Adornment Isn't a Requirement
BY: KENDRA CAGLE
Sometimes, I think back to my college years, and I really want to apologize to my hair. In those days, I would never leave my dorm room without my hair and makeup done; sometimes, fixing and touching up my look multiple times a day. I was so convinced, on a campus where half of the population showed up to class in their pajamas, that I needed to look put together at all times.
I have a little bit of an idea why I did this to myself and why so many of us put ourselves through so much beauty torture. Since we’re all friends here, I’ll let you in on a secret. I’m super self-conscious. I know. It’s crazy, right? I’m a daughter of the King, every now and then I say something funny, and people seem to like me. Still, I don’t always accept who I am in Christ. So, for years, I woke up way too early to look presentable for people who probably didn’t even notice. And, truthfully, I had never felt more flawed.
When I planned my appearance, I only considered the input of the people I would meet. If I didn’t look my best, would they still like me? Surely not. As the chubby, super tall girl, I needed to distract them with my style and perfect hair so they could latch onto those things — instead of my faults. Everything I was had found its root in the looks and comments of, often times, complete strangers I came across every day. I let people who didn’t know me at all determine how I prioritized my time and where I found my worth. A decision that only led me to more insecurity and more sleep lost to my morning routine.
This time-consuming daily process continued until I became a mom. And yes, part of my surrender to the natural was my extreme level of exhaustion, but most of it came from a totally different place. When I was away from the outside world for a time, I realized it didn’t really matter what everyone thought of my face. I had just went through major surgery and took on the responsibility of another life overnight, I didn’t have time to worry about my freckles and splotches. That didn’t mean I stopped liking to dress up when I got the chance. If we got a moment for a date, I would put on makeup and clothes and take as much time as I needed to fix my hair (that I had chopped off within a week of my son being born). So, what changed other than the shift to becoming a mom? Well, my heart did. I was reminded of the woman God made me to be. I had done this amazing childbirth thing, and I looked terrible doing it. Still, I did it without a speck of makeup on.
"Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows." Luke 12:7
We are all, as children of God, made worthy by Him. If you are putting on makeup for anything more than your own enjoyment, you’ve got to step back and see who you’re trying to impress. God’s concerned with the beauty of your heart — not your face. If makeup or hair are your calling or profession, that’s a different story, and I extremely respect those that can bless others with their artistry. However, your worth and your superficial appearance have little to do with each other in God’s eyes. You want to love your body and take care of it, but adornment isn’t a requirement.
In the last few years, I’ve gotten into an almost daily habit of ponytails and no makeup. I’m not “letting myself go” or some other mainstream nonsense. I still pick cute outfits and dab on some concealer, but society’s ideas of beauty aren’t important to me anymore. I have days where I put on all of the makeup and I fix my hair, but it’s just a different look — not a better one.
So, how did I get from society-pressured, perfectly-coiffed college girl to the woman who thinks “they probably won’t notice that zit on my forehead?" It was not a short road, my friends. I’ll still heart the beauty blogger posts and gawk in awe of the perfect winged liner, but my admiration of beauty is no longer in power — God is and He loves us, even when we don’t.
Kendra is a loving wife, tired mom, and lifelong preacher's kid. She currently resides with her family, 2 cats, and 1 dog in a little blue house in Oklahoma.