The Big Lie of the Beauty Industry
Facing the idol of 'forever young.'
I am a woman in my late 20s who spent too much time in the tanning bed and the sun growing up. I could blame it on “it’s what everyone was doing at the time” excuse, but quite frankly, I should have known better.
As I approach the 30-year mark, I am blown away by how much I have aged over the past year. I feel as though I woke up one morning and looked 20 years older: dark circles under my eyes and an ever-increasing amount of fine lines that are not so “fine” any more.
It all is really throwing me for a loop.
To make matters worse, I log in to social media to see all of my friends have no wrinkles, no blemishes and now I am convinced I am going to look like an 80-plus year old by the time I turn the big 3-0.
And then I find myself googling the latest “age-reversal trends,” hoping there is some magical, pain-free, super economical option out there that will reverse my aging situation. The results are limitless, but none of them seem to fit the parameters of cheap, painless and effective.
As a woman who fights hard to believe God has designed my body, skin and mind with a specific, unique and perfect purpose in mind, there is something deep in my heart that stirs when I go into these aging freak outs.
You see, my head knows the truth:
I am perfect just the way God created me to be.
The Lord looks at my heart, not my outward appearance.
God does not “see” as the world sees.
And I believe these things to be true, I really, really do. So why is there a tension? Why do I find myself wondering if there are any verses in the Bible about God being OK with botox or anti-aging procedures?
Recently, I was sitting around a table with women a few decades older than I. Each woman present had gorgeous, flawless skin—perfect everything. Each woman was someone I immensely respected. As the evening continued, the topic of beauty maintenance came up and I quickly realized there are some serious regimens going on and that those beautiful complexions were not as effortless as I had thought.
They were not effortless at all. Their efforts to fight the aging process required time, money and a lot of energy focusing on what they wanted to change about their appearance.
By the end of the dinner I wasn’t sure if I should schedule a consult with their plastic surgeon or pull out my Bible and start memorizing Scripture about what God says about beauty. Because to be honest, all I felt after walking away from that night was ugliness.
It took me a couple days of processing to come out on the other side of this “war” on aging. And I am still just barely crawling in my stance on this conversation.
But do you know what the main thing that comes to mind when I start to think about this whole mess?
God created time. And while He is not impacted by the constraints of time, we as His creations are. Our time on this earth is linear with a period on the end of it. Which means each moment that passes is drawing us closer to our last breath.
And our time is limited on this earth. When I think about the day I will stand before my creator and give an account for how I spent my time, money, talent and resources, I don’t think I’ll have extra stars in heaven for pursuing a wrinkle-free forehead.
So how do we combat the cultural pressure to not age?
We start talking about this topic. We stop obsessing over what we see in the mirror. We pause before making that appointment or buying that crazy expensive product and we ask some deeper, harder questions: Why am I really doing this? What is the root?
In the interim, I am learning to be OK with all those lines, because my worth—your worth—is not dependent on perfect, wrinkle-free skin. This truth will be stuck on repeat in my mind for a while.
So Satan picked the wrong generation of women to mess with.
We won’t get swept away by his sick efforts to make a female generation chase perfectionism.
We are planting our feet. We are saying no to those procedures, those costly products and to a goal we were never meant to run after.