BSS- Beauty vs. Vanity


I’m going to take you back on a journey to childhood. Do you remember reading Anne of Green Gables and the part where Anne dyes her hair green instead of black, purchasing a dye from a peddler. Marilla discovers her and says, “”Well, I hope …you’ve got your eyes opened to where your vanity has led you, Anne.” Marilla was always on Anne about vanity. She didn’t want her to have puffed sleeves (the fashion of the day) rather than straight and scoffed at Matthew’s string of pearls. The definition of vanity in Anne’s day verses the vanity we face now has changed just slightly. These were the days before makeup and baring your ankles. Remember how Anne used to hate her freckles and she put lemon juice on them to fade them? Can you imagine what ladies of that era would think of all our potions and lotions? People say, beauty is only skin deep and all beauty fades over time. While that is certainly true of physical beauty, I don’t think time can erase spiritual beauty. Nor can a woman whose love for the God be ugly. His light shines from within. What I’m trying to say is I don’t believe trying to put our best self out there is vanity. God created us in His image. And that means we are pretty beautiful, pretty amazing.  However, with sin being in the world, my own included, it is easy to let the vanity creep in.  I’m not saying “vanity” as in, looking at oneself in the mirror and thinking how great looking they are.  I mean, trying to achieve perfection in how we look or in our physique. There is healthy and then there is what society says is right.  You aren’t “beautiful” if your eyebrows aren’t the right shape.  Or if you need a facelift.  Or if you have stretch marks.

But the truth is, none of that makes us beautiful or not.  I say, go ahead and wear that eye makeup if it makes you feel confident about you.  But don’t become so obsessed with how you look that it becomes all you are about.  You are nothing more than a pretty face.

What we should be achieving is helping others, spreading the message of God’s love, and being a part of a community of women enriching the lives of those we love around us.  That in itself is extremely hard.  Forget the figuring out how to wear the latest cat eye.

To quote Anne:

“We are rich,” said Anne staunchly. “Why, we have sixteen years to our credit, and we’re happy as queens, and we’ve all got imaginations, more or less. Look at that sea, girls—all silver and shadow and vision of things not seen. We couldn’t enjoy its loveliness any more if we had millions of dollars and ropes of diamonds.

“I’m quite content to be Anne of Green Gables, with my string of pearl beads. I know Matthew gave me as much love with them as ever went with Madame the Pink Lady’s jewels.”

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