“Mommy, why don’t you wear makeup?”
My daughter asked me this today, and I wasn’t too surprised as I guess you could say I’ve been in a stage where I’m doing “good” for the day if I’ve gotten my shower in and I’m out of my workout clothes.
I’ve never been one to wear much makeup, and as a matter of fact, the makeup I do own is in a Caboodles that my mother got me when I was in high school and some of the eye shadows in it are, well, it’s safe to say years old.
As I watched my daughter carefully surveying my face, I had to wonder what was running through her mind. Maybe I looked different from how I had a few weeks ago. Suffice it to say, I’ve earned the wrinkles that I’ve accumulated on my face, and likewise, the bags under my eyes have grown significantly since I started having babies nearly nine years ago.
Because I have three young daughters who study each and every one of my moves, I want them to be able to look in a mirror and not demean themselves or pick apart their imperfections. It’s in those imperfections that some of our most unique beauty lies.
I want my daughters to take care of their skin and value their appearance, but I don‘t want them to compare themselves to others and feel they need to look a certain way, perhaps trying to model themselves after someone they hold in high esteem. I want my daughters to grow into strong, independent, confident women who appreciate the natural beauty they’ve been blessed with — a beauty which no makeup could ever enhance.
And likewise, I want my son to see women for their natural beauty which comes from within and that many times is hidden behind layers of makeup that aren’t even necessary.
I want my children to learn that beauty may be determined in a number of other ways.
So what is beauty? Beautiful is a smiling woman. Beautiful is healthy. Beautiful is confidence. Beautiful is strong. Beautiful is energetic. Beautiful is uplifting. Beautiful is inspiring. Beautiful is resilient. Beautiful is in the way a woman carries herself. Beautiful is in the way she doesn’t let the trivial or the pettiness affect her. Beautiful is in the way she understands the hard work it takes to have something worth having.
Beautiful is in the way a woman takes care of not only her family, but also herself — her emotional, spiritual and, yes, physical well-being.
You see, my children aren’t going to remember that their mother didn’t have her face dolled up each day or nothing more than a little lip gloss thrown on for church or a special event. My children aren’t going to remember how much I aged throughout their childhood years nor will they know how my growing wrinkles may have somewhat bothered me more days than not.
But I hope they remember that their mother handled aging with grace and dignity and a bit of humor, as someone who didn’t take herself or her imperfections too seriously. I want my children to look back and recall that I taught them that beauty goes far deeper than what meets the eye. I want them to remember the dance parties in the kitchen as some of the most fun times they had, even if I was in comfy clothes, with my hair pulled into a messy bun and wearing no makeup.
“So, Mommy, why don‘t you wear makeup?”
I smiled, kissed my daughter’s nose, and knew the simple answer I had for her. I looked her straight in the eyes and said, “Well, Mommy really didn’t think I needed it today. What do you think?”
With that, my daughter smiled, wrapped her arms around my waist, and confidently replied, “Nope. I think you look pretty just the way you are.”