Lately, in pursuit to grow as a Christian, I started reaching out to peers and engaging in conversations to better fine tune my practice of faith. The topic of Vanity seems to be popping up more often which encouraged me to think about how I perceive Vanity. I understand the world we live in today of “selfies” staring at yourself in the mirror for hours is an issue. Just this morning reported on the news about how the Millennial generation (my generation) is surveyed to be the most narcissistic. As women, youthful beauty is something we hold onto, but if we look throughout history hasn’t that always been the case? Half of my roots are Latin when I think about the Novellas on T.V women are perceived as sexy housewives that wear red lipstick and heels around the house. My mother from Ecuadorian descent, claims to be a Queen always insisting on her nail polish match her lipstick and modeled that beauty along with attention are somethings to obtain. My perspective about vanity is only my own due to experiences endured. Raised in a Christian household, my parents brought my sister and I up with the knowledge that we were children of God. We were told every day how special we were because Christ is the King and we were his “Princesses.” Just like most Princesses, compliments from others on our beauty, dress, and mature manners were the norm. In result of influences as a child, I had the idea in my head that I was literally God’s gift to the world aka a fiery kid with an attitude.
AHHH Real Monster!
At the age of eight, I was diagnosed with Grave’s disease and had to be pulled out of school for a year to recover. I will go more in depth about my hypothyroid condition, but that will be another blog post. A symptom of Grave’s is enlargement of the eyes from the skull. Complementing my protruding eyeballs, due to medicine changes my weight often fluctuated. Since being so young at the time, there was no realization I looked any different, until, I returned to school. Walk back into the fifth-grade classroom with confidence took a nose-dive into years of bullying and body dysmorphia. Teenagers are ruthless; kids often would ask if I abused drugs because of my appearance. My eyes receded with age, but the feeling of looking like a monster always lingered in my heart. Self-esteem issues within work and romantic relationships held me back from achieving things that I now see were not impossible.
Both my parents made efforts in comforting me; my mom allowed me to practice with makeup at a young age to help me learn how to “work” with my looks. They even enrolled my sister and me into a modeling program where we learned how to fix and hide our flaws while highlighting our “good” qualities. I honestly can’t say that was a terrible idea, but it did add more fire to the vanity flames. Throughout the years even after leaving my short-lived modeling career behind I was never pretty, skinny, or unique enough compared to others. You know what I realized? There had been times I was thin as a Triscuit, looked like I had jumped out of a magazine and still was unhappy. The reason being that happiness comes from loving myself first as God created me. At the end of the day, the measure of a person isn’t final by how fleeky their eyebrows are, how long their hair is, or if they have abs in a crop top.
Glam for God
Don’t get me wrong I love make-up and have fun wearing it regularly. One of the reasons I was opposed to diving back into my Christian faith as silly as it sounds was the fear of having to give up putting myself together. Most Christian women I’ve seen growing up would be natural faced and wearing long skirts (which is cute no judgment whatsoever). They frowned upon excess primping and I was afraid of being viewed as vein practicing my faith wearing purple lipstick styled with a fur vest. So, when prompted to think about “Vanity,” I wish it wasn’t such a harsh word. Our bodies are temples, the house to our souls, why wouldn’t we take care of them? Why not be proud of it? If a person takes care of themselves either it being fitness, clothing, makeup or whatever, does that make it wrong? I had to come a long way to love myself, and I couldn’t have done that without guidance and grace. As of now, I have no issue with vanity in the sense of self-love. I don’t think striving to look like a Victoria Model is what life is either, but if you choose to praise God in a glitter top because it makes you feel fab, I say, be seen and slay for Jesus!
Thoughts or have something to share?
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