Medications + Makeup + Me

{By Caitlin Muir}

This is such a fabulous article I though it was worthy of a repost. Caitlin is a talented blogger, novelist, and columnist, an avid adventure-seeker, and lover of Jesus, her fiancé Jeremy, and her ruby red mustang convertible. She has also written wonderful articles for us on our Style & Fashion page. Caitlin has kindly allowed me to share with you this fantastic article she wrote about beauty and self image on her blog

For as long as I can remember, I’ve had this fear. Of being ugly. First it was the battle of chicklet teeth. Then the horrible hair era. But just when it was getting oh so good, it took a turn for the worst.

I was eighteen when I started getting acne. 

I did everything I could to hide it. Medications + Makeup became my mantra. While it was never severe, the angry red splotches stood out against my milky twilight-white skin like warning signs to those who passed by. Acne is an imperfection that I’ve never wanted to embrace. Instead of realizing that confidence covers more than makeup can ever dream of, I applied insecurity every time I went out. So I didn’t let myself be me. I would never dream of judging someone else by their skin but I measured my worth by my skin. There were parties I would skip, conversations I would avoid, and events I would leave because I believed the lie that no one would want to hang out with the girl with acne. Talk about self-mutilization of the soul.

I know that I’m not alone in this. Since birth, women have been fed a steady stream of lies. That we aren’t enough. That we aren’t desirable unless we cover our imperfections. That no man will look twice at us unless we can compete with the airbrushed models in the magazines. Body image is a huge battle that women have to deal with. Christian women are no strangers to it. That’s why Paul addressed the women of the early church and told them their souls were more important than their accessories.

When Tyra Banks went without makeup on her show, it was a big deal. It was also one of her more popular shows. Lady Gaga just graced the cover of Harper’s Bazaar without any makeup. Showing up anywhere without your game face on is hard.

It takes confidence. It takes vulnerability. It takes je ne sais quoi.

I tried it a few weeks ago. It was a big step for me. A long afternoon of swimming/paddleboarding spilled into dinner with friends. On the way to the restaurant – somewhere between the awkward moments of trying to slip your dress on in the parking lot over your wet swimsuit and getting a hairbrush stuck in the gnarled locks – I decided that I didn’t want to put on makeup. If I could hang out with my friends on the water sans makeup, there was no need to pull out the eyelash curler while trying to navigate the streets of Austin. 
The night turned out fabulous. Just a group of friends, comfortable with each other and comfortable in their own skins. None of us were going out of our way to impress each other. We were just being. Sometime, this picture was snapped.

I’m tired. I’m wet. I’m sun-kissed. I’m not wearing makeup. And I’m beautiful.

It’s one of my favorite photos of 2011. I feel like that’s what 25 should look like for me. Young. Confident. Happy. Being secure in who you are, acne scars and all. Knowing that God looks at the heart, not the skin tone. And that good friends really won’t care.  That’s priceless.

I’m loved. I’m cherished. And I’m beautiful. Just the way God made me.

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