People think I’m crazy. A teenaged girl going an entire month without a stitch of makeup? That’s ridiculous… right? This is my second year of participating in No Makeup March, and, truth be told, it even seems a little ridiculous to me sometimes. What’s the point of letting the world see every little imperfection? Well… we’ll get to that. :o)
Let me be perfectly clear: I don’t think there’s a thing in the world wrong with makeup. Like I’ve said in other posts, it’s fun to put on the pretty dress, a dash of eye shadow, and some lipstick and feel like a million bucks. As long as we’re being modest, there’s nothing wrong with wanting to look our best. However, there are a few reasons why taking a step back from this kind of material beauty can be good.
Going without makeup boosts self-confidence.
I know what you’re thinking. “What? Boosts self-confidence? Yeah, this great big zit on my face is really a confidence booster.” But take a look at what God has to say about your appearance. Take a look at Psalm 139:14. In this psalm, David is talking about how well God knows him: so well that He knew him before anybody else did. To emphasize his point, he says, “You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb. I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, and my soul knows it very well.” God made us without any makeup on our faces… and God’s works are wonderful! Why do we need to add on to God’s excellent creation? Really, this doesn’t build confidence in ourselves, but confidence in God’s perfect works.
Going without makeup allows us to focus on our inner beauty.
Take a look at 1 Peter 3:3-4. Of course, if you were raised in the church, I’m sure you’ve heard this before, but it’s God’s Word! We can’t hear it too many times. The text reads, “Your adornment must not be merely external—braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, and putting on dresses; but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God.” There are a few things I want to notice. First, note the word “merely.” When I was a little girl, I always thought this verse meant that it was wrong to braid your hair, but now I realize that’s obviously not what Peter was saying. It’s fine to want to look pretty, but that can’t be all we’re focusing on in terms of beauty. Next, look at “but let it be.” The word “but” implies a “rather” or “instead”; we are to let our godliness be our most noticeable adornment. I also want you to notice that Peter emphasizes the eternality of this godliness. Proverbs 31:30 tells us that “beauty is fleeting, but the woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.” Unlike material beauty, godliness lasts long after our bodies begin to age and decay. This last part is my favorite: “precious in the sight of God.” In the sight! We wear makeup and other material things to be pretty in the sight of people, but we want to look pretty in God’s all-knowing sight.
Let’s change gears a little and turn to 1 Samuel 16:1-13. If you would, just go ahead and read the whole thing. Here Samuel is getting ready to anoint the next king of Israel, whom God will appoint. Let’s focus on verse 7 for a minute. The Lord tells Samuel, “God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” We love to idealize this verse. We love to say, “It doesn’t matter if you’re not the best-looking person in the world—God loves you anyway.” But I love contrasting that idea with verse 12, talking about David’s appearance: “Now he was ruddy, with beautiful eyes and a handsome appearance.” See what God did there? David, at least how I picture him, looks like a king, but God JUST emphasized to Samuel that He couldn’t care less what people look like. God doesn’t care if we’re ugly… but He doesn’t care if we’re pretty either! He cares about our hearts.
Going without makeup can open doors to evangelism.
Depending on who you are, going without makeup for a month can attract a lot of attention. I know girls that look completely different (but still beautiful!) without any makeup on. Even if you don’t wear a lot of makeup normally, there’s a Facebook group you can join in support of No Makeup March. You can blog about it. You can talk about it. Bottom line is, you’re probably going to be asked about it. So what? So tell people why! Tell them your beauty comes from within. Tell them it helps remove a material distraction and gives you a better reliance on God. Tell them that other girls at your church congregation are doing it too. Get the word out! There aren’t a lot of people who would be willing to give up makeup for so long. Stand out! It gives you an open door for telling your friends about God.
It’s not a requirement. It’s not explicitly Biblical. You don’t have to participate in No Makeup March. However… it might be worth a shot! :o)
By Melissa Hite
Melissa (age 16) attends Bear Valley church of Christ with her parents, Michaeland Lynn, and her little brother, Matthew. Her goals include continually growing closer to God and eventually becoming a writer and a mom. On her blog, Christ Crossed My Heart, you can find other poignant, well-written posts.