My pores are too big. I am certain of this because I saw a television commercial for some concoction that will make them appear to be smaller. I have a personal list of my complexion flaws: wrinkles; age spots; rosacea; lips that are forever dry; eyebrows…overplucked in my teenage years and never recovered (they are now too short and too thick); wispy eyelashes (whatever happened to them?), etc. Don’t get me started on what’s less than perfect from the neck down.
We live in a society that finds fault with us almost from the moment we are born. We are not thin enough, pretty enough, smart enough. Our chests are too small, our hips are too big. We don’t have the right clothes, we’re not cool enough if we don’t have the latest iPhone, the latest app, if we don’t know the latest abbreviation for the current hot phrase.
I can’t begin to tell you what’s wrong with our hair, but the manufacturers of Pantene and Suave will be happy to.
We are unacceptable. Turn on the TV and find commercial upon commercial that tells us so. Open a women’s magazine if you want to know specifically what’s wrong with you. We PAY them to tell us!
We buy into it. Don’t we all have a ton of makeup backing up the five or six items we use daily? How many hair products are in your bathroom? How many “beauty” treatments are sitting beside them? Nail polish? Beauty equipment? Lotions, moisturizers, special soaps, sponges, razors. OMGosh, I’m exhausted just listing the items I’m thinking of that I’ve invested in only to discover none of them have really improved the essential me. Yet I bought into the lie that somehow that lipstick or that shade of blusher would make me perfect. I forgot. I was born perfect. So were you.
How can we ever find ourselves acceptable when everywhere we turn someone or something is telling us what’s wrong with us? If it isn’t a member of your family doing it, it’s the media, someone at school or work or anywhere.
I don’t know how any of us manage to walk out of our houses we’re all so flawed!
I watched that ad about the product guaranteed to make my pores look smaller and all I could think about was if a woman from a third world country was shown such a thing, if it was explained to her what it was for, she might think it was hysterically funny. Or that we’re all nuts for worrying about the size of our pores or whether a zit popped out on our chin this morning.
She might have worries but they might be along the lines of where her next meal is coming from or how to protect her children, or if the next civil war in her country will send her to a refugee camp. Maybe she’s not sure she has the strength to walk the mile necessary to obtain clean drinking water for her family.
I thought about a woman living in a village somewhere, maybe she lives on a farm and she’s married and has kids and she works alongside her husband to feed her family and make a good life for herself. But she probably doesn’t have cable television or maybe even hot and cold running water in her house. Maybe she doesn’t have much of a house at all. She might not know what BB cream is or what it’s for. If her lips are chapped maybe she has some home remedy she uses. If she gets a zit, Clearasil is most likely not an option.
Still she found a husband who must have liked the way she looked. Maybe her hair gets frizzy from humidity and in her life that’s just the way it is and it’s okay. Her husband still finds her attractive. In her world frizz is part of life, not a cardinal sin to be avoided at all costs.
Who are we trying to make ourselves more acceptable to? Men? Ourselves? Other women? I’ve caught myself occasionally making more of an effort with my appearance when I’m meeting my friends than I do when I’m going out somewhere with my husband. What does that say about me?
When we see “those women” who’ve let their hair go gray (or left it its natural color) and don’t wear makeup and maybe have stopped shaving their legs we’re appalled, aren’t we? What’s “wrong” with them? Don’t they care about themselves? Don’t they know how they look? (Don’t they care what the rest of us think about how they look?)
The only thing all those beauty products might do is help us present the best version of our outer selves.
If you believe God made you (in his image and likeness?) you were acceptable in His eyes from the moment you were conceived. You can acquire a fortune in appearance-enhancing products but you’re never going to improve on His work.
(Yes, those pictures are from my bathroom.)
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