Beauty is in the eye of the camera…
There you are balancing on the basin and toilet seat trying to get just the right lighting from the ceiling light; moving around all corners of the house to get that perfect shot. Perfect make-up on, cute top with pyjama bottoms cause you haven’t even bathed. So are the days of our lives.
These are just some of the struggles we go through in our selfie age. The incessant need to always look perfect penetrates every part of our lives through social media, TV shows, songs and whatever else you can think of. Seriously, our struggle is real!
I happen to have a couple of fashion forward friends, so every time I go onto Instagram #OOTD #WokeUpLikeThis are nothing new to me. (Incase you’re unfamiliar, OOTD = Outfit of the day). My friends look like something straight out of a glamour magazine, basically flawless, and I ask myself how in the world they and so many other people are able to do that every single day?
They promise them freedom, but they themselves are slaves of corruption. For whatever overcomes a person, to that he is enslaved. – 2 Peter 2:19
Most people didn’t start off on a “woke up like this” tip. Looking back at when I first got to varsity, a lot of us started off looking like rural kids slapped by hip hop culture, sporting sneakers and skinny jeans thinking we were the hottest thing after the sun. After landing on campus, you quickly learn that what you and your parents thought were cool clothes, are nothing but a picture of laughter.
But what changed the way that we dress? Well, I realised that when I dressed a certain way, I got more attention than when I dressed modestly. I remember the first time I was “fishing”, no not catching fish, but wearing something short and revealing, I was so uncomfortable, I felt naked. After a few drinks and the constant assurance from friends that you’re just showing what the good LORD has given you, do you boo! I was feeling like a star. We got to Stones ( a club nearby school), and did I dance! I just wanted to be seen and noticed, and well I got what I wanted, a whole lot of attention. The next day, one of the guys contacted me asking me to come over to his place, just the two of us…
So much for freedom and doing “you”. I didn’t go, but it was enough to make me see that this freedom of doing me came with a hidden price tag of shame. Interestingly enough, I had a conversation with my brother yesterday and he was telling me I should be free and not be too Christian. One of the things he said opened my eyes to how blinded we can be by sin. He said he can be a good person, doing good deeds and that to him is a life of Christ as long as he believes that Christ is LORD then all is okay, but “there’s one thing I can’t stop, and that’s sex, I’ve already done it and I can’t get out of it now”. Does that not sound like enslavement?
We’re so bombarded with the thoughts of being free in this life, yet those things we call freedom are enslavement, and it’s being a slave to the flesh. With all the images of perfection flashing before our eyes on a daily basis, it’s easy to make our focus be on external beauty – being thin, penciling in those nicely arched eyebrows – instead of fearing and honouring the LORD with our bodies, making us slaves of beauty. Vanity much?!
I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem, by the gazelles or the does of the field, that you not stir up or awaken love until it pleases. – Song of Solomon 2:7
I knew that when I wore that dress, I wanted a certain kind of attention, I was awakening love at the wrong time. When we take selfies on the bed with those eyes, you know those eyes that are stretched up to your ears, and a pout that competes with a pig’s snout, we are sending a message. When we dress in a sensual way, convincing ourselves that we’re just showing what our mammas gave us, we are sending a message. Filters can make our appearance look better to others, but they cannot erase the gunk in our hearts that the holy God sees.
If your mom doesn’t remember what you look like without make-up, or you can’t go to church because you don’t have a cute dress to match your new shoes, there’s a problem.
Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear – 1 Peter 3:3
Just because you own an “I love JESUS” cap, and people think you’re sweet because you’re always fashionably on point yet sweet at the same time, if you are overcome by the things of this world, that is surely the thing that has conquered you and not Christ. You’re able to wake up earlier to ensure that you look best, but “it’s too early” to wake up to spend time with the LORD… I think I’ve made my point.
Beauty is not in the eye of the camera, it’s in the heart of a woman who fears the LORD. You may look gorgeous and sexy to yourself and millions of others before or after that filter, but that means nothing. We are called to be different, we’re ALIENS. Aim to rather grow in the LORD than to be the prettiest girl around.
So let’s be on constant guard and watch against ourselves, we have all the natural qualifications to justify our sinful desires, so qualified we manage to fool ourselves daily. We can fool ourselves and all the people around us, but never can we fool God. On that note, let me end off with this verse:
Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. – Galatians 6:7-8
May we keep our hope firmly in Christ, always ready to answer for the hope we have and looking forward to the day we finally get to meet our Saviour. Woop woop!