about balance once again?

Or am I going to decide that it doesn’t matter as long as I do what seems right before God for me?

Perhaps I just put a little more mascara on, and remember Tammy Faye, who was beautiful and didn’t need all the makeup… but more importantly was kind and creative and loving.

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