Thursday, April 1, 2010

Final Say

Lent is over. Here's the verdict. I'm going to be 100% real with you right now, okay?

As most of you know, I gave up make-up this Lenten season.

I did this to reteach myself that all the additives are not what make me beautiful and so that I could learn what beauty really is. As in, what is true about beauty and what are lies created by the society around us? And maybe, with this new awareness, I could spread the message to other women around me.

I learned a lot about myself in the last 40 days. I learned that I had become reliant on make-up. That without it, I felt like I looked terrible. I learned that how much sleep you get dramatically affects your appearance. (Duh!) I learned that a lot of us hide behind make-up and that some of us lose all confidence without it. For some, make-up is as essential as brushing your teeth and putting clothes on.

To be super honest with you, I felt pretty vulnerable without make-up from time to time in the last forty days. I felt very exposed and uncovered as crazy as that sounds. And naturally, these feelings got worse when I'd be standing next to or talking to someone who was all made up. Through time, though, these negative feelings slowly faded. So much so, that in the last two weeks, I was so use to no make-up that the smaller the amount of make-up on people, the more attractive they looked to me.

St. Joseph's feast day is a solemnity in the Catholic church. This means that you don't have to fast from meat if it falls on a Friday during Lent and you don't have to abide by any of the sacrifices you may have given up. After praying about it a little, I decided to put on a small amount of make-up that day to see how the time off from it had affected my outlook on the subject.

Surprisingly, I realized that I felt just as confident with no make-up as I did with it! I had set out on a mission this Lenten season and this new realization meant that I had succeeded in that mission.

So there were tough days and easy days, but overall, I came out victorious. I can now say that I feel truly beautiful without all the nonsense on my face.

It has come to my attention that beauty is so much more than superficial and insubstantial looks. Sure, it's nice to be made up! I agree! And you will surely see me around with make-up on and all that jazz. But the make-up is not what makes us beautiful, ladies. What is truly alluring is your genuine smile or your lively laugh. Beauty comes from a greater depth than whether or not you put too much eye shadow on. Yes, beauty can be defined and is defined as what is pleasing to the eye. And I agree. One should take care of themselves and keep themselves up. Someone who "let's himself go" is not as approachable as someone who hasn't.

Look, I believe in hygiene and grooming. For. Sure.

However, that is only one definition and interpretation of beauty.

Someone who is very attractive but is not very loving might not be defined as someone who is beautiful. Perhaps they are just pretty or handsome. But not beautiful.

Why? Because the term "beautiful" should be reserved. That's my opinion, anyway. After Lent this year, I have a special place in my heart for the word. It means a lot to me as you can probably tell.

Society says skinny is correct. Society pushes make-up and anti-aging remedies. Society says old is wrong. Society says fake is right. Society sits on a throne of lies.

A middle-aged woman who was blessed with curves, who loves to laugh and sing, and who cares about the people around her is a BEAUTIFUL woman. And you would agree.

I beg you not to believe what the television and those darn magazines tell you. They do not know. Beauty is not a thin, washed out lady with ten pounds of make-up.

You are beauty. You are. The work that God did when he created you is beauty in itself. You may say you need more make-up and you need to lose some ungodly amount of weight and whatever else you might feel like you need to do to yourself. But saying that is practically slapping our Father in the face. What He did is a work of art and is beautiful.

You heard me, right? You. Are. Beautiful. Hey, do you want to be the one to stand up to Him and say, "What You did isn't good enough. I can make it better than You can." Didn't think so.

I would challenge you to not wear make up for a few days. See how it affects you and where you are in terms of comfort in your natural beauty. You will be amazed at the things you discover!

Anyway, I've ranted and talked in circles enough to you, my darlings! Happy Easter!

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