The Beauty Bandwagon

I also believe, on a spiritual level, that a Loving God wants to perfect His creation, and by hopping on the beauty bandwagon I am essentially declaring my gratitude for this life and trying to “win one for the (Big) Gipper”. If God wanted me to be a purely spiritual and/or mental being, He could have kept me in gas form, but He did NOT, and that is a whopping message right there. While in this body, I intend to max out on the (good) things a body can do. It is such a privilege to be alive, and I want to look the part! — Hollis

That kind of thinking is what happens when beauty becomes an idol. If you really want to know what God thinks about outward beauty, He doesn’t keep it a secret (Proverbs 31:30):

Beauty is vain.

I don’t think a stronger word could be used. Vanity carries with it the ideas of foolishness, emptiness, uselessness, fruitlessness, and worthlessness. Beauty is all of those things, and in Proverbs 31:30, it is contrasted with fearing the Lord.

In other words, it seems fairly apparent that if you are “hopping on the beauty bandwagon,” you are hopping off the “fearing the Lord” bandwagon, and that is not a position in which anyone should want to be.

The context of the above quote from Hollis is a post asking why women want to appear younger. My answer to that is because people are, well, vain creatures, but I wanted to point out something else.

While it could be argued that growing old is a side effect of our sinful nature, growing old is something to be admired. Theoretically, as you grow old, you grow in wisdom. You grow in maturity. These are aspects which are to be admired and respected. I like what Proverbs 16:31 says: “Gray hair is a crown of glory.”

Plenty of people — both men and women — dye their hair to hide graying; I submit that if God declares gray hair to be a crown of glory, then hiding it or otherwise being ashamed of it reveals our attitude toward God.

Also, while God is in the business of perfecting believers, you will note throughout the Bible this perfection is always related to good, righteous works, not in appearance.

Keep in mind that God, when He took on flesh, had no beauty in Him. He was an everyman and He looked the part. He did this in obedience to the Father. Likewise, in obedience and good works, He underwent brutal beatings and the crucifixion, which disfigured Him to an unrecognizable state. If God is in the business of making us pretty, then the Incarnation seems to have gone totally awry.

2 thoughts on “The Beauty Bandwagon”

  1. christine: Thanks for the comment, Christine.

    Do I distinguish makeup from plastic surgery? Yes.

    My position is a little difficult to describe.

    I start out with biblical principles. These are diverse and include (1) Beauty is vain, (2) Men should have short hair & women should have long hair, (3) women should adorn themselves modestly rather than with fancy, expensive clothes and jewelry.

    I’m sure there are many more principles, but those are the three that come to mind which are relevant to the subject.

    I won’t say “Women must only do this” or “People cannot dye their hair” or “Tattoos are evil” or anything like that. Whenever a person starts making absolute statements like that which are not found in the Bible, they are treading dangerous ground.

    Instead, I believe that the principles are there to guide us to make right decisions. As people grow in spiritual maturity, their understanding of and obedience to these principles will grow.

    But for the most part, it comes back to the attitude of the heart. Dying hair to cover up gray contrasts with God calling gray hair a glory. Therefore, I think the principle is that gray hair shouldn’t be hidden. Does that mean a blond cannot dye their hair red? I don’t think so, but that bumps into other principles: What is the motive behind dying the hair? Is it one of beauty? God said beauty is worthless, but if that’s how you want to live your life, go for it.

    Ultimately it all comes down to two principles:

    (1) Everything we do should be done for the glory of God. If I’m doing what I can to draw attention to myself without ensuring that I’m redirecting people’s attention to God, then I am in the wrong.

    (2) Where our hearts are, there our treasure is also. If “the beauty bandwagon” — or video games or movies or music or novels or whatever — is where our hearts are, then that is where our reward is. It will be all we have in this life, and it will not benefit us at all in the next.

    I’m convinced each person will respond to these principles differently — God did, after all, make us unique. I know dedicated Christians who have and are happy with tattoos. I know dedicated Christians who think they look ridiculous. Both groups can fall into the wrong (either by glorying too much in the tattoo or in judging others by whether or not they have them), and the same can be said about many other things: makeup or not? hair dye or no? red shirt or blue? and so on.

  2. Your thinking is very clear. I wonder if you distinguish makeup from plastic surgery? I presume not based on your comments about hair dye.
    I ask because I find it a difficult distinction myself. Though I don’t approach it from a religious perspective, why do I wear makeup but find plastic surgery extreme or excessive? I feel that I am holding an opinion that I can’t defend, except to say “Well, it’s just the way I am”. It really is all vanity.

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