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October 2, 2009

ITBAW in a World Where Beauty is a Treatment

It's Tough being a Woman in a World Where Beauty is a Treatment.

That's the topic of my bible study for this past week and man did it resonate?!

So the book of Ester in the bible is about this orphan girl who was raised by her older single male cousin.... That alone could start a discussion, I know. So This orphaned girl who is only about 15 gets chosen to go through a year long beauty treatment in order to be presented to the king of Persia, Xerxes (yeah, no doubt that'll be the name of my next pet).... A year long beauty treatment... Now listen here. She was chosen to be in this thing because she was aesthetically pleasing. Why in the world did she have to go through a whole year of treatment to look even better?... I mean honestly. Now this girl was thrown in with thousands of other pretty girls. Imagine the competition and insecurity knowing the king of Persia was looking for a Queen in the throng of girls selected. Imagine the tactics and game plans formed and schemed in order to gain favor, because us girls..... We have some mad skills when it come to manipulation. Think of all the times you have asked someone to do something where you were hoping to control the outcome? Times where you've told someone something hoping their actions would prove a point.... I know you know what I'm talking about!

Now Beth Moore often says how ironic it is that the world back then was essentially the same as it is now. (this is my kind of history lesson so beware) The Persian Empire was a pagan culture where heroes were celebrated with parties and orgies. Victory in war meant holidays that lasted weeks! (now i wouldn't mind it if we got holidays where we didn't have to pay taxes.) But the obsession with beauty in Persia then is equivalent with our obsession with sexuality. Think of it. In this time period and earlier, wars were started over beautiful women. The chance for a man to 'own' that woman was a point of pride. But the underlying obsession with appearance is the same. I mean really think about it. How often are we bombarded with commercials showing us the latest and greatest in skin care, wrinkle solutions, clothing, hair treatments. I mean the whole entertainment industry is based more on looks than talent! Think of the airbrushing that goes on in magazines and photo shoots!

This will hit close to home with brides and soon-to-be weds.... Think of the pressure you felt to be 'perfect' on your wedding day.... Not a hair out of line. The perfect makeup. The perfect dress (OK,OK the dress not so much because it makes you feel beautiful no matter if you were wearing makeup or not when you tried it on for the first time...)

This is something Beth Moore said that really stuck with me.

'Beauty isn't something that is... It is something that you do'.

let that sit for a little....

When it comes to beauty there are 4 kinds of women Beth Moore pointed out:
1. A woman who wants everyone to think she's beautiful.
2. A woman who wants all meant o think she's beautiful.
3. A woman who doesn't want anyone to think she's beautiful
4. A woman who hopes a few somebodys think she's beautiful.

Do you know these women? I know I do.

what she says about each of these types of women really hit home with me. I'll summarize and put it in my own words.
  • For #1 she said that this type of woman is vain and the attention from everyone feeds her vanity. This woman cant have attention on anyone else. The spotlight cant be on anyone else. And that's selfish. This is the woman that will make you feel bad about yourself no matter how adorable your outfit is.
  • For #2 she said that this type of woman is dangerous. I totally agree! This woman who may or may not be in a happy, loving relationship still needs men to think that she's gorgeous. She may hear it from her significant other every day... but she craves the sly glances from men when she's out and about. She wants to be noticed and lusted after. Whether its intentional or subconscious. That kind of woman is a tease and dangerous with a capital D.
  • For #3 she said that this type of woman is scared. scared of life, attention, living and finding happiness. Beauty doesn't necessarily mean physical beauty.... But taking a pride in yourself. The woman who hides her self in a mask of any sort is fearful of the outcome of their true selves.
  • Finally #4 she said is the type of woman that should be respected. She's vain, yes. But not enough that it interferes with her own life as well as others. It's a natural level of vanity to want someone to think your pretty. You want to be admired by your husbands and your mothers. You want to be looked up to be your little sisters. It's not everyone that you care about... Just your core people. You want to be looked at kindly. You want to be cherished by those who are closest to you....
Now with all this I'm NOT telling you makeup and beauty treatments are wrong.... I'm a freaking Mary Kay consultant and I'm obsessed with what I sell to women every day.... I love me some Mascara, masks and massages and that's that! what I'm saying is take pride in yourself. dress cute for yourself. Do it because you respect your self. Don't do it out of competition with another woman's looks. don't do it because you want to be wanted. Be conscious of the way you dress and who you do it for.
And remember. Your significant other loves you best when you are yourself....
For Jake that means on lazy days when I'm showered and dressed but busy lounging in yoga pants and tanks to put on makeup or style my hair.... He tells me so all the time. :)

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