I read your article this morning and I applaud your transparency and authenticity. In a world of girls who, as you pointed out, insist that they wear makeup for themselves and not for anyone else, your candid and open article was refreshing.
I think you have hit upon something most of us can relate to - I sure can. I used to wear layers of makeup out of insecurity too, and without judging you or shaming you, I did want to share my story with you.
Maybe you've also been wearing as much makeup as you can get away with from as young an age as possible - at least, that was what I did. I started wearing mascara when I was nine. NINE.
It started out as just a fun thing to play with, but by the time I was in high school I wouldn't have dreamed of leaving the house without full makeup, and I do mean full - primer, foundation, concealer, powder, blush, lipstick, drawn-in eyebrows, three or four colors of eyeshadow, liquid eyeliner, mascara, setting spray--literally the whole nine yards. Yes, even on Wednesdays where I only had a lecture.
The weird thing is, my mom doesn't wear very much makeup and my sisters usually wear none at all; and no one ever told me I was ugly or looked sick without makeup - this just goes to show how my insecurity was not influenced by anyone except my own heart. Makeup helped me like my face. It helped me feel good about myself. I never felt pretty without it.
Last spring, I went through one of the hardest seasons of my life, during which Jesus took hold of my heart and changed just about every area of my life to be more honoring to Him. He placed girls in my life who are just naturally gorgeous and don't need or usually wear makeup except for special occasions.
It was because of the influence of these precious friends and because of the tug of Jesus on my heart that it was the right thing to do that I was able to stop wearing makeup every day except Sundays. Less than a week in, I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror and realized the natural look was working for me; and before too long after that, I actually felt pretty without makeup.
Now, I leave the house every single day feeling put together with only a cute dress, a spritz of Chanel, and a smile. I give God all the credit because a year ago I would absolutely never have dreamed I could feel confident without makeup.
I could never go back to wearing it daily, and I count this as a work that Christ has done in me.
Emily, you described how your eyebrows are sparse, you have freckles, dark circles, and your eyes are too close together--I relate to you so much in that and I again admire your transparency. I am not one of those naturally perfect girls.
I have bad dark circles too, my eyebrows are almost invisible at the ends, I am missing a chunk out of the front of one due to a poor threading experience, I have acne scars, I have big pores, I don't like my nose or forehead and for years I relied on lots of eye makeup to draw attention away from them. I would be lying if I said I didn't still feel and too often give in to the temptation to criticize myself.
But Emily, Jesus Christ gives us the freedom to show our imperfect faces in public every day anyway.
In Genesis 1:27 we read, "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them." (ESV)
To be made in His image means to be made to look like Him. For someone to criticize our faces is not so much a slight to us as it is to God, which will carry its own set of consequences.
Psalm 139:13 says, "For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb." (ESV)
God intentionally spent time making YOU. People who would criticize God for giving you freckles or placing your eyes where they are are people who don't know their place.
My mom is a semi-professional artist. She's been making stunning pastel paintings for longer than I've been alive, and she's VERY talented, having won many awards at art shows and having sold many paintings to art collectors. Let's say, for the sake of analogy, that she made a painting and it was sentient and could understand things. Now suppose she is at an art show and someone remarks within her and the painting's hearing that the painting is ugly.
Who should be insulted by such a remark?
While I am sure that the poor painting would be very hurt, did it have any say in or control over how my mom made it look? Who is the one who had control over the painting's appearance? I am not saying the painting is wrong to feel hurt or angry, but my mom would be the one more insulted here, as she makes all her paintings, especially the ones entered in art shows, her very best work. She would absolutely not enter a painting unless she liked it and thought it was pretty.
Emily, you are a work of art, specifically designed by God to look exactly the way He wanted you to look. While makeup is not wrong or bad and you are free to wear it all you want, it hurts my heart to hear that you do it from a place of not realizing your beauty in the eyes of the Creator.
I don't know you and I'm not sure whether you know the Lord, but your value was so great in His eyes that He sent His Son to die on the cross for your sins. You are precious in His sight, and in Him, you lack no good thing.
I can't tell you how to live your life or what to do with your body and I won't try, but it is important to me that I tell you from the bottom of my heart that you do not need makeup.
If you want to wear it, that's one thing - I still do on Sundays because it's fun - but you do not NEED it.
Society has no right to tell you that you do.