Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Questions on appearances

We are told that wearing makeup is a sin, along with dying our hair and piercing our ears. When I was a child I accepted this blindly and recognized "the unbelievers" by their dyed hair, make up and pierced ears. I avoided them. I thought they had special germs. I could not share my soda with them because they had "unbeliever" germs. I was afraid it was contagious. I don't want to catch it!
Look how gross they look, my mother would say to me. Don't they just look worldly? Aren't you glad we don't do that? Yes, I would respond obediently. Secretly I admired the dangly earrings and pretty painted nails of those unbelievers and was caught many times having colored the nails of my dolls with permanent marker and had been taunted by my friends for leaving my Barbies earrings in their ears.
One day I asked why we don't pierce our ears and received this answer; "because if God wanted us to have holes in our ears we would have been born with holes in our ears." Easy enough to accept as a child.
Over the years I became friends with a "heretic girl" at school. She complained one day that she had to sneak her hair straightener to school because she was not allowed to straighten her hair. "How strange, I thought..." And I asked her why. She responded "My mom says if God wanted my hair to be straight, I would have been born with straight hair."
This came as a bit of a shock to me. How could her mom have come up with such a similar response if they are wrong and we are right? I decided to bring it up at a discussion. I was told again, we don't know the ways of the Holy Spirit and the gospel was preached. I decided to move on and to accept and be obedient.
One night this discussion came to mind... I decided to allow myself to think about it. Many more questions began to arise. If God wanted our hair to be short, wouldn't He just stop it from growing? If God wanted us to have curly hair, would it be curly? Finally, and most hilariously, if God wanted us to wear clothes, wouldn't we be born with them?
While talking to a "Christian" friend (who knows far more about the Bible than I do) I brought up this topic. Her response: "well that's just silly. The Lord judges one by their heart not their appearance. In the Old Testament the women wore pearls and silk for their husbands to look good for them. There is nothing wrong with wanting to look good, it's the intention behind it. What kind of attention are you trying to attract? Or are you simply wanting to look pretty, which is natural for most girls and women?" This was a very comforting response after so many years of trying to convince myself that wanting to do those things was surely evil.


  1. I think if I had ever been caught with makeup my mom would have gone into a coma from it. She hates long hair on guys, hates it when girls with straight hair curl it, (but never said anything about straightening curly hair) and she quotes something from the Bible about it about it's a shame for a man to have long hair. And she won't wear perfume either, and she says that it's going to stink really bad when God smells it. What? Why? I don't understand. I know that Esther got beauty treatments and wore perfume and she was one of the good ones in the bible because I read about it one time. I don't get it. If you like curly hair, I say curl it. But if you want blonder hair, you have to be sneaky. Put lemon juice and go out in the sun, like someone I know did. Then when it gets lighter, you can say the sun did it and no one will talk. No, really YOU did it but it's against the RULES so you don't want to get in trouble for it. Is this the most important thing we should worry about?

  2. Yes. These things are important. God judges us by our appearance because our appearance always conveys what's in our hearts. Wait.. Does anyone know what God likes us to look like? Maybe we should be naked since he made us that way

  3. I'm starting to reconsider if I should wear clothes or not. Maybe there is a portion in the bible that talks about how we should dress? God doesn't have the ability to look past appearances does He? Oh hey... There's a bunch of Bible portions about appearances. Some say to be modest but it talks also about women beautifying themselves.. Maybe God is playing some mind game and wants us to decide for ourselves?. A friend once said to me, God gave me the tools of makeup simply to magnify the beauty He gave me.

  4. Ah the life of a laestadian woman. She must pop out as many children as possible until she dies or hits menopause. Constantly battle fluctuating weight, sleepless nights and varicose veins. Yes, we are all beautiful in God's eyes. Like that is any comfort. I know God knows how many hairs are on my head, but most likely He could care less. Just like He probably doesn't care if its dyed or not. I would say he has a lot more stuff to worry about than Mrs. Laestadian's hair color. But no, dark circles, splotchy complexion and gray frizzled hair just comes with the territory. One must accept that along with the dirty diapers and 44 loads of laundry and $400 a week grocery bills.

  5. And sadly, it is the women. The men can pretty much blend in to regular society and look the same. No toll on their body, no looking like a total hag because you can't wear makeup or touch up your hair. Total double-standard. Muslim much? Burkahs anyone? (I think of laestadians when I see a Muslim, burkah or head-covered woman trailing her westernized looking husband at the mall). And all I can think is, women have to be the ones to put a stop to this. The men will just go along like always if women let them. Women! Stop letting church/men, and each other/church ladies tell you how to look. Decide for yourself.


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