Image is always in the news. For celebrities, it’s an ongoing campaign for beauty in the crazy world of Photoshopped perfection. The Huffington Post unmasked the science behind beauty in a very revealing video post. The Dove® Campaign for Real Beauty is celebrating its 10th anniversary. (The Dove Real Beauty Sketches video was particularly moving.) Even TED took on the topic of beauty with model Cameron Russell – a video that’s been viewed on YouTube some 2.8 million times.
We may not want to, but we, as an American culture, seem obsessed with the topic of beauty: defining it, finding it, and keeping it.
Google one word: ‘Beauty’
Ask yourself this question: What is beauty? If you had the skill to draw, what would the definition of beauty look like? A woman, probably. Tall. Leggy. Thin. With long hair, maybe? Hourglass. Lips. Perfectly porcelain skin. Youth. Perfection. We say that imperfections are beautiful. We say that freckles are lovely and wrinkles should be worn with pride (for the years full of memories that went into earning them). We say that beauty comes from the inside and that’s what should really be celebrated, but the images generated from a Google search on a single word – BEAUTY – were so counter to what we say. The result of my search was as expected: images of the young, white, sometimes scantily-clad, but all of the idealized-beauty, super-model variety.
What is FACE·me?
It came from a social media post from an author friend, Jaime Wright. She talked about going sans make-up, and loving it! So many of us commented that we wanted to do the same thing – to celebrate beauty as God made us – that we decided to pool our support efforts and reveal our make-up-free face together. I for one wanted to buck up against the idealized view of beauty I’ve always had (and thought I had to be). It sounds simple, but posting a natural pic. was one way I could prove to myself that the words in Psalm 139:14 are TRUE, and lasting, and about each one of us.
This post was huge for me. I was scared (totally scared!) but knew I had to do it. I wanted to break free – literally – from the beauty/self-image/culture shock of what the world tells me we have to look like in order to be accepted, and classified as anything close to beautiful. As a wife, Mom, a professional, a student, a writer and, most importantly, a hand-molded child of the living God, I feel the weight of the world’s expectations come down pretty hard sometimes. (Who doesn’t?) But the unattainable image of perfection has plagued this heart since I was an awkward fifteen years old. I struggled with the Google image of beauty. With the beauty I just knew I was not. I even chose 2 Corinthians 4:18 as my life verse well into my twenties because of it.
Here’s the before:
And here’s the no more. No more Google-imagined beauty. No more idealized perfection. No more seeing with the eyes instead of seeing through the lens of God-created beauty. So here it is: my leap. My scared-out-of-my-mind but brave-in-Christ moment, staring beauty back in the face. It’s me. I’m #FACEme natural and proud:
I’ve always been a storyteller, just not ever in this way. It’s a visual story of the heart for me. This pic. was snapped on an iPhone, while in my home office. I have no make-up. Wearing PJs. Hair still wet from the shower. No jewelry except for the wedding ring that symbolizes the man who loves me when I look natural or made-up. Smiling the same smile I show my kids when I wake them every morning and put them to bed every night. It feels simple. Not idealized. Not the world’s image. Not the self-image I’ve always struggled with. And you know what? I loved the way it felt.
Join my other author friends on the tour, as we bust the “beauty” image and reveal who we are as beautiful children of God:
So what do you think? Is natural beauty real? How does it compare to the image the world tells us to have vs. Psalm 139:14? We invite you to BREAK FREE – to celebrate with us today, going FACEme natural for God’s version of beauty! Post your FACEme pic. on social media, and tag us with the hashtag: #FACEme
Thanks for helping me to be brave, and for allowing me to share this step in my own journey with Christ. I’m so glad you’re here.
With fearfully-made and #FACEme natural JOY,