Intro (The Genesis)
For most of my teenage years, I was to an extent insecure till I found an outlet which helped to mask the insecurity – makeup. Growing up, I would always get into trouble for wearing too much makeup or imitating beauty standards that were not quite ideal for my age.
Even then, it didn’t matter that my parents were constantly saying. “You wear too much makeup and you are too ‘young’ to be wearing makeup to school”. I was still a determined 14-year-old who played by her own rules.
My first interest in makeup was as early as in year 5. During assembly, a teacher had mentioned something about how most attractive people always have symmetrical faces. That made me want to know more about my face. Later that day, when I got home I spent an hour in front of the mirror, attempting to measure my face. I told myself that I wasn’t fortunate enough to have a symmetrical face.
Beauty & Social Media
The media often portrays beauty as physical appearances alone. This view can curb our growth in Christ as young women because it offers a false reflection and a distorted view of reality.
Growing up, I learned how to transform myself into the image of the women I idolised. For example, the models I admired in America’s Next Top Model or Heat Magazine. Through over exposure of social media, I found myself striving to conform to the world’s standards of beauty, not my own. At some point in our lives l think we are all guilty of not appreciating ourselves.
I found myself constantly enhancing photographs of myself before uploading them to Facebook or Instagram. I would try to imitate makeup looks by my favourite R&B artists, regardless of whether the particular look suited me or not. In fact, for sometime I used to wear this horrid shade of pink lipstick everyday, simply because the female rapper, Nicki Minaj, wore the exact shade. In all honesty, the lipstick looked absolutely terrible on me. My family came up with subtle ways of telling me that I was wearing the wrong shade of lipstick. However, I did not want to listen. In my head, I was really convinced that this lipstick made me look like a supermodel. Boy, was I in for a shock when I finally saw what everyone could see. To date, I can’t bring myself to wear pink lipstick without remembering that funny stage in my life.
Beauty & God
Here are a few things I learned so far
- I learned what true beauty really meant through Christ. Now when l think about beauty, it is what radiates from the inside more than the outwards. Do not get me wrong, outward beauty should not be neglected. I just realised that inner beauty is the ultimate form of beauty. This is something I wish I had realised earlier in my younger days, however, I’m glad to be aware of this now.
- Through scripture, I learned that God created me in his own image (see Genesis 1:27); therefore who am I to not to appreciate God’s handiwork? I now see myself in the light of God’s word not just through false perceptions of myself.
- Inner beauty is about my character, being humble, having a good heart and having a Godly heart. Esther’s story in the Bible is one that really taught me about these characteristics.The first and only beauty pageant in the bible was in the book of Esther; where young women appeared before the King who then selected the lady who pleased him the most. Esther was chosen to be a candidate for her exceptional beauty, yet, it was actually what the King saw inside that attracted him to her. Her character spoke volumes compared to her actual physical beauty.
- It’s fair to say that growing up, I was accustomed to worshiping the ‘thing’ (beauty) and not the one who made it. I placed more value on the best brands, the best makeup products, and the best ways to hide insecurities. As a result, I lost sight of the true meaning of beauty.
Beauty & Business
When I think about what God’s done in my life. The word ‘Grace’ springs to mind. In the past year, through my business, I learned what it truly means to have God’s unmerited favour act upon my life.
After battling certain insecurities, I began to embrace the use of makeup in a more positive way. After all, it’s not like it is forbidden to cultivate the unique talents God has given to us. It is possible to use our gifts to glorify God – isn’t that the reason why he gifted us in the first place?
It was actually an older friend of mine who noticed my love for makeup during my secondary school days. Whenever we would get ready together, she would always tease me saying: “Dolly you never seem to be finished with your makeup!” This statement was always followed by laughter as we were both aware that I could spend hours in front of a mirror blending out a perfectly blended face.
During my first year at university, I was fortunate enough to have a best friend who shared the same interests as me in terms of beauty and makeup. One day, whilst joking on the phone about what we’d both call our businesses if we were to start one, Doll House Beauty was created.
Through Doll House Beauty, I learned to enhance my own features rather than hide them; and this is what I aim to achieve with my clients too. I also learned to rely on God’s work through me. For example, when I’m doing a client’s makeup and I feel as though it isn’t going well, I always find myself talking to God and asking him to take control.
The first time I did this, I was laughing in my head as if to say “Really Dolly? What is God really going to do about it? It’s not like he’s the one who’s actually giving the makeover?” To my surprise, when I finished working on that particular face, the whole look came together and my client was in awe of the work I had done. Since then, I made it a habit to constantly speak to God in my head during my bookings.
The moment I really started believing my abilities was when my flatmate gave me the opportunity to work as one of the makeup artists for a fashion show in London. Before taking part in the show, I was very nervous, as it was one of my first paying gigs. I was really nervous at the fact that I was around other talented make-up artists who had more experience than I did. Yet God still came through for me, as my work was loved by the clients who employed me. In fact, it was at this event that I created a look which gained me most of my followers on Instagram and broadened my clientele outside of Bristol.
To conclude, if I was to compare the reasons as to why I used to make up in my younger days to now, I can see a clear shift in my mindset and purpose. Where I once used to wear makeup to hide my insecurities, I now wear makeup to enhance my features or for artistic expression. In fact, I’ve found that the more I give makeovers to my clients, the less makeup I wear myself. As God continually pushed me into his purpose for my life and have realised what God’s standard of beauty was, I grew to be confident in my own skin.
True beauty isn’t about looking like the girl on the cover of Vogue or the girl who attracts the most male attention. Even Jesus himself had nothing ‘extra’ or ‘fancy’ in his appearance that would make people like him, yet people were drawn to him. As young people of this world, especially in today’s climate, it’s essential for us to cultivate our inner beauty.
Outer beauty attracts, but inner beauty captivates. MT