I wore jeans this week. Real, official blue jeans with a button and zippered fly. Am I wrong, or has 2020 just killed off any likelihood of people wearing real pants again? We work and play from home via Zoom and we only see the top halves of people anymore, am I right? Not that I was much of a fashionista before the national pandemic. If I really wanted to dress up I put a little lip gloss on… and a special, special occasion warranted a dollop of mascara. I’m quite the plain jane when it comes to make-up.
Nonetheless, I do love a good make up tutorial video. It fascinates me what true artists can do with powder and gels! Blending, contour, sparkle. My social medias force me to dabble in the unknown and I am drawn in for fake eyelashes … even the odd drag queen makes me marvel. It truly is art. Especially at this time of year. Whatever you think about halloween or drag, one must agree that painted faces can be cool to look at. Which had me musing…
Who comes up with these things?! Have you seen the latest “trend” of using glue as a fashion accessory? Truly! Superglue on upper lips for that “pumped up look” and a kid’s glue stick for eyebrows! You know that purple glue stick we all used in kindergarten to paste our fall leaves on paper? Apparently it works wonders on the finer points of eyebrow definition… or making them disappear in the case of cover up Halloween displays. Seriously. Dollar store glue sticks. Fascinating.
Interestingly enough, the Bible chats often of beauty and fashion. Frequently referring to vanity and being cautious not to let beauty become “a hindrance”, shall we say. Yet, I read anew some passages in Esther this week and it struck me just how serious our biblical sisters took to such things as beauty — and all the pomp and circumstance that comes with. Let’s read Esther’s first few introductions to her life at the palace:
12 Before a young woman’s turn came to go in to King Xerxes, she had to complete twelve months of beauty treatments prescribed for the women, six months with oil of myrrh and six with perfumes and cosmetics. 13 And this is how she would go to the king: Anything she wanted was given her to take with her from the harem to the king’s palace. 14 In the evening she would go there and in the morning return to another part of the harem to the care of Shaashgaz, the king’s eunuch who was in charge of the concubines. She would not return to the king unless he was pleased with her and summoned her by name.Esther 2:12-14
Perhaps I’m reading too much into the story and missing the point of God’s plan for Esther to save her people, but verses are included in the Bible for a reason, right?! Look again. A full year of spa days! Six months of oil drenched massages. I get it. Girl, I’m sure living in the desert does a number on your skin…cracked heels and parched lips. Apparently oils like myrrh and olive were mixed with fragrant fruits and left to sit in the sun until they had infused into “essential oils”. Anyone heard of those today?! Yup, another beauty trend toting wellness and health benefits.
I recently visited a friend’s bathroom and was a little taken aback by the sheer amount of soaps, creams and lotions she had in there! I’m sure many of you can attest to trying out this or that only to find you need another this or that to work with the first one. I’m lucky in that beauty products are not my weakness. (Now pretty paper on the other hand… but we are not talking about that!) Some of you, I know, have drawers of the stuff… half used lipsticks and cakes of powders. It was on sale. Perhaps you are searching for the fountain of youth and are willing to try anything new to cover up the latest wrinkle. No worries. Embrace the lines! We all have our flaws. Yet, I can’t help but wonder … was Esther’s beauty queen status all for not? Obviously King Xerxes thought she was pretty hot. He picked her out from all those other supermodels.
Alas, my friends, I’m not sure I’m ready to raid the piggy bank just yet and go crazy buying pallets from Sephora, or infusing every room in the house with Thieves and cardamom, but it is an interesting thought. Can God use beauty to weave the web of His grand plan? Should we embrace it? Or is it all a worldly ploy? The verdict is out on this one … but I think I may pull out the lipgloss next week, just for fun.