Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Can't Make This Up

Me. Without makeup. Shocking!

     So, I noticed a recent trend on Facebook: makeup. Or rather, the lack thereof. In the past few months I noticed a push by a direct marketing company to "go naked", that is, without makeup, not without clothes, thank goodness! Another article pointed out that the singer Alicia Keys has decided to forgo makeup entirely, in part to simplify her life, and in part to point out that women shouldn't have to wear "masks" to be accepted. Also trending, the hashtag #nomakeup.

    Guys, I did not realize this was a thing! I am in my mid-thirties now, and I suppose I should be ashamed to admit this in light of the apparent "boldness" involved in going sans face-paint, but I am not a big makeup fan. I didn't wear anything but mascara and lipgloss (seriously, I slapped on some LipSmackers, I cannot make this stuff up) in my own *wedding*! And it is not because I am a hippie, or am firmly against women getting glammed up. It really stems from the fact that I am probably too lazy...

   I am amused by this current trend because it just reiterates to me that we can make a fight out of whatever we want. I don't know that "society" forces women to wear makeup. Or be skinny. Or only eat organic food. Or wear a certain brand. Or be ______. You fill in the blank. I think we sometimes put that pressure on ourselves.

   Maybe I just hang out with really polite people (I doubt it. Have you met my family? Just kidding. Sort of.). Maybe everyone is afraid of me. But seriously, I wander around completely bare-faced all the time. I do usually put on some mascara and bronzer for church on Sundays, and the older I get (and the more transparent my eyelashes!) the more I will put it on for other occasions. Co-op mornings, when I have to get up too early, for one. ;) But I don't wear foundation, and I absolutely cannot figure out eyeshadow to save my life. I literally only learned how to use an eyelash curler last year. And no one has said anything. No one has pointed and laughed. No one has left unkind comments on Facebook or Instagram.

   Because I kind of think it isn't a thing, or maybe rather that it shouldn't be. I think generally people don't really care. I am not against makeup. I know plenty of people skilled in that art, but it isn't my thing. I prefer flashy jewelry and learning new hairstyles. I know lots of people who those things don't interest them at all. I think it kind of falls under that whole category of being uniquely made. Maybe that's just me?

   But seriously, the next time you hear about this kind of  "controversy" consider whether it is a real concern or merely a push by the media (or even your well-meaning friends) to create a mountain out of a molehill. Maybe you have had people insinuate unkind things about your lack of concealer, but I think it is pretty darn easy to squash that kind of thing with a simple, "Thanks, but it doesn't bother me." Perhaps people go the other way and imply you wear too much-the same answer will suffice. I frequently have to remind myself not to let these types of things get under my skin.

   I am guessing Titus faced some similar problems. Paul wrote to him about the qualifications for elders, but I don't think it is wrong for any of us to aspire to this standard:

"Rather, he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined. He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it." Titus 1:8-9

    It leaves lots of room for interpretation in some regards, and very little in others. It doesn't say that we should wear mascara and never eyeliner. But it does say we should be self-controlled and lovers of what is good. It does say we should know sound doctrine, so that we can both follow it and defend it. And the following verses say this:

"To the pure, all things are pure, but to those who are corrupted and do not believe, nothing is pure. In fact, both their minds and consciences are corrupted. They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him. They are detestable, disobedient and unfit for doing anything good." Titus 1:15-16

 This is some pretty stern language directed at the trouble-makers who were constantly harping on circumcision. Something physical. Something external. Something that doesn't make or break spiritual standing. Sound familiar? The fact of the matter is that there will always be those seeking to cause dissension and we can't just blame it on the media. We do it, too. We could stand to closely question more things and try harder to decide if they are really the hill we want to die on. Losing friends over whether or not one wears makeup seems like a pretty easy decision in my mind. It is easy to get caught up in a seeming "controversy" (Anyone remember the supposed "Red Cup" debacle last year? Seriously, I think sometimes people need hobbies...) and to perpetuate  supposed facts and opinions, but I think there are some more words from Paul that we could all stand to remember:

"Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things." Philippians 4:8

   If we are thinking about those things, we are probably speaking about those things. And as it is sound doctrine, we can encourage others with it. And defend ourselves. So the next time that someone points at a "problem" and you have to pause to ask yourself if it is really a problem, chances are good that it is just a difference of preference. And that is not really something worth getting worked up over. Or made-up for. Whatever. 

So, how about you? Have you seen anything lately that makes you wonder if it is really a problem or just someone looking to ruffle feathers?


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