Day 41–Nearing the end…

41 days without makeup and non hygienic beauty products

I’ve been out of touch for a few days, haven’t I?  Such is the life of a pastor in the weeks leading up to Easter.  As I consider this week in the life of the Christian calendar, the first theme that comes to mind is sacrifice.  I recall the great sacrifice that was made on my behalf so that I would not be subject to a life of guilt and shame, but one of freedom and abundance.  Wow, what a great life I have.  My life truly is characterized by freedom and abundance. As I think of this in terms of my Lenten fast, I have the freedom to boldly walk away from those things that might be holding me back, or hindering me in some way.  In terms of makeup I realize that I have the choice to not wear makeup.  Not all women feel that this choice is available to them.  This is heartbreaking to me.

Ladies, we all have this choice.  No one is forcing us to wear makeup…not our culture…not our friends…not the media. The only ones forcing us to wear makeup is the voice inside our heads telling us that we’re not good enough without makeup.  It is my sincere hope that if you learned anything from my blog or from my Lenten experience it is this:  the only reason you ought to wear makeup is for you.  If it helps you feel better about yourself and your appearance…if it gives you an ounce of extra confidence, go for it.  If you feel like you’re wearing makeup because you don’t have any other choice, please re-examine your practice.  It can be life giving.

Many people have started asking me if I’m going to go back to wearing makeup.  While I’m not sure I’ve completely answered this question, here are my thoughts as of Monday, March 25th:

  • There are varying degrees of how much makeup one wears.  For me, I think my options are to not wear makeup at all, to have a casual look, a professional look and a “going out at night” look.  What is appropriate for one context doesn’t work in every context.  Just like I carefully choose my clothing choices for work and play and especially for Sunday mornings, my makeup look can  and should change as well.
  • For good or for ill, in our culture wearing makeup appropriately communicates competency, trustworthyness, and attractiveness.  There are clearly times in my life when these characteristics are the ones I want and need to portray.  If makeup helps this I’m all for receiving a little assistance from the lipstick.
  • On Sunday mornings, when I seek to look my best, makeup is very much a part of the complete presentation I want to portray from the front of the church.  It feels awkward and incomplete to wear my fabulous peep toe high heels without mascara.
  • Finally, my skin genuinely feels better in the morning and all day long when I use additional products.  Whether these are anti-aging products or extra moisturizers, I will definitely go back to using these products on Sunday.

What a journey it’s been.  It’s not over yet.  I want to remain open to learning more about the world around me and how I fit into it during this last week of Lent.  May God speak to each of us on the road to resurrection.

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