Beauty. It's a word that's plastered all over. But while there's nothing wrong with being beautiful, the fashion industry, magazines, and newspapers all contort and give a skewed perception of it. Instead of natural and healthy it's now scarily skinny, heavily made up, and scantily clad. "Skinnier is better, lose weight now, how to transform yourself into the beauty you've always want to be," the press yells. Influenced by the media and peer pressure, it places so much pressure on teenage girls. With airbrushed, artificial models on the covers of magazines, it's hard not to become self conscious. Feeling worthless, ugly, and fat, so many are pushed into depression and eating disorders, disorders which confine and trap the soul.

I'm not going to lie -- I love makeup. I think it's wonderful that there are tools available to enhance natural beauty and make one prettier. Heck, I have blonde eyelashes -- mascara is my best friend. But at the same time, I loathe it.
When my face is void of any kind of product, it looks odd, unnatural even, so used am I to the made up version of myself. I feel ugly and insecure, and so I apply makeup to my skin day after day. But that's not the real me. The real me is hidden under a layer of falsity and deception that makes me seem far more beautiful than I really am.
I'm slowly working on gaining the confidence to go free of artificial cover ups. Bit by bit, I'm stepping closer to my goal of being able to leave the house completely bare faced without caring what anyone thinks of me.

Is this a superficial topic? Maybe. Because yes, I know that it's what's within that really matters, but as girls, we crave the feeling of being pretty and confident, and no matter how we try to get away from it, deep down, that longing is always there.

So I've been praying. Praying to the Lord to help me let go of all the artificial things and focus instead what is truly beautiful. It's hard, but I have trust that He will help me through this stage. But thanks be to God that He sent His Son to die on the cross for all our transgressions, including this feeling of insecurity. He's already taken care of it because He loves us, and for that, I don't know how to thank Him.

in black and white

Happy Thursday, friends.


p.s. the giveaway winner is katie. congratulations! please email me :) (note: if winner doesn't respond within forty eight hours, a new winner will be chosen)