When a girl or a young woman enters the Orthodox church, it can be sometimes hard to put ourselves in the shoes or sandals of the ascetic women of these women saints that are allover the church in our church icons. Why? Because Orthodox women still live very much in the world. We are allowed to drive cars, go to school, pursue higher education, go to the gym, go to the beach, hold most to any jobs, vote, read the news, go shopping and get manicures and pedicures together. In fact, I haven’t found an Orthodox Christian woman whom doesn’t love a little pampering…even some clergy wives.
And yet it is very easy to become negatively influenced by the world. And that’s where we as women, Orthodox or not, have to be careful.
Take makeup for example. Makeup is good and fun to go to pick out between sisters and friends and it can also be theatrical to enhance character development in plays and television and film. However, the beauty and makeup industries puts a lot of pressure on young women and the use of makeup has also created a mask for some women to hide behind their own insecurities. And when we see other people cooler than us or more successful than us wearing makeup, we are made to feel that’s somewhat oddly okay.
“Not my face, not my mind, not my soul, not my thoughts, not my dreams, not my struggles, not my emotional growth. Nothing,” – Alicia Keys
That’s why I’m loving the #NoMakeup Challenge. After publishing a thought provoking essay, Alicia Keys started a the #NoMakeup Movement which challenges women on social media to bravely put down their mascara wands and close their tubes of lip gloss to re-question what beauty is and how they really see themselves. There are many captivating ways that you could describe what the latest mascara can do, but it doesn’t hold a candle to all of the equally captivating ways you can list that you’ve done and are capable of as well.
Minus the lipstick (a friend was helping me choose my reds and I trust her makeup savviness over mine.), this is a face that is almost entirely made up of #NoMakeUp. This is 90% of my look on most days even for work and date nights.
Please don’t be jealous: My skin never used to be the greatest and was probably in it’s worst condition when I would spend money on expensive skincare and makeup products. A derm I’ve gone to told me this is overkill. I would then used to have rosacea and pesky pimples all from putting all those chemicals on my face. Plenty of people have seen me like that and I have pictures of myself like this. I still get pimples but leave them alone and never ever pick at them.
My regimen lately? Nothing. Just a little organic coconut oil each day and night and plenty of water every day.
But that’s just me.
I don’t mean for this to sound like a sales pitch nor am I trying to brag or gloat about myself. But I am tired of women getting beat up…and if they aren’t getting it from others, they do it to themselves or set unrealistic goals based on modeling campaigns and fashion shoots! That’s not reality. As women in this life, we should work to build each other up and not tear each other down.
YOU are BEAUTY! – creative, messy, raw, emotional, intricate, cheerful, bubbly, pleasant and unique beauty. Shine!
Are you ready to take the #NoMakeup Challenge too…for even just a week or a day? Feel the difference.