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 responses to “The Beauty Bandwagon”

  1. Rick Beckman Avatar

    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. christine Avatar

    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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Rick Beckman