Monday, July 21, 2014

Fake Eyelashes, Culture & True Beauty

I've been reading online how more and more women are trying on fake eyelash extensions. They love them, they hate them, they cost too much, they can be done for less at home, they look amazing, they last for weeks, oh and don't wear them into the ocean if you still want them to be intact when you emerge...

There have been some interesting reads for sure.

Culture seems to shift how it defines beauty over time and in the process beauty products change too...I wonder if we are all going to start dressing like the city folk in The Hunger Games someday.

Can you imagine?!? 

I would be sporting teal hair...just sayin'.

This new trend has unexpectedly stirred up some emotion in me. 

I don't think fake eyelashes are evil. I personally enjoy putting on a bit of makeup. I also love me some nail is actually one of my favorite things to do at home with my girls. Something that I would imagine decades ago women may have thought of as frivolous and taking away from our natural beauty.

I do however feel a sense of sorrow for women who have begun wearing eye lash extensions and now no longer feel as if their "normal" lashes are long enough...thick enough...pretty enough.

My thoughts probably go deeper on the matter because of a ten year old girl in our family. A daughter who I've only had the privilege of mothering for two and a half years. I feel like we are coming into all new territory when it comes to passing down some pretty important truths about identity and beauty.

For months I've been grappling with how to continue having conversations with her about how her body is a treasure.  About how God created every detail and every function and that none of it is a surprise to Him. In fact, our bodies were created in God's image and are perfect and beautiful in every way...right from the very start. 

I think the importance of it all lies in knowing where our self-worth, beauty and value truly come from...and that it doesn't come from something that can fall off, rub off or chip away after washing a few dishes. 

We've been having conversations lately about finding clothes that fit right, feel great and still look absolutely adorable. I'm excited that she has years ahead of her to do fun facials with her friends, dress up for daddy dates...and eventually boy dates (ya 50 years), do manicures & pedicures and overall enjoy pampering herself and having fun.

Maybe the day will come where she even tries on fake eyelashes...gasp!

And while she is doing all of that and then some I am making it my mission to be intentional in pointing out how absolutely beautiful she is exactly the way that God created her!

I think I've learned that whole being intentional thing from her daddy. He somehow has managed to tell me enough times that I look beautiful even without wearing any of that makeup. He has convinced me enough that I sometimes venture out to the store without any mascara on.

I guess sometimes even us grown-ups have to be reminded of how beautiful we can be just as we are. Because, it turns out, true beauty isn't external and shouldn't be defined by the shifting cultural norms. True beauty flows from the inside out, and can be found, when one knows that they really are a beautiful treasure to God and to those around them...just as they are. If our confidence rides on things that we can add to who we are, then it also falls with things that can be taken away from who we are!

For the record, you are absolutely, positively BEAUTIFUL!

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  1. Beautiful post! This may sound extreme and or weird to some, but my daughter did not know what a commercial really was until she was much older. My son still does not know. Why? Well, for one, we refuse to have cable and any video he watches are via streaming or a DVD. I did not want my kids being subjected to an onslaught of advertising and buy, buy, be this or that, kind of junk. From an early age, I told my daughter the truth about all those magazines that are ever so strategically placed by the check out counter. You know, Cosmo, etc.. She learned early on what Photoshop is and to truly see what the magazine cover / articles were conveying (boy, did I get some nasty looks from females). lol It was not until she started noticing her peers getting depressed about how they looked or didn't look, that she truly understood why I did what I did. Her friends mother's had been buying them these magazine and letting them watch who knows what. I was so sad to see these young girls begin to verbally and internally put themselves down. I even noticed their mother's had similar habits. I felt sad so for them because they were all beautiful - they just could not see it. When I was pregnant with my daughter, I made a pack with myself that she would never ever hear me say, I am fat, ugly, or anything else that can damaged ones psyche in regards to beauty.

    Sarah, I mention all this because as long as you are comfortable and feel beautiful in your own skin, so will your lovely daughter. Be open and honest with her and she will flourish. Your are both beautiful inside and out. :D I love that your husband tells you how beautiful you are (with or without make-up). Kids pick up on this. My son addresses me as, "beautiful" sometimes. Why? He learned it from his dad. :)

    By the way, my daughter today is excellent with Photoshop and loves to point out all the PS done on magazine covers, etc.. She can also laugh at all these magazines for doo-doo they shovel out in regards to beauty and all the mundane gossip (another quality a person can do without) they write about.

    1. Julie,

      Thanks so much for sharing. That is really interesting to hear what your experience has been with your daughter and how well she now picks up on things because of what you taught her and because of what she wasn't exposed to early on. And how adorable that your son calls you beautiful sometimes. :-)


  2. What a great post. I too have a ten year old daughter. I hope that she knows how beautiful she is, but more importantly that true beauty is not on the outside. I've been enjoying your blog! Thank you for the hard work you put into it!

    1. Renata,

      I'm so glad that you are enjoying the blog. Your daughter is blessed to have a mom who is teaching her that true beauty is not on the outside. Thanks for sharing! :-)


  3. Thanks for the thoughts - it is a challenge to raise self-confident (I use that word very carefully in place of self-esteem), modest and content girls these days! I agree with the earlier comment about mothers being role-models in this area. My oldest girl is 5, so I am just entering this ground, but I have set some rules for myself: When she asks me why I wear makeup, I will never tell her "To make me pretty." I tell her it is to fix my ouchies (I still get a lot of acne). I also never complain about my weight or talk about dieting around my kids. The kids know I swim early in the morning. At this point, they just think it is normal life, but when the time comes that they ask "why", I will teach about over-all health and not complain about my body image. I just don't want to introduce those worries into their little hearts yet.

    Thanks again for the good thoughts. It's nice to know other moms are fighting this battle too.

    1. Dana,

      Great thoughts on focusing on over all health. Thanks for sharing!


  4. This is a great post! Thanks for sharing! It is hard to be confident and its so important to show our little girls what real beauty is!
    I would love if you would come linkup and share on Friday Favorites!


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