Looking good (for your age)

My niece and her little five year old friend play dress up for hours. Of course this entails trying to look older with makeup and heels.

Well,enjoy it.  Before long you will be trying to go back to those days before forehead lines and cellulite.  When did it happen that I noticed these things?  I think in their 20’s most women are at their prime physically.  So I guess it has been in the last few years I started seeing the signs of aging. Terrifying!  What used to not matter, now REALLY matters.  A friend said to me, “I feel like it just takes more to maintain what I have these days.”  How right she is.  It’s like at age 30+ suddenly the revelation that the clock isn’t going backwards hits you like a truck on the interstate. I’m not really that interested in looking like road kill.  Discussions amongst friends revolve around retinol and always having spf for your face, or a hat if you go outside. Don’t forget to color your roots and exercise your butt off.

I visited a friend recently that I hadn’t seen for 9 years.  Funny, but even though I obviously don’t have a crush on her I was nervous.  Nervous because I hoped she wouldn’t think I had aged.  There is something in every woman that wonders if she still “has it”.  Let’s get really honest here.  We feel better if we think we look better than another woman.  We feel worse if we feel uglier than another woman. I don’t know if guys realize how bombarded we are multiple times a day by an unachievable standard set by our culture. At times I feel so much pressure I want to rebel.

Forget the makeup!  Wear the frump clothes and boycott hair dye!  That’ll show ’em! And after a day of doing that (and skipping public places too), I’ll feel much better about being a liberated woman.

Do you look at photos and say “wow, I look so much younger 10 years ago”? And then proceed to analyze all the fresh signs of age on your face with your magnifying mirror? I tell you what, it’s not going to help you feel better unless you have money in hand for botox.  (Though I comfort myself sometimes that if I really age I can just go somewhere and get a new face).

Redneck Beauty Salon

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Contemplating the art of beautifying the nations

So, why obsess about what I can’t control?  It all boils down to this.  Whether we like it or not, in the very fabric of our being is the desire for beauty. We crave beauty.  See beauty.  Desire to make things beautiful around us, whether in decorating our house or just by creating a beautiful hospitable atmosphere for others.  Having our own ideas of what is beautiful, it varies in expression.  God made us this way. To carry this and enhance every environment we are in. And what better way to beautify than with our very selves?

Problem is, our vision is skewed.  We get a glimpse at times into our true beauty, but not often enough to satisfy our hearts. Brainwashed by the culture, we feel helplessly less than what we know we want to be. We (singles) then have the chance to panic a BIT (like, a LOT) more and go ‘what if I’m not beautiful enough to attract someone (especially after the age of 30)? When I step outside of myself for a moment, I actually have compassion on Liz and want to tell her that she is so much more than that. That her outward frame has the privilege of containing the most important part of her. Her heart.  And I want to tell every woman (even you marrieds) that this is true of them as well.

You are altogether beautiful, my love; there is no flaw in you. (Song of songs 4:7)

I have a friend who was trying to explain to her boyfriend what cellulite was.  Having all brothers, he didn’t understand what she meant. She paused a moment and then said “it’s like cottage cheese.”  His eyes lit up and he responded with, “Delicious!”

And so it is.



2 thoughts on “Looking good (for your age)

  1. Oh, Liz! Wonderful! And 2 quotes arrested me. One made me laugh, one made me cry…Delicious cellulite 😀 and the outward frame having the privilege of framing the beautiful heart…amazing, Liz, amazing! 😀 Thank you!

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